Getting to Know Manne Favor, Executive Director,
In the office, Manne is a man of business and action but his fun side brings lightness to an office that deals with life and death consequences every day. "Our legal team knows that our clients' lives are in their hands," says Manne. "It's a very stressful job because if we lose, we know some of our clients will be killed when deported to their home country."
Manne knows first hand the stress immigration legal cases. He himself was an immigrant who fought the government and won. Manne came to the U.S. on a religious visa from the Netherlands. But, he was a citizen of Nigeria. Because he was coming from the Netherlands, the immigration officer mistakenly stamped his visa for a five year stay.
So, at the end of five years Manne cheerfully went to the immigration office to apply for citizenship. He was not only denied but told he was in the country illegally. Being a trusting soul, Manne sent a letter to immigration officials to clear up the matter. After months of trying to get the government to accept their mistake and allow him to follow the instructions given to him upon entry to the U.S., Manne was forced to sue to the government. He won but the government appealed. Manne continued to fight and finally won the right to become a permanent resident/green card recipient!
As a preacher and immigrant activist, accepting the Executive Director position at JFON Houston was right up his alley! Manne works hard to ensure the JFON Houston staff are culturally sensitive, has created a solid board of directors and has increased the number of clients served each year. Additionally, Manne is a welcomed guest speaker at many churches and civic groups in the area, talking about the importance of radical hospitality and the value of immigrants to our communities.
Manne puts in long hours at the office but looks forward to returning home to his beautiful wife and three great children. During this time of self-isolation, Manne most misses seeing his staff in person each day (although he is enjoying video calls with all staff regularly) and Sunday lunches out with his family after church.