Currently I work in a detention center for asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution in their home lands.  My days can be so full of stories.  Sometimes one day at my work can make a Bollywood plot seem plausible. Not to belittle the goings on of the day, but truly what holds more intense highs and lows in the span of three hours than a Bollywood film? And today was rather pocked with loveliness and sorrow in surprising array.

So here are the basics of the news today.  I’m writing this primarily for me.  I just want to remember what I encountered today and return to the touchstones here for further writing, processing, and prayer.

I was greeted this morning with a gussied up looking couple who were awaiting the completion of their refugee interview with the UNHCR.  I prayed for them.

Next, I was presented with weekly news articles from Sri Lanka which consisted of the rapes of young women by military men. The news was relayed to me by an ever cheery and kind Sri Lankan man.  He asked to miss classes today because his mind felt unsettled.

My class was interrupted by shouts because a dear Bakul, for whom we’ve been praying, found out he received refugee status.  Praise God! I had to run out of the class to go shake his hand and rejoice with him for a moment!! Hooray!

Lunch with a crew of giggly, dancing, and teasing little girls and their families.  Lovely.

Ended class with lots of questions to answer and one student standing by patiently.  Once it was just he and I, he started in with “I’m angry.” Then he relayed a story of betrayed confidences, love, an enraged would be father-in-law, some determined  remarks and finished with a request for prayer.

While outside of work waiting for my ride, I read a text message stating that my friend found out he has hep c. Further texting ensued. Then I greeted the center’s doctor and offered him my condolences on his recently deceased sister. He made positive, sunny-side responses, but we both started tearing up.

… hear our prayer.