Sanctuary life at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ

November 29, 2016 Danielle Quijada


Video by Brian Fore

Life in sanctuary at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ consists of long days of Bible study and various housekeeping chores. For fun, the immigrants in sanctuary keep themselves busy with Xbox and Uno, games of pool and playing on an old piano. Occasionally, their family members will stop by for visits to keep them company and catch up on life.

  • Shadow Rock United Church of Christ has been providing sanctuary for immigrants for more than two years. Their most recent guests, Ismael and Sixto, sit with church members for lunch on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Neither Ismael or Sixto can seriously play the piano, but the two men play around with the old instrument to keep themselves busy in their living corridors beneath the church on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Ismael and Sixto said the church has not only given a temporary home in sanctuary, but they have also served as a "pillar" of hope for their future. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Ismael and Sixto explained that some days consist of Xbox matches, while others are spent doing voluntary work for the church, such as painting. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • During a visit to the church, Ivan cuddles up next to his dad, Sixto, as they eat lunch on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Sixto and his daughter, Alondra, play a game of pool during her visit on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Sixto helps church members hang Christmas decorations for the upcoming holiday season on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • In one of the empty rooms in the sanctuary space beneath the church, posters of encouragement and support hang for Sixto and Ismael. Sixto explained that they have a good relationship with the congregation as he pointed to the posters on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Ismael prays for his family, his friends and for a successful path to legal status on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Ismael and Sixto play a game of catch outside the sanctuary after some rainy weather passed through on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • A toy gun and hanging laundry sit in Sixto's room on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Some of Ismael's belongings sit on the church's storage cabinets a couple feet away from his bed on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Sixto, his two children and Ismael listen intently to the church choir as they sing during service on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • Sixto, his two kids and Ismael play a game of Uno to pass time during their visit on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo by Danielle Quijada)
  • "Sometimes you forget the experiences as a human being," Sixto said. "I don’t want to hide from anyone, I want to be like everyone else and have a normal life."

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