Dear Members of Central Plains Mennonite Conference:
It has been a week since Max Villatoro has been deported, and we want to update you on his situation.
Max arrived in Honduras last Friday to a crowd of reporters. His sister met him at the airport and the two were able to avoid the press while leaving the airport. Within two hours, they met with Honduran Mennonite leaders who offered their help. The press was relentless in calling Max’s sister, so Max gave a press conference on Monday.
Gloria has been in regular contact with Max by phone, and both Dave Boshart and Tim Detweiler have also spoken with Max by phone.
On Sunday evening, a prayer service and fundraising dinner were held at First Mennonite Church in Iowa City. The bilingual service, planned by Gloria Villatoro and FMC Pastor Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler, was attended by Torre Fuerte members and other local Mennonites. On Wednesday, Gloria, Central Plains conference ministers and Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler met by conference call with Mennonite Central Committee staff, Max’s lawyer, America’s Voice and others to make plans for long-term advocacy for Max. Tim Detweiler is working with Gloria to assemble a small support group for ongoing care and support for Gloria and the children.
Mennonite Central Committee Washington Office updated their action alert about Max yesterday. It gives two concrete actions people can take now to help the Villatoro family.
Please continue to pray for safety and emotional well-being for Max and Gloria and their children. Pray also for Central Plains conference ministers and Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler as they continue to offer support to the Villatoros and Torre Fuerte. Pray for the Torre Fuerte congregation.
Central Plains Conference Ministers David Boshart, Tim Detweiler and Shana Peachey Boshart
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.