And in another development: the immediate need for Sanctuary housing has evaporated. Suyapa won her case and has been granted a U-visa (a special category of visa for people who have been victims of crime). This means she is no longer in danger of being deported. And she has decided to leave Sanctuary, as soon she will be able to get a green card and her social security card and go to work.
Michael would still like to hear from people who are interested in working on Sanctuary ministry. The New Sanctuary Movement explains that while there is no current need, there will certainly be need again in the future. Most often when it arises, it is immediate. Someone chooses to take on the personal protest of requesting Sanctuary, and they need to be housed quickly, within 48 hours usually.
If we can get another 3 or 4 leaders who want to work on Sanctuary, then a Sanctuary Ministry Team could be formed to think about the process of education / information before any congregational decision-making. We have some time to get to know more about the New Sanctuary Movement and how we can support people in Sanctuary.
If you are interested, please let Michael know. His previous article about Suyapa, her situation, and Old First’s as a sanctuary location can be read here.