Ivanka Trump recently donated $50,000 to Prestonwood Baptist Church to help with the crisis taking place with migrant children at the southern border, The Christian Post reported.
On Sunday, Jack Graham, who is the head pastor of the Dallas megachurch, shared the news with his congregation, and explained how the church plans to use the funds.
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Graham, who formerly served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, explained that the president’s daughter learned about the church’s humanitarian efforts at the border through a tweet he posted last week.
“We @Prestonwood are currently working to provide solutions to care for children during this terrible immigration crisis,” the pastor tweeted. “Our Espanol ministry let by Gilberto Corredera is stepping up to the challenge to express the love of Jesus. We are broken-hearted and determined to act.”
We @Prestonwood are currently working to provide solutions to care for children during this terrible immigration crisis. Our Espanol ministry let by Gilberto Corredera is stepping up to the challenge to express the love of Jesus. We are broken-hearted and determined to act
— Jack Graham (@jackngraham) June 19, 2018
“I put that [tweet] out there just for no other reason than to pray for our church, if you saw that. But someone in the White House saw that. Her name is Ivanka Trump,” Graham told the congregation. “And she saw that, and she was so moved that she contacted us. She wrote us, out of her personal account — days before the president’s executive order that stopped the [family] separations [at the border] — she wrote us a major check for immigration ministry so that we could use it to get it started here in our church.”
Pastor Graham and Trump have met on several occasions, as Graham has been one of the most influential evangelical leaders to advise those within President Trump’s administration.
Graham added that he wasn’t surprised at Ivanka’s contribution, as she has demonstrated her generosity in the past.
“I’ve found her to be generous, kind and compassionate, and a great leader,” he said. “We were shocked that a tweet raised this possibility, but not surprised. I’m personally not surprised at her generosity. And we’re hopeful that her generosity would encourage others.”
Graham has a lot of different plans to help with the immigrants at the border. This week, he will start by participating in a video call alongside other evangelical leaders with families in Brownsville, Texas, in order to determine the needs of immigrants in the area. They will examine the situation and then decide a game plan before they send both aid and members to the border.
Prestonwood Espanol has a large membership with around 2,000 members. One of the leaders on the Prestonwood trip is Pastor Gilberto Corredera, an immigrant from Cuba. Pastor Corredera will be on a team that plans to go to Brownsville to bring supplies and love to the children being housed there.
As of right now, Pastor Graham already plans to hold a fun event for immigrant children during the first week in July, with the goal of adding some joy to their lives during a time of fear and uncertainty.
In addition to this, Graham and several evangelicals on the Trump faith advisory initiative will visit detention centers along the border.
As the Trump administration has noted, the children in these centers are being provided with what they need both physically and educationally, but the pastors hope to bring things like money, volunteers and warm smiles. They also hope to organize activities for the children in a Vacation Bible School way.
“HHS officials have told us that the basic needs of the children are being taken care of,” Graham said. “What the kids really need most is someone to brighten their day. They need someone to give them hope. Our plan is to create an event for the children that will encourage them and make them smile. Of course, we will also focus on how we can provide financial aid to families to assist them in their situation.”
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“Churches everywhere are contacting us, and Christians and people of faith who want to be a part of the solution,” Graham said. “And that’s the beauty of what churches can do in the midst of all this confusion and chaos around this issue. It’s going to be a while before immigration is solved. But that doesn’t stop us from going and being present and serving and making a difference in people’s lives.”
Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Texas) will also be going on the trip, alongside David Shivers, the associate pastor of local and global outreach at Prestonwood.
Ivanka Trump’s donation is the largest that the initiative has received so far, Graham announced Sunday.
“I’m certain that it will prompt generosity from a lot of people,” he said. “This church has a great heart for people, and if they’re here, we’re going to serve them.”
(H/T: The Christian Post)