3rd Sunday of Advent

An Echo Prayer from an Immigrant!

African, Black, Woman, Mother, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Singer, Dancer, Writer, Dreamer, today I put on my griot hat to tell you in echo to Zephaniah 3:14-20, how much I praise the Lord, for His Love is Infinite, His Mercy never-ending, His Grace inexhaustible! In Jesus Name, may this echo resonate favorably in the Ear of our Lord. May it also ring the noble bells of empathy and sympathy in our communities where today settlers were not so long ago immigrants, just like me, just like many of us.

Zephaniah 3:14-20

14 Sing, Daughter Zion; Father O Lord who am I to sing your praises;

    shout aloud, Israel! God O Lord who am I to cry out to you? 

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Joyful is my heart, Baby Jesus is everything to me, that is why my heart is joyful. My joy is immense, I feel emotional because of You Little Lord Jesus, You my Redeemer.

    Daughter Jerusalem! Yes Lord, You Know me, You Bless me and mine, You Guide me and mine. You Keep me and mine.

15 The Lord has taken away your punishment, Baby Jesus, O Emmanuel, You come and free me from my pride, free me from my resistance, free me from my arrogance, free me from my complacency, free me from my resentment, Merciful God, Come and Save me. 

    he has turned back your enemy. There is Power in the name of Jesus to break every chain. Yes Lord You touch every heart, you heal every heart, your turn lives around, you mend the broken heart, you wipe away all tears, you meet every need, You come and no more fear, no more anxiety, no more loneliness, no more low-esteem, no more worries.

The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; My Savior, my Redeemer, my Comforter, wherever I go You are with me. All along my journey, there on that poor continent, here on this wealthy land, You hold me tight, you hold me strong, you hold me hopeful.

    never again will you fear any harm. I was hurt so many times, because I am a woman, because I am a single mom, because I am an immigrant. Never again will I be a slave to fear for I am a child of God, and everything is possible with God.

16 On that day Today, This wonderful day the Lord has made,

    they will say to Jerusalem, O Lord, You only are capable to quiet my mind, so I am able to hear your voice, your soft and comforting voice. 

“Do not fear, Zion; I trust in you o Lord, 

    do not let your hands hang limp. I am no longer a victim, petrified or discouraged by the system, the inhuman human system, insensitive and insensible to justice and peace.

17 The Lord your God is with you, Little Lord Jesus, I feel your presence for I am full of your peace that surpasses all understanding.

    the Mighty Warrior who saves. You are my fortress, You are my Sanctuary, You are my safety.

He will take great delight in you; Love me o God, Love me as no one has ever before. 

    in his love he will no longer rebuke you, Keep me close to you, please always come and meet me where I stand hopeless; to You, always bring me back. 

    but will rejoice over you with singing.” Loving God You accept me as a pleasing aroma.

18 “I will remove from you

    all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,

    which is a burden and reproach for you. You answer my prayers O Lord, You say Yes and nobody will say no to my dreams of safe, stable and sustainable settlement, for myself, mine, my fellow immigrants.  

19 At that time I will deal 

    with all who oppressed you. I pray for that time to be today. Today, You justify me, and mine and people like us. By your grace we are all saved from overwhelming living conditions.  

I will rescue the lame; Come to our rescue o Lord, rescue all of us who are feeling defective because we are unemployed, because we are homeless, because we don’t have the means to make ends meet. 

    I will gather the exiles. O Lord change our status, from immigrants make us citizens.

I will give them praise and honor O Lord make it happen, make our land of adoption officialize our belonging.

    in every land where they have suffered shame. O Lord make it happen, make our land of adoption officialize our belonging, so never again parents are denied the right to fully and legally commit to their children as well as their communities’ thrives.

20 At that time I will gather you; Today, Lord Jesus, make it happen today,

    at that time I will bring you home. The same way you provide peace and comfort that surpass human understanding, again and always surpass human understanding by meeting our basic needs: Housing, Belonging, Esteem. 

I will give you honor and praise Thank you Lord for erasing for good, memories of despair, endured violence, discrimination, abandonment, humiliation, low esteem, poverty, mental health issues and side-effects.

    among all the peoples of the earth

when I restore your fortunes

    before your very eyes,”

says the Lord. O Little Lord Jesus, O Emmanuel, I am so joyfully expecting You. I pray the pink candle I symbolically light for you on this Gaudete Sunday, mystically makes me and all see through rose-colored lenses, as You come to work miracles, for we, all, in echo, glorify Your name!

Bissi Badou, grew up in Benin, studied in France, and after 10 years of challenges of all sorts, emigrated from Africa to America with her daughter. She describes her walk in life as a journey primarily and foremost guided by a visceral quest for love. Along the way she surprisingly learned how much the love from a sibling could be more intense than every emotion ever felt with a significant other. She unexpectedly discovered how much the love for a daughter could be more fulfilling than the love from both parents. And totally out of the blue, she happened to taste the exquisite love from God: an everlasting experience forever impactful, physically, emotionally, spiritually, as well as soulfully.

She is a member of United Christian Parish in Reston, Virginia, where she served as the Vacation Bible School Director in 2020 and 2021. She dances in the church praise dance crew, sings in the church adult choir, and currently works as the church Building Use Coordinator. She holds a Master’s Degree in Projects Management from France Paris XI Jean Monnet University, and a Master’s Degree in International Business from France Paris IV Sorbonne University.

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