Can Anybody Help?
Let me tell today about a Nigerian family. They are in EXTREME NEED. They are not yet living in the street, but that could happen next week. No money, no food, no work, not even water and gas in their old apartment. Electricity will be cut tomorrow. Unpaid bills are just piling.
I had before received their SOS calls and yesterday I made time to visit them. They are husband and wife from Nigeria in their forty’s with 3 cute small children, age 5, 3 and 1.
Husband and wife reached Narita airport on June 15, 2006 in their way to FIJI ISLANDS, without any plan to be in Japan. The wife was 6-month pregnant and upon arrival to Narita was bleeding from her nose and her legs were swollen. As a result, Japanese immigration gave them a 3-day stay in Japan to see a doctor. They took a room at Narita airport Hotel and the husband looked for help in the airport and in other places around, but nobody could understand him in English. Finally he could find a kind person that guided them to a Clinic. The baby was totally misplaced in the mother’s womb and needed long medical care. In the meantime they were staying in the Narita Hotel and spent all money they had to pay the bill (\10,000 a day). Finally some goodwill person guided them to Yokohama and provided them a room to stay free of charge.
They never thought about living in Japan and they wanted to leave as soon as possible, but the circumstances forced them to remain], they assured me.
Finally the child was born and only a year later when they went to Yokohama immigration, they were warned “you must go home” and they felt they were absolutely unattended. By the time, they had spent all the money they had and could not go anywhere.
On 30 November 2010, immigration and police together went to their apartment at around 9:00AM to interview them. The police arrested the husband and kept him at a nearby police station for 10 days. The husband never did anything wrong and the police brought him to immigration. There they told him to go home, but he refused because they do not have any money to go back to Nigeria. On top of that, their mother and father have already died, and there was nobody who could take care of the family. So, their wish was to take care of their family in Japan.
In December 2010, immigration gave a one-month provisional release to the husband. Later in January 2011, the wife and 3 children obtained also one-month provisional release.
They renewed their one-month stay in February again, but later for the next 2 months they could not go to immigration due to lack of money. The husband is sick and cannot (find) work, so there is no income in the family.
Finally, last May, immigration called them to appear but they answered that they did not have money to go. One day, immigration went to their apartment by car and brought them to the immigration office and back home again. That time they “forced” them to sign their deportation order. After that they were given one-month provisional release once more. They are supposed to go to immigration again on October 14, 2011.
We have started to move with our lawyers, but many other problems remain unsolved.I have often heard about “pockets of poverty in affluent societies” like Japan, but the confrontation with people like this Nigerian family always shakes my faith and challenges me to trust God more. [21 September, 2011. Ando from Tokyo]