Friday 8th February is the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita – the patron saint of victims of modern slavery and human trafficking. On this day we are called and encouraged to pray for all those affected by the crimes of modern slavery and human trafficking. This year we are asked to pray especially for victims of forced labour and labour exploitation.
Through our outreach into detention centres at Heathrow, our team of outreach volunteers have encountered a number of men who are survivors of human trafficking, and yet they are still being held in detention. Fr Luc, one of our detention volunteers, reflects on accompanying his fellow Vietnamese countrymen in detention, many of whom have fallen victim to trusting traffickers,
“It is through short conversations in the welfare at Colnbrook, where over time we build up a relationship and space of trust. My fellow countrymen begin to share more of themselves. I cannot help the question repeatedly coming to mind, “Is it worth to risk your life, to leave behind your family?” For me and for many, it’s not worth it. But if you cannot be assured enough food every day for your family, if your life is continually threatened by environmental degradation, by natural disaster or by your political view, you would risk once to go a place where you are promised to have a better future.”
The Santa Marta Group have some great resources to support your prayer, reflection and celebration for St Josephine Bakhita Day 2019, as we strive together to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. Please do keep the men JRS accompany in detention in your prayers next Friday.
If you’d like to accompany those in detention through prayer regularly, sign-up to receive a monthly prayer e-mail from JRS UK.