Saving lives is the goal of Dover church women providing aid

by AryanArtnews
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DOVER – Every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Belin Darrenz leaves her hometown for Arizona, where she supports migrants crossing the country’s southern border through the Sonoran Desert.

She works with an aid group whose members occupy different positions on the political spectrum.

“Some of them don’t think immigrants are eligible to cross our borders into our country,” Lentz said. “Some of them think we should stand at the border and welcome them with open arms. Whatever their opinion, they still work together. Their main goal is to save lives in the desert.”

In a speech at the Dover Public Library on Tuesday, Belinda Lentz displayed artifacts collected during her visit to the U.S.-Mexico border.

As of November, 3,790 migrants had died trying to cross the Arizona/Sonoran desert, according to Humane Borders, Inc., a nonprofit that provides water and other life-saving resources to migrants on both sides of the border.

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Lentz, director of Christian education at St. John’s United Christ Church in Dover, shared her experience on the frontier at the Dover Public Library on Tuesday.

She spoke of people she met, including a man who made brightly coloured crosses he planted in the desert to commemorate the places where migrants died.

Lentz helped install a cross for a young woman named Rosalia, who passed by during the trip.

“She gave her daughters the last drop of water and she died,” Lentz said. “No one knows what happened to her daughters. That was 20 years ago.”

Belinda Lentz has been visiting the US/Mexico border since 2013. She is Director of Christian Education at St. John's United Church of Christ in Dover.

Lentz spoke about the medical examiner in Pima County, Arizona, whose office worked to identify the deceased and provide isolation for their families.

She talked about a man who went to an immigration judge and asked if he could be imprisoned in North Carolina because that’s where his children were. Another asked to be sent to the same prison as his brother, who appeared at the same mass immigration hearing.

Belinda Lentz has been visiting the US/Mexico border since 2013. She is Director of Christian Education at St. John's United Church of Christ in Dover.

She shows a photo of a makeshift kitchen that feeds 100 people every morning. At the feeding station, a nun tries to stop people from trying to cross.

There are multiple ways to die in the attempt. Lentz tells the story of a woman who climbed a border wall, but was trapped to her death after she was turned upside down. A man has died after falling and breaking his leg. On the side of the place where he died, someone was working in a copper mine. On the other side, is the house with the lights on.

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