From February through August of 2019, we received a number of migrant families at our church — about 1,500 people in total. Parents with children who were brought to us by ICE and the Department of Homeland Security. Officials with the Department of Homeland Security had asked for the help of churches because they were not equipped to handle the number of families with children whom they were receiving.
So, every Thursday for that six-month period ICE would drop off somewhere between 50 and 80 people at our church. All the people they released to us had been granted temporary asylum by our government. Here’s how it worked.
Once people arrived at our church they were welcomed by Magdalena Schwartz, who now leads our La Viña congregation. Magdalena would then lead everyone in a short worship service and people would receive prayer. During this time many were touched by God’s presence, many surrendered their lives to Christ, and a number of people received healing.
We served people a meal. We had a place for children to draw and play. While all this was going on, members of Magdalena’s team were in another room on their phones arranging transportation for the people to their family member or sponsor, who typically lived in another part of the country — Texas, Oregon, Florida, etc.