Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jesus to the Rescue

I heard this story on the local news last night after spending the better part of the day driving across the Sonoran Desert. It was one of those rare incidents that brought together the best and worst of mankind into one brief bit of journalism.

Christopher Buztheitner is a nine-year-old boy from Rimrock, Arizona. His father died two months ago. Christopher’s mother, Dawn Alice Tomko, took the lad camping in a remote area of southern Arizona this past week. On Thanksgiving Day as they were heading home, Ms. Tomko misjudged a curve and rolled her van 300 feet down into a canyon. She was pinned in the vehicle, but Christopher managed to climb out and begin walking in an effort to find help.

A complete tragedy was averted when Christopher was discovered and aided by a Good Samaritan. His rescuer was Jesus Manuel Cordova, 26, of Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Mexico. Cordova took Christopher back to the wreck and tried unsuccessfully to free his mother. She died later, still pinned in the van. Cordova gave the boy his jacket, built a bonfire, and settled in for a long night in the cold desert. When morning came, he was able to flag down some hunters and Christopher’s safe rescue was completed.

Unfortunately, the story does not have a happy ending for Jesus Cordova. He happened to be in the right place at the right time for young Christopher because he was walking across the Sonoran Desert in an effort to gain illegal entry into the United States. Christopher became a temporary ward of the state of Arizona until out-of-state relatives could arrive to claim him. Jesus was turned over to the Border Patrol and promptly returned to Mexico.

Jesus Manuel Cordova did so much more than rescue a scared youngster in the desert. His humanitarian efforts also served to remind us that we are all members of the brotherhood of man, a unique place where compassion should trump hate, where commonsense should defeat fear, and where we all should be bound together by love – not kept apart by borders.

Gracias, Jesus! May your example inspire us all!

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