Frustrating and heart-breaking news lately. 

Syria and Russia intensifying attacks in northern Syria, a foolish U.S. impeachment trial, Britain exiting the EU, Wuhan virus spreading, 6 more countries banned from the U.S., January, again, globally warmer than usual, the death of a young basketball legend, the countless deaths of many refugees and future legends trying to reach safety, humanitarian disasters in Myanmar, Libya, Lesvos, central Africa, Yemen, Venezuela, a joke of a new “plan” for Palestinians and Middle East peace, our dog not coming home last night…and on and on.

As we wake up every morning with the excitement of a new day, stretch, drink a little coffee, then read the news, it only takes a second to be brought down to the distressing reality of our damaged world. It’s almost too much to handle. Give us something good, please. 

This week, we heard some good news. Finally. We’ll take it! 

Our friend, Ray, was granted asylum in the U.S.A. When we heard this news, we were punching the air with joy! If I could do a cartwheel, I would’ve. 

We met Ray the first day we were running a medical clinic and water filter distribution for asylum seekers stranded at the Matamoros Mexico/USA border. After getting to know him for a hour, we hired him right away to help us help others. 

Ray is Cuban, an English professor, and an asylum seeker who felt serious danger for his safety and life because of many biases the Cuban government imposed on him. He fled to Central America and very slowly, expensively, and dangerously made his way up to the Mexico/US border seeking what all of us want, freedom. Because of the new and dirty restrictions imposed by the current U.S. administration called MPP (or better known as Remain in Mexico), Ray was put through the challenge of waiting on the border for 8 months. Patiently anxious and with all needed documents in hand, when his court date would finally arrive, he was told that it was “postponed” for another month, then another month, and another… 

While waiting, Ray made the most of his time by teaching, volunteering, and helping everybody he could. Our first week there, it was only the two of us and Ray running the only medical clinic in the Matamoros camp. It was obvious that everybody in the camp knew him and respected him. Ray remained a huge asset to the medical clinic and the “Sidewalk School”, and will be greatly missed in Matamoros. 

Currently, the U.S. is granting asylum to the thousands of at risk refugees at a rate of 0.1%.  You read that correctly, not 10 or even 1%, but ZERO POINT ONE PERCENT!!  An embarrassingly low number of disadvantaged humans are “given” this human right of safety and hope for a future. 

We are so happy that Ray was one of the few. The USA just became a little better with the arrival of our friend. He’s smart, talented, big-hearted and ambitious. Latin Americas loss is the U.S.’s gain.  

As you can imagine, starting a new life in the USA without any money and very few contacts can be very difficult. If you have it in your heart to donate a couple of dollars to Ray so that he can get on his feet it would be greatly appreciated. An acquaintance has started a fund raiser for Ray, and even a small $5.00 welcome gift would be greatly appreciated. All funds will go directly to Ray. 

Yesterday was Ray’s birthday and a few friends treated him to a nice dinner and even a Celine Dion concert in Texas. Day in and day out, it’s so heavy reading the news of all of the troubles throughout our small planet, that when there’s even a small win for humanity, it’s worth celebrating and sharing. 

As Celine Dion sings, 

“Near, far, wherever you are

I believe that the heart does go on

Once more…”

Even though we don’t live there, welcome Ray. The USA is fortunate to have you. 

Even the dog is back. 

For a couple of hours, everything is ok in the world. 

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