‘Glorify the Lord with me. Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me; from all my terrors he set me free.’
As we walk with Fernand notice where you seek the Lord today. Can you find him in Fernand’s words?
Fernand’s aunt secured his release from prison, and helped him escape persecution and flee to the UK.
“I claimed asylum immediately, at the airport. My aunt’s friend had explained a little bit about the asylum system to me, but I didn’t speak any English. Only simple phrases like, ‘how are you?’ and ‘My name is Fernand.’”
The first days and weeks of arriving in the UK can be a deeply confusing time for people who seek asylum, and this confusion and anxiety is compounded by language barriers. The interview with the Home Office – where you recall and explain your reasons for seeking asylum, and to offer proof that you are a refugee – is often a gruelling experience.
“The Home Office sent me to Liverpool for 6 months, and then moved me back to London, to Walthamstow. All my asylum interviews were in London. It was only when I came back to London that I started going to see lawyers.”
An Invitation to Prayer and Reflection
Praying the Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross is a traditional way of praying during Lent. We pray this familiar prayer to be with Jesus Christ who walked this journey, carrying the Cross, the instrument of his death, out of love and commitment to us.
We pray it as we seek to become closer to this Jesus who loves us all so deeply. We walk this journey with him to glimpse the heart and mind of Jesus Christ who is alive today, and experience the journey to the Cross wherever our sisters and brothers are suffering throughout the world, not least in those refugee friends we accompany at JRS.
Today we invite you to set aside some time to walk the way of the cross with JRS. You may wish to do this as a community, as a parish, or individually. Each station begins with a piece from scripture, followed by a reflection, and culminates with a prayer to say together.
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