By LSSNCA volunteer, Yusra Abdelmeguid
Earlier this year the world got hit with a pandemic that would change the lives of many of us. The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, was spreading like wildfire around the globe. Many countries fought tirelessly as they tried to contain the spread of COVID-19 by tightening up their borders and putting many travel restrictions in place. Although countries implemented tight travel restrictions, it did not stop the inevitable spread. So instead many countries decided to close their borders, some shutting down airports to halt anyone from coming in or out of their country. As the virus began to spread rapidly, panic, anxiety, and fear began to spread even quicker. Stores began to close, banks began to empty, restaurants began to shut down and millions of people began to lose their jobs. As borders began to close you wonder what was happening to the refugee and immigrant families around the world. This crisis is an opportunity for the world to show solidarity and empathy to all the refugee and immigrant families that are currently suffering from this pandemic.
“They are over-represented among the homeless population in most member states—a growing trend in EU-15 and border and transit countries. Living conditions for homeless refugees and migrants can undermine the ability to follow public health advice, including basic hygiene measures, quarantine, or self-isolation because many people are in close contact and gather in large groups.” The state of emergencies and lockdowns of cities across the globe has caused many volunteers and workers to go back home, leaving the families in need to fend on their own.
Now it is April, when many come together with their loved ones to celebrate the holiday of Easter. Easter is a wonderful time of year, and for Christians, it is a time to reflect on the suffering, death and, above all, the resurrection of Christ. It is also the season of Hope, and surely with everything going on in the world right now, all we have is hope.
“Right now, we live in a world where the facade of certainty has vanished, and we don’t know what tomorrow brings. But there is something, rather someone, we can know who gives us great hope and peace in trials and trouble. His name is Jesus and he is the Resurrected and Resurrecting King.” —Pastor Justin Pearson of Sojourn Church (Fairfax, VA)
This year’s Easter will be celebrated by many– but not necessarily at the table with their loved ones beside them, but rather within their hearts. This Easter celebration will be a challenge for families as they figure out a way to keep their spirits high during this anxiety filled time.
“Look at the immigrants and refugee community that self-isolated themselves while outside forces sought to imprison them. Think about the refugees and immigrants that were drawn into hiding long before we felt required to do so for the sake of ourselves and others. The great equalizer has now arrived among us as we are facing this growing pandemic together. We experience the power of fear and anxiety as these emotions can easily jail all of us. This illness knows no citizenship, social or political status. Our immigrants and refugees now have bedfellows and they are us.”– The Rev. Karis Graham of Hope Lutheran Church (Clinton, MD).
Death is inevitable for us humans. It is not something any of us can run away from, it is unknown of skin color, age, strength, and or gender. Death can come at any time and at any moment. This pandemic has shown us that COVID19 has no preference for human selection. Your wealth, location, age, and health condition won’t save you from this virus that is destroying the world.
“In the most unlikely circumstances, Easter ushers in life despite the unshakable reality of death and destruction. While many people are facing sickness and death, job loss and potential financial hardships, massive disorientation, distance from loved ones, and a lot of unknowns still to come, Easter reminds us of the unexpectedness of God and the transcendent life and love of Jesus. As we are all acutely aware, perhaps especially now, to be human entails the irrefutable power of death and destruction to wreak havoc and bring sorrow to our lives.”—- Nadia Fitzcharles of Peace Lutheran Church (Alexandria, VA). This Easter will surely test the faith of many, will it strengthen your relationship with God? Or will you abandon him as he tests you with fear, destruction, and death
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, who, when distress strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Him, and indeed to Him, we will return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are truly guided.”[Al-Baqarah, 2.155-157]
Happy and Safe Easter Everyone!
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