Locked doors, unlocking hearts?


Locked doors, unlocking hearts?

Sr. Karin Knoetig, Medical Mission Sister, shares about her five week engagement at JRS.

14 June 2016

Locked doors, unlocking hearts?

My weekly visit into the detention center has touched me deeply.

A total of 8 doors had to be unlocked and relocked, before you are able to reach the living quarters. I asked myself how many heart doors these people had to lock, when they were brought into this building which looks like a jail. They experienced disappointment, their trust was broken and in the end their fate lies in the hand of lawyers, who treat them as a ‘case’.

As I, as ‘legal visitor’, didn’t get a key, I always had to wait until I was brought to the station and fetched from there. This put me a bit at eye level with the detainees, just like the question whether they will be deported or may remain in the UK, which I couldn’t answer. This way I only could offer, at least for a certain time, to endure this uncertainty with them.

During this time, I found my own personal experience, that God alone can open doors and that he gives me the strength to start anew and endure the helplessness with different people. Taking strength from this source I tried to give these people sympathy, courage and assurance.
I am convinced that applications for asylum, overstayed visas, closed cases and all human laws are not at all barriers for God’s love, for his care for us humans.

For more information about volunteering as a visitor to detained asylum seekers, contact us via uj@jrs.net.

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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