From Today’s Daily Mass Readings:
Many refugees accompanied by JRS journey in search of peace. Listen to their stories, where do you sense the Lord’s mercy?
The process of seeking asylum is very psychologically tiring for many of our refugee friends who we accompany, and for Koffi he feels that the system is placing restrictions around him that try to decrease his motivation. “When you have restrictions it’s kind of a jail on your brain … When I hear people being here 15 years, 16 years, 20 years without status. It is 20 years where you cannot work.”
The drain on a person’s mental health causes days to lose significance and merge into one. In the 3 years that Koffi has been in the UK he has never celebrated Christmas or a birthday because they are “family gatherings but when you are alone it doesn’t make sense.”
However, in Koffi’s current community he is able to feel like part of a family again and has been able to celebrate birthdays and Christmas. “For my birthday they gave me a card with good words … I bought something to have a souvenir of my first birthday I’ve celebrated in the UK.”
Today we are invited by the Pope to hold this Friday of Lent as a special day of prayer and fasting. He has asked that we offer up this day specifically for the people of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where cycles of terrible violence force hundreds to flee their homes daily.
JRS works with refugees from South Sudan and DRC in difficult conditions in East Africa, and serves many refugees from the DRC in the UK. Today, where you find moments of silence, we invite you to hold the people of these countries in your thoughts and prayers; pray that they may find peace wherever they may be.
Sign up to receive daily emails throughout Lent.