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Roma Church Combining Efforts with Border Patrol amid Migrant Surge

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ROMA – Non-profit organizations are set up to help in McAllen, Brownsville, Harlingen and Roma.

It’s a fairly new operation relying on others as the migrant numbers continue to grow.

Hundreds of asylum seekers came into Roma a few weeks ago and again a few days ago.

Border Patrol was looking for assistance; a pastor at Bethel Church saw this as a call to action.

“They asked us for assistance. We quickly said yes, because that's what I believe the church should do – help those in need,” said Pastor Luis Silva.

The church family has helped out before.

On one occasion, hundreds waiting to be processed by Border Patrol were susceptible to the Rio Grande Valley’s volatile weather.

“A strong storm came out of nowhere. Thank God we had tarps at the church. We were able to cover over 700 people, because a lot of children were getting wet. They were suffering,” said Silva.

Their main function was to serve Roma – now, their vision expands beyond the church pews.

The church relies on donations from locals and those as far away as Ohio.

Food, water, diapers, hygienic items and other supplies are stored in the decade old church.

It’s an ancient calling.

“I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me water. I was naked and you clothed me. Whatever you did for one of these brothers or sisters of mine, Jesus said, it's as if you did it for me,” preached Silva.

A religious mandate now helping to mend the gaps in an impossible federal process.

“For us, it’s been a blessing to be able to help them,” said the pastor.

Those the church helps are already processed by Border Patrol.

Silva hopes the volunteers and donations keep coming in so they can provide the needed assistance.

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