After strapping on knee-high snake guards and bowing his head to invoke God’s protection, Óscar Andrade marched off into a remote desert at dawn on a recent Sunday to look for a Honduran migrant. His family said he had gone missing in late July “between the two hills where the backpacks are.”
The Tucson-based Pentecostal pastor bushwhacked for three hours in heat that rose above 100 degrees (38 Celsius), detouring around a mountain lion, two rattlesnakes and at least one scorpion before taking a short break to call the aunt of another missing man. Andrade believed he found the young man’s skull the previous day.
“Much strength, my dear sister,” Andrade told her, while she repeated incredulously that the “guide” had assured her he left the young man with injured feet but alive. “Sometimes we don’t understand, but there is a reason that God allowed this. And if you need anything, we’re here.”