Yearlong Volunteer Testimonials
Ryan Steinmetz (BSC Volunteer at La Casa, Inc. Domestic Violence Shelter 2001-2002 & Former BSC Director 2008-2013)
Border Servant Corps is a ministry of Peace Lutheran Church in Las Cruces, a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. While we are connected to the church, it is important to note that Border Servant Corps is committed to welcoming diverse populations into our organization including people from a variety of faith backgrounds or spiritual journeys. We are also committed to building a safe, non-discriminatory community of volunteers who are respectful towards each other and who honor each other’s differing thoughts, abilities, experiences, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations. As a former volunteer, I felt that this welcoming aspect of Border Servant Corps permeated my experience and helped to support both me and my fellow community members in the important service work we were able to do in our border communities.
Viviana Méndez (BSC volunteer at Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, 2007-2008)
I am a first-generation Latina and grew up bi-cultural and bilingual in Chicago, IL. It was common in my household to hear stories from family members who crossed the border attempting to find work in the United States or to be reunited with family members that previously emigrated. I knew that I somehow wanted to experience the border and BSC was a great venue for that experience. …I came across people who were completely ignorant of the interstate violence occurring minutes away from their homes, and people who were completely aware and active in a border awareness movement. Desiring to go to law school, my placement site was at the Diocesan Migrant and Refugee services where I assisted victims of domestic violence and crime obtain immigration benefits. It was a wonderful, nurturing, and educative work place. I was amazed at how much I learned in such a short period of time!
Jeremy Snyder (BSC volunteer at Colonias Development Council, 2009-2010)
I believe that a year of service in Las Cruces served to open my eyes to the lives of my neighbors – my brothers and sisters – in the border regions. Moreover, I know that after this experience, I was able to be a better physician, a more informed citizen, and a person of deeper faith. If I had no impact on any person throughout my service year, yet learned to make better, more conscientious decisions that positively affect my neighbors, I had succeeded. This was my goal, and my prayer, for this year.
Alissa Weinberger (BSC volunteer at Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, 2008-2009)
While both my parents were raised in the Jewish traditions, they allowed my sister and me to choose for ourselves when it came to religion and faith. I was fairly young when I decided that religion is not for me. My biggest apprehension about participating in Border Servant Corps was that everyone else was going to be very religious and that they would attempt to convert me. Luckily for me, I didn’t have anything to worry about. Everyone in Border Servant Corps was not only extremely accepting of people of all faiths, but also of people with no faith. I find faith and religion to be fascinating, and throughout the year we explored many different ways an individual’s faith can manifest itself, and how faith is incorporated in people’s lives. I am extremely thankful for the open and honest approach that Border Servant Corps takes when it comes to religion.