Dear Church family,
Just wanted to share with you the most recent update regarding the Indonesians who are in ‘sanctuary’ at Highland Park Reformed Church.
Dear Friends of Persecuted Indonesian Christians in America,
Today we have big news for all of you.
Oldy Manopo was supposed to be deported from this country in April. Instead of leaving his wife, his daughter, his son and daughter-in-law and grandson, Oldy moved into our church, accepting sanctuary.
Oldy and his family came here on Christmas Eve, 2000, and as they got on the airplane from Jakarta coordinated bomb attacks went off in churches throughout Indonesia. They felt they left by the grace of God at just the right time.
On Monday of this week the Executive Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations in Washington D.C. called to inform me that he and the local Newark office had reviewed our cases and had determined that Oldy Manopo was now eligible for a benefit. The new Deferred Action policy that Secretary Napolitano announced in August that benefits young people who were brought here as children (dream act kids), is, apparently, also benefiting the parents who brought the children here.
We are thankful that ICE Newark, with support of ICE Washington, has chosen to use its discretion to make that jump from a benefit for “dreamers” to it also being a benefit for “dreamer-parents.” We are also thankful that ICE Newark and ICE Washington haven’t ‘punished’ Oldy for taking part in Sanctuary, and have, instead, been very happy to see that there is now a benefit that helps him out.
We are thankful to God, and to the Reformed Church of Highland Park congregation, and to all affiliated congregations and advocates, for helping Oldy and his family to have the courage to utilize sanctuary as a means to a better tomorrow.
We hope and pray that ICE Newark will find it in its heart to show the same discretionary benefits to others in sanctuary that they have shown to Oldy.
Please watch for upcoming press conferences and actions for you to take in support of our friends who remain in sanctuary.
peace, Pastor Seth