‘You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord, for I cry to you all the day long. Give joy to your servant, O Lord, for to you I lift up my soul.’
As we journey through Lent together, we introduce you to a number of the refugees JRS accompanies. Notice what image of God their experience stirs in you: a faithful, merciful God, or a fearful judgemental God? Talk to God about what you see.
This week, we introduce you to Ibrahim, who today explains that his journey is still ongoing.
Ibrahim’s hopes were raised when he secured a lawyer and was able to communicate with others as his grasp of English improved. He received support from a medical foundation where he was “made us feel comfortable, it became a kind of home in a way.”
Ibrahim was always waiting: waiting for activity to progress with his legal case, waiting for his claim for asylum to be accepted by the government, and waiting for access to the protection his rights entitle him to.
“The back and forth with the Home Office and with the lawyers, the constant rejection, the constant ‘no’ – you just don’t understand it. You say to yourself, ‘maybe this year gonna be better.’ They make you feel useless, they see you as useless. I want to be able to do something. I want to be able to work, to contribute, to pay taxes.
“Anything they ask me to do, I do. Still nothing. I don’t know what they want. I try to be strong, to put on a happy face, but it can be difficult. Very difficult, but you’re safe. Back home, it’s never safe.”
Ibrahim is still on his journey, he’s still waiting. His faith, and his love of gardening, keep him moving forwards.
“Only God knows His plan for me. I trust in God.”
An Invitation to Action
Ibrahim’s experience of desperately waiting is sadly a common one amongst the people we accompany. The anxiety of waiting is compounded by the isolation of destitution.
We invite you to make an extra effort this Lent to take simple actions to show refugees and people seeking asylum mercy.
JRS UK has a special ministry to support people who are struggling with destitution, as Ibrahim is. There are organisations across the UK serving people seeking asylum in similar ways. Could you show them your support?
Act: If Ibrahim has inspired you to want to do something – get in touch with your local organisation supporting destitute refugees and people seeking asylum.
Read: Want to learn more about the hostile environment and how people seeking asylum are made destitute? Read our blog.
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