“I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right; I have taken you by the hand and formed you; I have appointed you as a covenant of the people and light of the nations.”
When we listen to Han’s story today, where do we sense the Lord calling us to serve Him?
Han claimed asylum when she arrived in the UK but it was unfortunately refused. She now found herself subject to a web of restrictive policies that prevent her from being able to support herself or access any government support.
“I am a person of no recourse to public funds. I have been denied housing, healthcare, legal aid, and I don’t have any money to support myself.”
One such policy requires those who have had an asylum claim refused to regularly report to the Home Office so that they are able to keep track of individuals who are waiting to be given status in the UK. The reality for our refugee friends is very different. Always unsure whether they will return home from the reporting centres, many feel trapped in a cycle of anxiety, with the possibility of detention and deportation a constant worry.
“We don’t know what is happening. Either they will detain us or there will be a ticket waiting.”
Han finds reporting a particularly frustrating experience. Not only is there the uncertainty of what may happen to her but she is expected to pay for all her travel costs to and from the centres in order to keep all her immigration appointments. This is an impossible challenge for someone who is banned from working or earning money.
“You have to keep the conditions of reporting as well as bear the burden of the expenses.
“We comply with every condition of reporting but still the situation has never changed and I don’t know how long it will continue like this.”
An Invitation to Action
Today, Han has shared with us the impossible situation she faces: she has no source of income, yet is expected to attend regular immigration appointments regardless of how far she needs to travel or how expensive the journey. At the JRS Day Centre, we provide a £10 travel grant every week that enables our refugee friends to attend these important immigration meetings as well as travel to other essential appointments such as with their doctors and solicitors.
Throughout Lent, we’re inviting you to make an extra effort to take simple actions to show refugees and people seeking asylum understanding and compassion.
Become a regular donor
We are only able to help Han and our other refugee friends with regular travel grants thanks to your generous support. Will you consider donating regularly to JRS to allow us to continue to accompany Han, Christian and all our refugee friends?
Your regular donation will support our work in accompanying our friends, for example to their reporting appointments, to ensure hardships grants are available, and to enable our friends to access essential services.
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