My Search For Welcome: Guest Writer- Jamie Lennon

December 7, 2009

My name is Jamie Lennon, and like Beth I am a volunteer with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service until August 2010, and like Beth I am not a native of Baltimore. In fact I am not even a native of this country. I am from Wales in the United Kingdom and I have come to the States to enroll in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. A program that offers individuals the chance to live out their commitment to social justice by partnering them with an organization whose mission lends itself to that cause.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service certainly does that. Refugees and immigrants are some of the most vulnerable persons in our societies and are all too often the first up against the wall when times get tough. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service proactively calls for fair treatment of all migrants by promoting greater awareness of migration issues; advocating for humane laws and polices and by offering many much needed services such as our Refugee Works program which is committed to helping refugees achieve economic self-sufficiency.  My role within LIRS allows me to promote social justice by engaging with individuals and organizations to promote greater awareness of immigration issues and get more people involved in immigration ministry and advocacy.

 As a migrant myself I have discovered some very sincere welcomes since arriving in the United States. From the people I work with, to those I live with to the many, many people I interact with on a daily basis. I have also met many fellow migrants from places far and wide. One thing I have discovered in my search of welcome is that the most welcoming among the people I have met have been those who have lived that similar journey, namely the migrants that live among us. I believe that this is in part due to their experiences and their wish to relate to others who have similar stories to share.

Living in a different country and indeed a different Culture has allowed me to better relate with the experiences of the people we, at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service serve, having shared an element of their story. I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with many angels of welcome and this has deepened my resolve to offer the same welcome to all persons. Croeso!

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