Gilbert church providing comfort and care to migrants seeking better life in U.S.
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A U.S. Homeland Security bus rolls into the Vineyard Community Church in Gilbert every Thursday and Friday. Pastor Magdalena Schwartz wastes no time welcoming all the moms, dads, sisters and brothers from other countries who’ve gone to great lengths to be here. “In their country, they are so afraid, they have many persecutions, and the insecurity,” said Schwartz. “The numbers are increasing, and we receive more people than before. We see the change.”
This is one of several Valley churches that have teamed up with the federal government to provide comfort and compassion to migrants. They are given a meal, some inspiration and help making travel arrangements to meet family members in other states as they await their court hearing to determine whether their asylum request will be granted.
“I think everyone agrees that our immigration system is broken,” said pastor Jack Moraine with Vineyard Community Church. “There are issues that are in purview of political leaders, that’s the lane they run in, but that’s not our lane. Our lane is to be a church, the hands and feet of Jesus, and help people in need, so that’s what we do.” Most of the 40-plus migrants who arrived Thursday were from Peru. Others were from Honduras, Guatemala, Pakistan and Russia.
Thirty-five years ago, Pastor Magdalena migrated to the U.S. with her two children from Chile. She remembers the kindness and love she received from strangers and decided immediately to return the favor to others. “From that day, I said to the Lord, I want to do something for this country because I’m grateful,” said Schwartz. “I want to give back what I received. “What we are doing is God’s work.”
Schwartz said they are in constant need of donations, everything from food, clothing and water. They are currently looking for a large storage shed. For more details on how to help, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2023 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.