The nine-day march is over. The Rev. Jill Zundel and others arrived at the state capitol on May 22.
MAY 22, 2018 | Lansing, Michigan — It was nine days since Ded Rranxburgaj waved goodbye from Central United Methodist Church, where he has been in sanctuary for four months. Carrying a banner — Stop Separating Families — marchers undertook the 90 mile trek on May 14 seeking justice for Ded and other immigrants like him who are facing deportation . See the Michigan United story here.
The Rev. Jill Zundel and others, accompanied by Bishop David Bard, episcopal leader of The Michigan Area, arrived in Lansing mid-morning on May 22nd. “We are walking because Ded can’t walk out of the church,” Zundel said.
Listen to the conversation between Bishop Bard and Pastor Jill that explains the political realities and hopes for the Rranxburgaj family, who came to the United States from Albania 17 years ago with legal humanitarian status …
The purpose of the walk, sponsored by Michigan United, is to give information about the hurt being suffered by immigrant families and to persuade legislators to act on immigration reform.Pastor Zundel hopes to inspire others to take up the fight by opening up their churches to offer safe space or by becoming a supporting congregation offering services or financial aid.
Her Facebook chronicle of the walk has revealed difficulties from blisters to harassment. When asked what compels her to undertake such an effort she answered, “The verse that really comes to me is out of the Book of Esther…we are here for such a time as this. We need to stand up and protect families. That’s what has kept us walking.”
Bishop Bard added, “We want to be a country that is compassionate but suddenly we take that away for no good reason. Our faith and the best traditions of our country compel us to say that’s not who we are.”