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Albanian family still in sanctuary

Detroit Central United Methodist Church continues to house a family threatened with deportation. Fox 2 News out of Detroit gives a powerful update of what Ded Rranxburgaj is doing now.

It’s been six months since
Michigan Conference Communication first reported, along with many in the world press, that an Albanian family had taken sanctuary inside Detroit: Central United Methodist Church. On January 25, 2018 Ded Rranxburgaj defied a deportation order to remain in the U.S. with his wife, Flora, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.

Now considered a fugitive by the U.S. government, Ded remains within the walls of the church along with Flora and sons, Eric and Lawrence. 

Fox 2 recently interviewed the Rranxburgajs. Ded’s care for his family remains strong. His summer hours are spent tending a rooftop garden to feed them and the homeless who visit the church. Flora reports being more sad and nervous every day. Son Eric expresses his fear.

“We’re in it for the long haul,” says Pastor Zundel. “They deserve a chance just like the rest of us.” 

READ and SEE MORE of the Fox 2 video, transcript and photos.

Support is welcomed by Detroit: Central UMC. Pastor Zundel offers this list of ways persons may care for the Rranxburgaj family:

  • Donate funds to contribute for food and housing expenses with a check payable to Detroit Central United Methodist Church with memo to “sanctuary.” Mail to 23 E. Adams, Detroit MI 48226;
  • Write a letter to Rebecca Adducci, Director of the Detroit ICE Field Office supporting the family and urging a Stay of Removal; DHS, ICE Office, 333 Mt. Elliott Street, Detroit MI 48207 or;
  • Write Representatives and Senators encouraging immigration reform;
  • Contribute goods or services (e.g. transportation) for the family by emailing Pastor Jill Zundel at
  • Watch Michigan United website for news of rallies and other events.
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