Sojourners are people traveling in distress or forced circumstances. They’re not casual travelers, knowing their destinations, their routes and their way back home.
Instead, they’re refugees and asylum seekers, who have fled persecution and torture in their homelands, only to be placed in warehouses and prisons upon arrival in the United States. They remain locked up for 6-24 months without personal belongings, privacy or dignity, while their asylum claims are slowly adjudicated. There is big government money for private prison operators and little incentive to hasten claim processing. When they are finally released, the refugees have no means of support, and they bear deep emotion scars from their experiences.
Sojourners are also domestic violence victims. Sojourners may be persons whose homes have been condemned due to fire, gas leaks, collapsing cranes and other infrastructure failures. Sojourners are also spouses and families accompanying critically-ill loved ones about to undergo extraordinary, often last chance, medical treatment, far from home.
Sojourners can all but disappear into our cities and communities and become as isolated as seafarers in the middle of the ocean. We are called upon to reach out to the sojourners in our midst and offer them hospitality, refuge and respite, until they can regain control of their lives and prosper.