Today we eat REAL food!
We have finished our Endurance Challenge Week:
a number od asylum seekers at church (performed Gospel Magic which always goes well with asylum seekers - I think because it is so visual & accessible)
after church Viv & I had a couple of asylum seekers back for lunch
after lunch helped sort out some issues with doctors & medication
in the evening an asylum seeker slept in our spare room (he was the only one for the Night Shelter - it seemed easier)
. . . the work of BOAZ continues
What have we learnt?
1. that the Red Cross food parcel is very well thought out - it might, over time, become repetitive but you certainly wouldn't starve
2. Viv & I think the biggest issue for us was the 'lack of freedom' - not being able to eat how & what we wanted to (OK hands up we cheated a bit with Curry Nights . . . but now I will invite more of the guys to these events)
3. we waste a lot! this past week we've been careful with our food, eating half a tin & keeping half a tin, in the fridge, for another day - not that we'd throw food away but we might have bigger portions 'because it's there
4. we think we could live more simply & share more meals
5. we've learnt that God has travelled with us (but then He always does - stupidly we don't always enjoy His company)
6. we've learnt it's not easy living the life of a destitute asylum seeker in Britain - you're away from your home country, separated from those you love, living in an alien country . . . it's too dangerous to return & you have no support to live either. The Red Cross food parcel is great but it doesn't feed the other hunger you feel deep inside
We've enjoyed the week (we really have & we are considering repeating it later in the year without the Curry Nights)
There are many many things that have happened in the week which I felt would be inappropriate to write about in this blog
I've seen God open the doors to the media in extraordinary ways
Neighbours & friends have asked questions & have been shocked by the answers
I've seen news hardened journalists moved to silence by the stories that asylum seekers told them
A repeated question the media has asked has been "Why BOAZ do this work?"
My answer has been:
1. First of all we are Christians & we believe that all people are created in the image of God & therefore desire to be cherished & cared for
2. God has called us to this - this is our vocation (you don't hear that word much these days)
3. We are humans & on the human level alone we care
4. It makes Jesus happy - He said "I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me—you did it to Me" (Matthew 25:40, The Message) . . . & that's reason enough
I've not written about our three student placements who've been journeying with us (at times they must have thought 'what have we got ourselves into?) - Amber, Bart & Rod it's been good to have you along for the ride
There have been times I have nearly cried & times I've been overwhelmed by God's Grace
Darfur (where a number of our guys have come from) has been highlighted in the news this week as Steven Speilberg has pulled out of the Beijing Olympic Ceremonies - all this helps raise awareness . . . I wonder if our Government is listening? (there are Darfuris living in Britain for whom to return is death - but they have no support here: no housing, no benefits & no 'Right to Work')
It’s been a GOOD WEEK!
All this week the Director of BOAZ, & my co-worker, Dave Smith has been on holiday - when he asks on Monday "What did you do last week?" I'll tell him "Read the blog Dave!"
. . . check back on www.boaztrust.org.uk - we will be having an occassional blog about the BOAZ work (& it won't be updated daily!)