Enrique's Journey

Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother

2013 Young Migrant Statistics

WARNING! This review is longer than normal and full of religious and political opinion! It is a topic that I'm passionate about.

In the Gospel of John there are two intriguing statements of mission for a disciple of Christ. First, in Jesus' prayer for his disciples he prays to the Father, "As you have sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world." And we know from the first chapter of John that the Word (Christ Jesus) became flesh and lived among us. To develop this idea a little more, here is a passage from Philippians 2 - "Though he was God, he did not think of equality with as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges and he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being."

To solve the problems of his creation, God didn't stand at the edge of heaven and yell out encouragements and admonitions to us. He became one of us, became flesh and walked this dusty, broken earth and he got close enough to touch, taste, hear, smell, see, teach, cry, admonish, heal, and suffer with the fallen creation. This is how Jesus was sent and so he sends those that choose to follow him.

What does this have to do with a book review? It seems to me that we (the American church culture) have settled for a cheap grace that is focused on ensuring that we go to heaven when we die. As such, we ignore the brokenness that surrounds us. Or we may not be that we ignore it but worse, we may be informed only by Fox News or CNN and just learn enough about the problem to be able to stand on the perimeter and shout clich├ęs and our opinions and add to the confusion. And we just get close enough to the problem to look it in the eye, to touch it, to listen it, or to bring real hope.

One such current issue/problem is the one of immigration. My personal opinion has turned one hundred eighty degrees over the last ten years, mainly because of my wrestling with what it means to follow Jesus.

If you are on the side that believes we should just "send 'em all back" because this is our country and THEY are invading us AND you subscribe to a Christian worldview, then "Enrique's Journey" is for you. You will go deep into the travels and travails of a person created in the image of God that is simply looking for something more or something better in this life. You will be challenged to look at this as something bigger than just an issue but about living, breathing human beings and the struggle between good and evil.

And if you are on the side that believes we should simply receive everyone that comes and provide for all of their material needs, then this book is for you. Often arriving here is not the solution but just a new set of problems. You may be challenged to look for ways to dive into the violence, corruption, and lack of opportunity to find ways to bring real relief, real solutions, and real hope to the "Lazarus at our door."

That's all from my soapbox and now for a quick book review. "Enrique's Journey" gets us up close and personal to the issue of immigration - almost close enough to touch, see, hear, taste, cry and suffer with. This research and experiences of this story by Sonia Nazario are amazing. She has traveled every inch of the path of Enrique to accurately tell his story, props to her for this work. The story itself is painful, sad, filled with despair but necessary for affluent Americans to hear. Woven through the darkness of the story are beams of light, people working along the way from Honduras to the U.S. to bring relief to this complicated issue. One such story is from chapter 4, the villagers from this poor little town rush out to the railroad tracks to throw food and water to the beleaguered immigrants as they roll through. They do this with each train and they do it in honor of the Lord Jesus Christ. This chapter made me want to stand up and cheer because sometimes we get the way of Jesus right!

Father, give us eyes to see the brokenness that surrounds us. Give us the compassion to become involved. And give us the courage to "run towards the train with food, water, and Good News!" For the glory and honor of Christ Jesus, amen!


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