Ministry Among Migrants and Refugees
It was a blessing from God to experience and to know the realities and the concrete situation of migrants and refugees in South Korea. One of our communities, the St. Claret Migrant & shelter Center in Incheon Diocese is totally engaged in supporting migrants and refugees especially from those from the Philippines, Vietnam, Peru, India, China, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Africa.
Volunteering with refugees and migrants made me realize how different their experiences and stories are. Every refugee and migrant have his or her own journey story to tell. Everyone has personal struggles, losses, hopes, achievements, and disappointments. Such experiences give greater realization and understanding on realities of life.
God abundantly blessed the Korean Delegation to purchase an existing building to serve the migrants and refugees and provide temporary shelter to women who do not have proper residence. It is a wonderful experience to gather them in every Sunday in our Claretian community, St. Claret Migrant & Shelter Center for the Holy Eucharist and meal. It is heartbreaking to hear the daily stories of the people who left their family long ago for better financial situation and living condition.
I learned to be considerate to their struggles and treat them as dignified human being because that is what they used to be and what they are trying to regain. I learned to respect their journey and learned from their strength. I found out that migrants and refugees can talk more about beautiful things than loss. In their faces I find that smile and glazing rays of hope for the better future.
Fr. James Kodinjikallumkal, CMF
St. Claret Migrant & Shelter Center