Columbus church that hosted woman seeking sanctuary now hosting family awaiting asylum

Pastor Eric Williams of Just North United Church speaks to the public about the family of four from Honduras staying at the church while awaiting asylum. (WBNS)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For the second time, a Columbus church is opening its doors in a time of need.

A family of four, who asked that their identifies be concealed, found themselves in central Ohio after spending months trying to escape their native home.

Two individuals — now called Juan and Maria — with a toddler-aged son and a newborn baby are legally allowed in the U.S. but needed a little help while they waited for their asylum case to be heard.

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Just North United Church of Christ Pastor Eric Williams says their journey was intense after walking for more than 90 days from Honduras to Mexico. They spent months waiting to cross the border through a legal port of entry.

After entering the U.S., Maria gave birth just a few days later.

A Greyhound bus took them from that port of entry to where they are today — Columbus.

Earlier this year, Just North United Church of Christ's first guest, Angelica, sought sanctuary to avoid deportation. In January, she won legal relief from ICE and is allowed to stay in the U.S.

And although the two situations are different this congregation says the mission is the same.

"For us, it's a justice thing. These are human beings with human needs and we want to create a home for them," Williams said.