Waiting and Serving in Hope
22 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

During advent we wait in joyful expectation of the birth of God among us. Christmas therefore comes as joyful culmination of a period of WAITING. We all have every reason to celebrate, rejoice and be grateful for the trust God has put in us by becoming one like us so that we can grow in the image and likeness of God.  While the WAITING is now over and God is with us, for many forcibly displaced whom we serve the waiting continues in many ways.

Many believe in the presence of God in their lives and so in this sense Christmas remains a continuous celebration in their lives.  But while many recognize God’s presence in their lives, they must wait.  For instance, in South Sudan, parents must wait for food to be delivered in time so that they and their children can be nourished; in Uganda, the many we serve must wait patiently for the graduation day so that what they have learnt may find practical meaning in their lives and enhance their livelihood; in Kakuma, some must wait for years before their resettlement process comes through; in Nairobi and other cities, some must wait for months if not years before their asylum applications are granted; in Darfur, many wait for the time when it will be possible to return to homes; and in Ethiopia, many have waited for years hoping for peace in Somalia and Eritrea and many others wait for peace to reign in their homelands so they can return safely and in dignity.

However, while waiting, God too waits with them even in what seems humanly tragic. Thus, for some,   waiting has culminated in jubilant graduations with degrees, diplomas, and various certificates; for others the waiting has led to local integration; after many years of waiting, a few others have moved on and resettled in other countries; and still more others have earned a living through entrepreneurial ventures and skills training.  The spirit of God reigns supreme even in situations as hard as life in exile.  WAITING can indeed be celebrated in joy and the difference we make in the lives of the forcibly displaced need not be quantified because, as mother Teresa said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest to you.” 

A word of sincere gratitude to you all for your immeasurable commitment, passion and dedication to the mission of JRS.Despite all the challenges that we are facing at the moment, JRS has significantly contributed in alleviating the sufferings of our brothers and sisters who find themselves in situations beyond their control. Without your incalculable service, JRS would have not been where it is today. Hence, my deepest appreciation and gratitude for your unwavering commitment to the mission of JRS in our region goes to you all.

Let us continue to be a source of hope and resilience to those who we serve.



Press Contact Information
Endashaw Debrework SJ
+254 20 3874152