We completed our tour of CEI partners on a hot Friday in Rabat. This morning, our group split as John and Marilyn Sanders stayed at the church in Rabat with Karen to meet with over 20 migrants who had various medical needs. Their basic medical assessments helped the CEI to determine that 17 people needed updated or new prescriptions for drugs. Their morning was well spent using their wealth of medical knowledge. As the eldest members of our group, the Sanders have been a wonderful blessing to all of us.
The rest of our KBF group traveled with Diachari and Angels to a local migrant home. There we encountered Mogarash who had to flee Congo due to conflict. Before he fled, he was beaten and hit over the head - which left him with some temporary paralysis. He was able to receive refugee status in Cameroon with his wife and children, but he needed medical attention. He choose to come to Morocco because of the better medical opportunities for him while leaving his family in Cameroon. We listened to his story, sitting in his 8x8 room he rents for ~$75 a month. He is unable to move on his own very well, often having to crawl to and from where he needs to be. Though we sat with him, prayed with him, helped with this month's rent; we still left sensing that our meager "God bless you" really does nothing to change the reality that his Saturday will be the same as it has been for every day of his life for the last year and a half.
Our group combined again during the afternoon as we met with two more CEI partners, FOO (Foundation Orient-Occident) and IOM (International Organization for Migration. After a brief rest, we met back at the Rabat church for a combined worship service with the local migrant congregations. Seven pastors, including our own Mark Howell preached a brief sermon while each congregation’s choir sang. It was a wonderful night of worship in word and song.
The reality that our trip is coming to a close is starting to set in. We are anxious to see family again, but we are not anxious to leave these challenges and stories that are now apart of our us. We will start to debrief and explore how we can work together as individuals and churches with CEI as well as advocate for the needs of migrants and refugees.