May 31, 2009

DEPORTING THE SUPERIOR CULTURE (via Brandon Heathcotte):

Mexican facing deportation finds new calling as pastor (Richard Ruelas, May. 28, 2009, The Arizona Republic)

Manuel Maldonado illegally crossed the border a decade ago to flee drug dealers in his native Mexico who wanted him dead. He found refuge in the United States. He also found Jesus Christ, leading him to a new calling: pastor in the immigrant community.

"People are living here with a lot of fear from the authorities," he said in Spanish, sitting in his west Phoenix trailer home, minutes before an evening service. "God is using me to give them the word of God. And that word can give them peace in their life, can give them tranquillity."

Maldonado knows firsthand about the fear of authorities. Last year, he was arrested in Prescott while leading a church retreat. Deputies with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office responded to complaints of noise and possible fighting at a campground where Maldonado was leading a sunrise prayer service.

Most of the group was deported, but not Maldonado, something he chalks up to divine intervention. The married father of five wants to gain permanent residency, but to do so he has to win a long, slow battle through the federal immigration system.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 31, 2009 8:26 AM
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