“The spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.”
Catching up with Hassan-Ali
We pick up the story of Hassan-Ali three years later. Unfortunately, Hassan-Ali’s immigration case hasn’t progressed much and he is still being supported by JRS UK. Many of our friends can spend long periods living in the situation that Hassan-Ali has described.For all our refugee friends at JRS, there has been a significant change in the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life just as much for them as it has all of us. Our refugee friends have been unable to visit the charities and centres which they relied on for support, whilst living through the same destitution and hostility they faced before.
Many, like JRS, have adapted their services, but as Hassan-Ali explains, there is something lost by not being able to meet in person: “[At JRS] normally the staff approach the asylum seekers, approach everyone and talk to them or sit and eat with them…. the staff will go to them to find out how they are keeping and find out about them as they come to me, too. And then so now during COVID-19, we are missing this. We’re missing this gathering”.
The wilderness mentioned in the scriptures speaks of a place of isolation and discomfort. Hassan-Ali has described his situation in similar terms, something made all the more difficult with the pandemic.
We invite you to spend some time reflecting on both Jesus’s time in the wilderness and Hassan-Ali’s experience of isolation.
Ask the Lord to open your heart to the sufferings and trials of others.
Like many organisations supporting refugees and others on the margins of society, JRS have been forced to significantly adapt our services due to the pandemic. Thanks to a network of volunteer drivers, we deliver food and toiletry parcels to where refugee friends are, provide a fortnightly £15 hardship grant through a prepaid card, and offer support over the phone. We have been able to accompany over 350 refugee friends during this difficult time but to continue to do so we need you our generous supporters.
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