From Today’s First Reading:
‘“We must not take his life” he said. “Shed no blood,” said Reuben to them “throw him into this well in the wilderness, but do not lay violent hands on him” … they threw him into the well, an empty well with no water in it. They then sat down to eat.’
As we continue our journey with Juliet, where do you notice the dry well in the wilderness in her words?
This week, we introduce you to Juliet, who has been accompanied by JRS for over seven years.
“My story is a long one, as is the experience of so many refugees who seek asylum in the UK. But I’m more than my immigration status.”
Juliet is required to ‘report’ (or ‘sign’) with the Home Office. It’s an administrative process the Home Office make heavy use of and, as Juliet describes, it is incredibly stressful.
“Oh my God, going to report at the Home Office is the most stressful. If the appointment is at 9am, I make sure I’m there at 7am. It’s really, really challenging and your mind has lots of questions – you don’t know what is going to happen. It can be cold, it can be raining, but you have to be there. It’s so dehumanising.
Juliet describes going to report as a cycle of anxiety and relief: once you’ve had your appointment, you feel relief; but that relief only lasts so long.
“Everyone who has experienced this will tell you something similar – the week before you go to report, you are having anxiety: thinking about waiting in the cold for 3 hours, thinking about what will happen at your appointment. It’s a lot of anxiety and stress for a 5-minute appointment.”
An Invitation to Action
Over the past week, Juliet has spoken of the importance of being surrounded by people – of friends, of solidarity among peers, of people who offer her support.
Our mission of accompaniment is one which puts people at the heart – we are fortunate to be able to spend time with our friends to journey with them and talk about whatever it is that they wish to talk about; through sharing a meal together or offering support in the anxious moments. It through this accompaniment and companionship – in the prosperity and despair – which we find and serve Jesus, and transform lives.
Throughout Lent, we’re inviting you to make an extra effort to take small actions to show support to refugees and people seeking asylum.
Become a regular donor
Will you consider donating regularly to JRS to allow us to continue to accompany Juliet, Fernand, and Ibrahim?
Your regular donation will support our work in accompanying our friends, for example to their reporting appointments, to ensure hardship grants are available, and to enable our friends to access essential services.
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