Throughout Lent, we invite you to listen to the stories of refugees accompanied by JRS. As we listen, we find ourselves crying out “Harden not your hearts!”
Rose had been locked away in a shipping container with others who had been protesting against Kabila. As she recalls this part of her story, Rose becomes increasingly distressed. The fear and pain of this detention has stayed with her, still haunting her, long after she had managed to escape. “In there, if there are people crying, no one hears.”
Rose and those who were arrested at the demonstrations were subjected to horrendous treatment from the army whilst imprisoned. Many of them were tortured, raped and killed. “They’d lead people away and we’d hear gunshots – boom, boom, boom.”
Rose suffered mercilessly at the hands of her captors and was severely tortured.
Fortunately, she was able to escape with the help of a sympathetic soldier.
In his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018, the Pope reminded us that “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Matthew 25:35-43).” At JRS UK we welcome each refugee friend, new and old, who comes to our door with open hospitality.
We invite you to sit with today’s story, or one of our stories from previous weeks, and reflect on how we encounter Jesus Christ in a new way this Lent through accompanying refugees.