Feb 26, 2016

Salt Lake minister creating sanctuary for former FLDS members

February 25, 2016

Salt Lake minister creating sanctuary for former FLDS members

Watch Video: "Salt Lake minister creating sanctuary for former FLDS members"

(KUTV) The recent arrest of stand-in FLDS church leader Lyle Jeff's and ten others has pushed the need for sanctuary in an upended community.
For four years now, a Christian church minister and former pastor, Mike Menning, along with many others have been creating that safe space for those who've left or are on the brink of leaving the FLDS church.

"This is an example of a lot of sheep without a shepard," Menning said.

Following the arrest of Jeff's and other church leaders many members of the FLDS community living in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona are left confused about what to do next.

"They just need someone to walk life with them for a while."

Menning said and that's exactly what he's been trying to do the last few years because he's seen a need for normal human interaction from these people and their quality of life was dwindling.

"There was huge crooked work going on within the government food program."

Menning said before the SNAP fraud and money laundering charges were filed women, children and the few men left in the community were at least getting some food.

"One of my concerns are, now where are they going to get their food from?" Menning said.

Other organizations have joined in to help as well, like Holding Out Help and Grace Reigns Inc. and they have been attempting to provide it all: food, clothing, education, shelter, counseling and emergency relief.

"There are so many people who carry so many scars of abuse," Menning said.

Brody Olson, a member of Grace Reigns Inc.and manager of the Common Threads Thrift Store in Colorado City said he and his wife moved to Colorado City years ago and all they've been trying to do is become part of the community.

"We wanna display, number one, that were part of this community and that were here to stay and number two that when they come out we know it's gotta be difficult." Olson said.

Menning said considering the way men,women and children have been treated, the FLDS church has an incredible lack of respect for human beings.

"Jesus taught us to care for people and that's what we're doing, we're caring for people. When you know what we know, how can we not?"

Follow D.J. Bolerjack on Twitter @DJBolerjack for breaking news, updates and more.


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