This last week I had the privilege of sharing a meal with an Eritrean asylum seeker, Michael (aged 36). Michael fled Eritrea about 8 months ago as he was about to be shot simply for being a Christian. Sadly he had to leave his wife and four small children at home (the youngest of whom he has not met), the journey is simply too dangerous for them to undertake, because of this he may likely never see them again, even if granted asylum.
Michael of course is just one face & story among an endless flow of people fleeing homes, families and livelihoods, but he is safe in the UK, being cared for by a church, and I thank God for the privilege of having met him, hearing his story, and making this crisis real. I’ve been reminded that those eeing are real people – it sure does motivate me to pray!
Recently, three members of Gateway (Ian, Sabine and Deb) visited Calais to find out firsthand people’s stories and see for themselves the condition in the camp known as The Jungle. They found:
- Most migrants are professional and qualified people
- Most migrants have left their country in fear of their lives
- Most migrants are not looking for hand outs but want to work to give their family the best in life
- Migrants stay in the camps because of the long slow asylum process
We know that the issue is a political hot potato and that there is no easy answer but the migrants are human beings created by God in his own image, yet are regularly suffering persecution and discrimination.
The authorities have begun the process of clearing the camp, with no long term solution being offered to the migrants, and there is a fear that it may be cleared by force with heavy handed policing and outbursts of violence.
We would like to ask you to commit to pray daily throughout March for this ongoing crisis, hopefully these few prayer pointers will help:
- That God will intervene to bring justice and a peaceful solution
- For the political leaders of Europe that they will not turn their backs
- That the planned clearance of the Jungle will be delayed or cancelled until adequate provision is ready
- That the church will speak out, pray and be part of a long term solution to the migrant issue
Ian would love to visit your Community Group to tell of their visit, discuss the issue and pray.
If Jonah has taught us anything, it is that God’s compassion isn’t limited by border, race or religion, but it can be by the heart of his people!
Please pray with us.