A holy week rainbow - 28 March - 3 April
Mark 11, verse 9
Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Mark 14, verses 33-34
[He] began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death" (NRSV)
Was there ever a more rainbow week than this? Can anything show the extremes of human experience, the ups and downs of existence, the rainstorms and the splashes of sunlight, more vividly than the story of Jesus' last week of life?
If you have travelled this journey with us during Lent, you will have experienced just a little of what refugees and asylum seekers have lived through, as they came to these shores and as they still struggle to build a new life here.
You will have seen beautiful artwork and the painful drawings of childrens' terrible experiences. You will have read words of confusion and uncertainty, and poetry of hope and courage. You will have reflected on God's love and seen examples of it in action, shown in even the smallest compassionate gesture to a fellow human being.
We are hugely grateful to the frontline projects and their service users who provided much of the material for these resources. They responded generously, and at very short notice, to our request for contributions. And we wanted to honour them all - which is why in this final instalment we have collected together some of those words and pictures that we didn't have space for before!
Thank you for travelling this road with us, and with them, and please donate if you can to our continuing work.
Written by the resource editor, Martin Ashford, LCRF Trustee.
A rare moment of relaxation and togetherness, when lockdown was eased last summer. Picture: Cotton Tree Trust
These wonderful poems are by Rosario Guimba-Stewart, CEO of Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network.
I am here
I am here
Please look into my eyes
I have not lost hope I still dream
Amid my nightmares.
I am here
Searching for light
Feeling the heat
Help me heal
My wounded soul.
I am here
I've seen horrors
And longing for kindness
Please don't break my fragile heart.
Our daily lives at LRMN
Please sit down
Your advisor will see you soon.
Wait a second, I'll transfer your call.
Here's the voucher and follow this map to get to the food bank.
A mother with a suitcase and two kids turned up, evicted by their landlord and nowhere to go
We don't have accommodation, but we will contact the authorities to help you find one.
Immigration status sorted! Ready for employment at last!
Not quite there? We will help you up-skill then.
Our English classes are everyday or you can volunteer here.
Isolated? Come and join our gardening club and make friends in our sewing and knitting classes.
Still traumatised? Still haunted by your experience?
Sister, I beg you, don't take your own life.
The traffickers, the rapists, the violent partners are gone
And here waiting for you are our wonderful counsellors.
No recourse to public funds? Here's £20 and some food to get you by
And please come back when you need more.
Our daily lives at LRMN, surrounded by people who fell through the cracks
Our commitment is strong, our passion is solid
With your support, we are stronger than ever.
And we will continue until the chaos is over.
And these were written by members of Citizens of the World Choir
What remains of me by Abiodun Abiola Akinnola
I love my body a lot. I give it a rest whenever I can. I enjoy the mornings in bed and don't like getting up. I love curling myself up under my duvet with a dim light, listening to piano music. Nothing distracts my sleep if I want to rest.
I got my gap-tooth from my mother's elder sister, my beautiful nose and eyes from my late dad. My daughter got her eyes from me and I gave my lips to my son.
When I was a teenager I looked forward to carrying my own pregnancies. I remember it all so clearly, the nausea, how my partner supported me as I got bigger and bigger.
Sometimes when I look up at this six-foot-tall macho-man, my first baby grew into, I think of how I stared at his tiny toes and fingers, stroking his cheeks with my fingertips. I wouldn't let anyone else hold him.
We have an identical birthmark in different places on our bodies. I've been told that the shape symbolizes a deity in the family. We are marked to show we are from the same place.
Mother Earth by E. E.
Woman made from the mother earth
Mother is a woman creating peace
Peace is the lovely relationship between the children
Peace is a calm beautiful running waterfall
Peace is you are sitting in the green garden looking at the clear blue sky.
You hug the beach supervising the flying immigrant birds.
It is your hand with your partner hand to grew up a little naughty girl to become a peaceful mum.
Another delivery! Picture by the Cotton Tree Trust.
And finally - the Notre Dame Refugee Centre sent us this lovely rainbow!