Riley Schmieder & Nick Yutzy gave excellent speeches at the march Tuesday evening in Iowa City. To see photos and read more about the march, visit our Facebook page: Central Plains Mennonite Conference.
"My name is Riley Schmieder and I attend Iowa Mennonite School with Anthony. As I’ve learned more and more about Max’s situation, I’ve been trying to imagine what this has been like for their family. As a seven year old, like Aileen, my biggest problems would have been keeping track of my stuffed, magnetic mouse, or learning to spell words like “freeze,” not having my dad taken away from me. When I was ten, like Angela, I was worried about dividing fractions, not about not being able to say goodbye to my father because ICE officials took him from our home. At 13 years old, like Edna, I was most concerned with what color to change my braces to, not asking the President to release my father from prison. When I was 15, like Anthony, my world was sports, school, and friends, not wondering if I would ever see my dad again. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have my dad taken from my home, to have the threat of him being taken out of the country looming over me for multiple weeks. I pray that the government will have mercy on Max and return him to his family, because these children deserve to grow up with their father at home." ~ Riley Schmieder
"Anthony has been one of my closest friends over the past year, and picturing myself in his shoes every day gets harder and harder. If the officers of ICE knew Anthony, and the rest of the Villatoros like I did, they wouldn’t be breaking down the walls of this compassionate and loving family, but if a miracle does happen, it’s going to come from a greater power than the government. It’ll come from God. ICE may not know what positive things that Max does throughout the community, but God does. And as hard as it may be to fall back and trust in Him, that’s what it is going to come down to. Family is God’s gift to you. ICE isn’t breaking families apart, but only bringing them closer. Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." ~ Nick Yutzy
Bring Max Back!
Central Plains Pastor Max Villatoro was deported to Honduras on Friday, March 20 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Max and his wife Gloria are the pastors of Iglesia Torre Fuerte in Iowa City. Join us in prayer that Max can be reunited with his family and congregation, and join us in offering financial support to the Villatoro family.