(By Tawana Roberts, The News-Herald). Dozens gathered in unity on the front steps of Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights on Sept. 12.
The Rev. John C. Lentz, who is the pastor, announced that Forest Hill Presbyterian, 3031 Monticello Blvd.,has welcomed Leonor Garcia and her children to live in sanctuary.
“Leonor came to America from Mexico as a young teenager to escape poverty and violence and has lived and worked and raised a family in this country and most recently in the Akron area for over 20 years,” Lentz said. “Leonor has four children, all of whom are American citizens. Separating a mother from her children is not what we do as people of faith. It is not what we as Americans should do either.”
Lentz said he believes that all should be welcomed.
“I want to stay with my family,” Garcia tearfully said. “I don’t want to go back to Mexico, because I don’t have nothing in Mexico. Here is where my family is.”
Multiple clergy and community leaders showed Lentz support in offering the immigrant community a safe place to live.
When I read stories like this and reported acts of ‘charity and grace’ I think of the Lord’s counsel on these matters, do not let the right hand know the left, do things in private, do not make a big flashy show and such of one’s actions, but again in the PCUSA never allow an opportunity to make a scene or make big statements go to waste. Hence call the local papers and send out policy pronouncement.
The intent and meaning in Christian charity and acts of compassion centers on the personal and immediate. The nice and convenient thing about this family being housed, sorry offered “sanctuary” in said church is that outside of the many maybe one time a week the good folks rub shoulders with this family, they are in essence warehoused in what by definition is a public building, out of site and mind for the vast majority of these church folks who bleed such compassion. The real Christian test is whether they or anybody else who makes big statements and bloviate on DACA, is are they willing to open their own homes up, to physically house this family in their own personal homes, where yes, sacrifices in privacy, space, bathroom times, food times, family times will need to be made. Again, if they are not willing to do this, then it is act of continued cruelty, abuse and use of said family for obvious attention and political purpose to hide, shelter, offer a roof in an otherwise public, neither build or designed to house people over long periods of time. Again, the Bible is very clear again, all have had their rewards in full and all got their 15 seconds of fame and attention on this site and others I am sure. Christian charity or compassion, this is not. Today, 15 million people in Texas and Florida remain either in shelters and or displaced, it seems to me that’s a good need there for some action if this church indeed cares about such things. No newspaper headlines, policy statements, local News TV coverage in that.