Saturday, April 18, 2015

MIGRANTS…



A young girl was brought to me by one of the community health workers from the village

of Chapara.

She had had a recent history of having migrated to Nagpur to work as a labourer in the

roads with her grandmother.She had studied till the ninth class.

The history went that when they were about to make the journey home she started

weeping profusely and started behaving abnormally and stopped speaking altogether.

My colleague who was sitting across the table suggested that there might be a history

of abuse.

As we got talking to her she opened up .We had a sketchy history in hand which

suggested abuse,exploitation,wrong counsel,ignorance and a way of life…

I have had a glimpse into the life of a migrant in an earlier occasion while looking

after the tuberculosis programme in Nav-jivan in Satbarwa.Fighting to bring

tuberculosis under control in the area with a highly disciplined ,organized and

participatory programme ,one always found that one was out-done by a particular group

of people ,namely the migrants.

They came up with fresh infections,relapse ,multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and an

added baggage of co-morbidities one could hardly keep a cap on.

While in NJH we did a research on the same and found various factors which could be

responsible.

Namely alcohol,drugs,promicousity-being away from home,lack of health facilities for

the migrants,crowding ,malnutrition,unhealthy living condition and ofcourse ignorance.

Coming back to the context ,we got talking to the lady who had a whole lot of baggage

to spill.We gave her an ear for half an hour or so,wrote some medication for her and

asked her to come for a follow up after a week.

My mind went back to the migrants in the bible.The old testament migrants who were

banished from their land by God for their sin,the israellites .Migration was a form of

punishment for disobedience.Even though God banished them he did not forsake them

altogether.He brought up prophets and leaders,mighty men of God to lead them through

the wilderness of Babylon.There was Ezra,Nehemiah,Jeremiah ,Ezekial ,Daniel….God spoke

to the people through them and these men of God lead the israellites in the various

roles the Lord allocated them.

Somewhere along the way God spoke through these prophets-one of them being Ezekial

34,vs 11-where the Lord says-‘For thus says the Lord God: ‘Indeed I myself will search

for My sheep and seek them out…..’

Thus Jesus came and when He did, suddenly things were different.Migration which was a

curse and a punishment actually became a calling and a way of life which Jesus called

out His disciples to. ‘Foxes have dens and the birds have nests but the son of man has

no place to lay his head’Luke-9vs 58.

The commission for the Christian goes out very clearly-Then Jesus came to them and

said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and

make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son

and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And

surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’(Mathew 28 vs 16-20.)

We all are migrants in the sense that we are not yet Home.

All the disciples of Christ were willing migrants who brought the gospel to us.

While in our earthly journey it helps to remind ourselves that we are one(migrants)

,our status changed because Christ came,and we are called by our savior not to settle

down ,but to go forth and give the message of hope, peace ,salvation

and reconcilliation to the world which includes the first and the second group I have

written about.

We are called from being migrants because of curse and disobedience , to be migrants

'IN AND FOR CHRIST' , a blessing to the nations, always on the move for the kingdom,

not necessarily physically.

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