Former Commonwealth sportswoman from Uganda seeking asylum in Liverpool

 Margaret Nankabirwa has been worshipping at St Bride's since autumn 2015. PHOTO: Liverpool Echo

Margaret Nankabirwa has been worshipping at St Bride's since autumn 2015. PHOTO: Liverpool Echo

THIS ADVENT we have been reflecting on the theme of journeys, and hearing each week from members of our community.

On Sunday 11th December we heard a reflection from Margaret Nankabirwa, a former Commonwealth Games competitor from Uganda, who first came to Hope+ Food Bank in Autumn 2015 with her partner Lydia. Together they are seeking asylum in the UK because their lives would be at risk if they return to Uganda.

Margaret, also known as Megan, gave an interview to the Liverpool Echo earlier this month about her story and why they continue to fight for the right to remain in the UK. You can watch and read it here.

This is the reflection she shared with us last Sunday:

Life is a journey -
Every journey has a starting and finishing point.
A journey where you have to leave home, loved ones,
career and more for your life.
A journey filed with ups and downs,
A journey filled with pains and tears,
A journey filled with fear and sorrows.
Although some journeys keep spirits up,
Some make one feel so down and really low,
Especially when you sit and remember what life
Offered before and what life has to offer today.
Sometimes we are given chances to make choices of how to travel,
And sometimes no chances are given.
Reasons for travelling differ;
Some travel with pleasure, love, and some travel because
They are just fleeing to save their lives or their loved ones.
Imagine leaving your family, friends, career and the life
You have lived to go to a strange world where all that
Sounds familiar is the cry of the birds, sounds of cars and sirens.
But everything else sounds opposite.
No place to go to sleep, neither food to eat
Because you can’t afford to keep going.
No one to run to because you don’t
Know no-one.
Can’t think straight, because you are too cold
like a bird that can’t fly with cold wings.
Get sick but can’t get medication because
You don’t even have an idea of what you are suffering from.
Cars keep throwing dust on you,
And because you feel you have lost your pride,
You will always keep your head down.
A situation where you are on the streets
Looking at everyone going somewhere,
Birds going to their nests but you literally have nowhere to go.
But every ‘Good morning’ ‘Good Day’ and ‘Good Evening’ brings
Your spirit up because you know that someone cares and respects you.
A situation where you turn into a beggar
All in the name of unplanned journeys,
A situation where no one believes your story that led to
Your travelling.
And all you do is rely on God’s promise
To give you company.
Truly in life we have journeys of joy and sorrows,
No guarantee for happiness even tomorrow.
Always be prepared for both defeat and victory,
Because journeys are unending,
You never know how far you can go and how to end it.
Yesterday was too rough, tough and painful,
But today hope, love and all that you
Thought you had lost is gained back
But still miss your family and those
Happy days when you had a chance to
Be who you really are and do what you
Are passionate about.
A life with pressure, stress, depression
And loss of self-esteem is all you live.
Pains of knowing that you may never
See your family again,
As well as changing your life,
Trying to adapt to a strange and new lifestyle
Cause too much trauma and sorrow in your life.
But all I know is all rainfall, snowfall and winds
Come and go.