JUNE 2019 Fellowship of the Least Coin Prayer Concern: IMMIGRANTS
June 20, World Refugee Day
Nisha is a college graduate who worked as a secretary-bookkeeper in Ethiopia before arriving in Canada twelve years ago. Nisha earned a business degree, but she continues to have difficulty finding a job with good conditions and pay to support herself and her mother. Her income as a payday loan clerk covers rent for a room and public transportation. To survive, Nisha and her mother often rely on the local food bank and the generosity of their landlord.
Nisha’s painful struggles are far more common than many immigrant women are willing to share. Their stories are often muted, and their marginalized status does not afford them the political agency to be heard. As God’s people, we are called to accompany struggling immigrants like Nisha, and to participate in God’s redeeming work in Christ. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” (Luke 4:18-19}.
Dear Lord, give us the grace to share your compassionate love with our immigrant neighbours who long to be released from the pain of rejection, marginalization and poverty. Forgive us for our indifference and ignorance. Awaken us anew to your call to love our neighbour (Luke 10:27}, to welcome the stranger (Matt. 25:35-45}, and to love the foreigner who lives among us (Deut. 31:12}. Give us willing hearts to step out of our comfortable lives to be with the struggling immigrants in our communities, especially vulnerable women, to serve them at great cost, as Christ, our Lord and Saviour, demonstrated on the cross. Amen.
Marian Nacpil, Toronto, ON.