Week 5: March 30th

Each Wednesday in Lent, we invite you in to join us in hearing the stories of refugees and immigrants who have given up everything to find a better life. Especially the women and girls whose resiliency, strength, and power inspire us every day.

This week, we hear the story of Rosa*. We hear about her passion to make her new home better for all those that come after her. After hearing Rosa's story, we invite you to reflect upon scripture and pray - together or alone - the words written or what ever else might be weighing on your heart. 

As you are able, we invite you to gather each Wednesday for this time of retreat around a meal. Sample soup recipes can be found at the bottom of this page.

When Rosa* arrived in the United States with her infant son after a dangerous, difficult journey, she was surprised by the kindness shown to her by the LIRS network. The simplest gesture of solidarity—a conversation and a hug from a caseworker—was enough to cause her to weep.  

“Everyone has been so good to us,” she said through her tears. “I didn’t expect this.”  

In the days that followed, Rosa was supplied with the basic needs that would help her start her new life in the United States: warm meals, backpacks, shoes, clothes, and some toys for her son, as well as a brief cultural orientation, Know Your Rights training, and contact information for a pro-bono lawyer and free medical clinics. Perhaps most importantly, she was able to connect with her family in Brazil and speak to her own mother, ensuring her that she was safe.  

While the LIRS network was able to support her in her first days in the U.S., however, the road before her is long. The average asylum case takes between 2-5 years from initial hearing to decision, depending on the court backlog—but Rosa remains resilient.  

“Everything I went through was worth my freedom,” she says. “I do not know what lies before me in the future and my prayer is that one day, I will be granted asylum. I am going to a state where a distant cousin lives, and I may not have everything, but for now I have peace and I know my baby and I are safe.”  

*Names have been changed.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”

(John 14:3)

REFLECT:

  • Rosa* shares about her journey through the asylum process and the uncertainty she continues to face. Her resilience and hope shine through. Are there uncertain pieces in your future that can be met with the same hope and strength as Rosa?
  • In John 14:3, the hope we find in this verse is weighty and strong. It’s a reminder that not only is there a day coming when Jesus will return, but also the promise that He is preparing a heavenly home right now for all. This gives us hope as we look toward unexpected circumstances. No matter what comes our way or what struggles we encounter, one day we will reach our heavenly home and there will be no more pain or sorrow. What can you let go of control of today and trust God to lead the way, even when times feel uncertain?

________________________

PRAY:

Sheltering God, 

Guard our hearts and minds.

We trust that you are preparing the way for each and every one of us.

You know the journey of the refugee; of the mother; of the family seeking asylum; of each of Your Holy children.

Hold Rosa and her son in Your loving embrace through the uncertainty the future holds and grant them peace and solitude. 

In this season of Lent, we are reminded of Your love that is poured out through Christ Jesus on the cross in His death.

Hear us when we call to You. We ask all this in Your holy name,

Amen.

________________________

Recipes to Try:

Given the traditional Lenten focus on sacrifice, abstinence and plainness, Lenten suppers are simple, having foods like soup that are shared with a community, inviting others to share in the stories of Jesus Christ.


Viewed 597 times