faith in action

Reflection: The journey of discovery

Engoma Fataki, a participant in Church and Society's Ethnic Young Adult Program, reflects on their time in Washington, D.C.

Interns stand in front of White House holding sings that read "United Methodist Stand For Justice," and "United Methodist Stand for Peace."

I have experienced a lot through during the past week, both at my placement and in the community.

Every single day and every single week I spend in Washington D.C. it is a blessing, and I believe God has a purpose of sending us on this journey.

The journey for which I waited so long, and now am living the dream by standing for those who cannot stand for themselves; by raising my voice for the sake of those who cannot raise their voices. It’s a privilege from God, to be among those who are in the field, battling against injustice.

This nation has come so far — has come a long way — where it has met the impossible and turning it to be possible. But that’s not the end of our journey. We are still far behind, because there are those who are still suffering, crying and dying seeking for justice and help. We still have a long way to go, and we still have a lot of work to do.

That’s why I am very grateful for every single day that God has made possible to me to be here, because I believe that my contribution will make a huge impact in this long journey.

During the past week, I had the greatness of preparing the World Refugee Day and attending the rally. I also have experienced a lot of injustice, which happened in this country and some of them still happening.

As the week kicked off, at my placement, both my colleagues and I were busy working on the posters and attending some of the hearings which impacted refugees and immigrants. It was a long day, but I was a glad that we collaborated and to get the work done. We reached across the country, trying to bring people together to advocate and share their stories during the World Refugee Day.

The next day, which was the World Refugee Day, we had people from different states and refugees joining us to advocate for refugees and immigrants. We were divided into small groups, we went to our legislators and shared our journey as refugees. We also asked them to be the champion for the refugees — to support them and to speak out against any legislation which will affect the refugees.

At the end of the day, we went to the rally in front of the White House to speak out and to encourage people, especially the current administration, to stand with refugees. We had an amazing time at the rally, my fellow interns brought with them posters which say, “United Methodists Stands for Justice.” It was great.

On Wednesday, I attended the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the bills that will impact both the refugees and unaccompanied children to the United states. Those bills were given positive names but would have a negative impact to the refugees and children.

The Protection of Children Act passed in the Judiciary Committee with amendments, but I am hope that those two bills don’t get passed in the House of Representatives.

Finally, I was grateful to learn about the history of the Native Americans. That lesson taught me the struggles that the Native Americans have gone through and the lesson has shaped my perspective.

In conclusion, this week I have received lessons and understanding that we should be always appreciative for what we have. I now know what I didn’t know before, I have learned a lot just for few weeks I been here and I know that there are still a lot coming to learn from.

With all the issues I have seen this week, I am still shocked with the injustice going on in this country, especially the system that the governments run need to be updated to new version so justice can ring in all corner of the country.

Thank God that I got the opportunity to discover that, and I hope that can get changed the soon as possible.

Note: this article was originally posted on the EYA program’s blog. You can follow all of their updates here.