Mission church, volunteers assist with overflow of migrants

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) —With the recent influx of migrants at the Southern border, a Mission church and school are being utilized as an overflow shelter.   

Every night for the past month migrants have been welcomed in by Father Roy Snipes with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Mission.

“They’ll come in for supper,” said Father Snipes. “All the classrooms are now dormitories, so we’ve got room for everybody. They’ve got air conditioning and heat so they’ll spend a night.” 

After a meeting with local mayors, Father Snipes decided to use his church to help as an overflow facility.

“Well, we’ve got this beautiful hall and beautiful school that were not using at all during the pandemic. Let’s put it to some good use. It’s really been wonderful the way it’s worked out,” he said.

Every night between 70 to 230 migrants will spend the night where volunteers provide food clothing and medical attention.

“The community has just really risen to the occasion,” said Snipes. “We’ve got all kinds of volunteers and have not run out of food, we haven’t run out of help and it’s a joy to behold.”

Volunteer Brandy Sifuentes told KVEO that some migrants have lost everything on their way to the U.S., and she is happy to help.

“It was overwhelming at first but now that we’ve gotten the logistics in handle the amount of people that are coming in on a daily basis,” she said. “It’s been really rewarding and fulfilling to be able to give back to these people, who have come from nothing, and are looking for something better.” 

Migrant Karina Cruz said she began her long journey from Honduras in January. Cruz said she is here to fight for her children back in Honduras, and although it’s been difficult she is thankful.

“I give a thousand thank you’s to God first, and to President Biden,” Cruz said. “He is giving us the opportunity to come here and work in this country and get ahead.”  

Father Snipes said that as long as there are migrants in need he and his dogs, Bendito, Charlotte, and Wiglet are in it for the long haul.

“It kind of reminds you of the beautiful miracle of the fish and the loaves. The apostles said I don’t think we can do too much with this,” he said. “Jesus said take what you got and do what you can, and amazing things happen.”  

In the mornings, migrants are given breakfast and say a prayer before heading back on their journey.

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