Good Night and God Bless
Trials and tribulations
of a Pakistani refugee
Trials and tribulations of a Pakistani refugee
By Fr Mickael Kelly
One Saturday in May, I met an 18-year-old Pakistani lad who somehow got hold of my contacts and asked to come to see me.

He’s been in Thailand for 10 months, entered on a tourist visa that has now expired so he’s an "illegal”, came here alone in fear of his life as the fanatics were chasing him with a “blasphemy” charge which is fatal for him if they catch him. He’s not supported by the family back home in Pakistan “because they’re too poor,” he told me.

He’s living in a small room with one small window that he shares with another refugee and no fan in Bangkok’s high summer, no family supports or relationships to sustain him, begs for food from parishes.

So, could I help? I did.

As he walked away, I looked up to heaven wondering what would become of such a needy lad, on his own and nothing going for him. He needs a place to stay, friendships to sustain him and someone to provide him with regular and sustaining meals.

There are a few families in somewhat better positions than this lad - intact, living in a block of flats where the landlord pays off the cops to not raid them, relationships that support them in their families, a bit of cash flow from pieces of work that they do.

I rang two boys aged on either side of him - 13 (going on 27) and 22 (going on 41) - who live in this safe block with single rooms of 20sq. meters. I asked could they help out, befriend him, see if the landlord had a spare room and would they feed him till he gets some work?

Immediately, yes was the answer. Then one of them texted me back to say don’t ask the other family because their father is in the Immigration Detention Center and one more at the table wasn’t needed there and he and his family would look after the 18-year-old.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer grace of it all.

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