Jamie, our guest in Sanctuary since March of 2019, his wife Keiko, and their son Yoshi have shared the following message of thanks to the cathedral community, as they begin the next stage of their journey.
Dear Saint Mark's community,
After 3 years of living in Sanctuary at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Jaime is ready to transition back to our home in the Shoreline community where we built our life together.
Looking back, we did not know what our journey would be like in Sanctuary. We were desperate for ICE not to tear Jaime away from our family.
We drove to St. Mark’s that night with one backpack of toiletries and spare clothes, and we told our son that we were going camping in a special place. The truth was that we were terrified of what our life would be, all we knew was that St. Mark’s was the huge church we had seen from I-5. We were uncertain and worried if anyone in the church community would disapprove of us living on their campus. Over the years, we had experienced rejection from friends and acquaintances due to our immigration battle. The idea that a large number of strangers would be supportive of our family was unimaginable.
Hearing the words, “wherever you are in your spiritual journey you are welcome here”, immediately made us feel safe and gave us hope for the future. We learned these words are true to the St. Mark’s community, everyone opened their arms to welcome us. We are humbled by your support and the trust that you put in us. You inspired us and taught us the true meaning of community at the hardest time of our life.
Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your family and community, and for showing compassion and empathy to complete strangers.
This place, Sanctuary at St. Mark’s Cathedral, became our home during the last three long years. Our son grew from having little baby cheeks into a pre-teen boy. We have to admit it is a little frightening for Jaime to go back into society where his future is uncertain and find a purpose of his life again. But we are happy to go home. Our son recently said, “I am so excited for next week!” When we asked him why, he answered “we are going home!”
Even though Jaime’s immigration journey is far from over, we are excited to continue fighting for his rights to stay, and the possibility of his residency. Right now, we are celebrating that we can be together again as family with our heads held high. We are grateful to continue to be a part of this amazing community and appreciate each and every one of you.
Jaime, Keiko and Yoshi
April 6, 2022