Sunday 21st September 2014:
Today I am thankful for Kassim. He came into our lives a few months ago and became our friend, and took a place in our hearts.
He fled from the brutal conflict in Somalia to seek a life here in the UK. As a church community we have been incredibly blessed to know him. He has enriched our lives with his positive presence, with his generosity of spirit and with the warmth he exudes to all who meet him. He became very loved.
As a church community we threw ourselves into supported him as best we could, financially, logistically, legally. Some of our community members in particular fought as hard as they could on his behalf, pouring all the time and energy they physically and mentally had into fighting for this wonderful man.
But at the brink of success to keep him here in Liverpool, he was taken away. He showed us his new badge for the Liverpool Community College today, now a wasted badge. Tomorrow he leaves. He is being transferred to Newcastle, where his journey continues to be in the hands of the UK asylum system.
Today we had a farewell lunch with him. We have made contacts with friends in Newcastle so that he is not alone when he arrives, and we will continue to support him and pray for him as he goes.
I think this picture sums up Kassim… a beautiful heart who connects with everyone around him, young and old alike.
Today as we wished farewell to Kassim, I am thankful for him. And as I give thanks for him, I also give thanks that the reality is that Kassim is safe in the hands of God, which are much bigger and better hands than the hands of men.