The cross : What is your meeting like?
Jamiu Wahab: We were 15 years old, I had arrived from Nigeria two years ago, and we were attending a ski-prayer camp. I came with some young people from my Apprentis d’Auteuil home. Ghislain came from another high school, he was happy, I wanted to talk to him. One day, I forgot my picnic. He told me : “Here, take whatever you want from this bag. “ He gave me everything he had. This gesture was great for me.
Ghislain Roquette: I don’t remember that moment of sharing! But I know you didn’t go unnoticed… and I liked it. There were several levels of skiing, I was with those who trace thoroughly. I wanted a quieter day and found myself with Jamiu: the one who takes bowls, who falls but gets up.
Why him and not another?
JW: My past caught up with me, and hit me deeply. I went through very strong suffering. Ghislain did not give me any money, but he made me meet Christ. I was weak, but by praying with people I loved, I found my joy in the Church. With his family, they supported me. I have no words: he is beyond my buddy. I could give my life, to save him his.
→ MAINTENANCE. “Friendship is a stress absorber”
GR: Jamiu struggles every day, he takes pains to move forward, he is a soldier who goes into battle on a daily basis. His joy, his thoughts, his way of being: all of this inspires me. We are very different on a lot of points, it’s wonderful to have so much to discover.
What differences have you overcome?
JW: At the time, I was seen as a “dirty nigga”, disparaged like those who come from a home. Ghislain did not see me with those eyes. His friendship led me to progress. Some are in prison today. I never thought I had the license, the code, to be able to work. Father Christophe and Ghislain pushed me. We are examples for each other.
→ FRIENDSHIP STORIES. “We prolong ourselves and we surpass ourselves in the friend”
GR: The difficulties showed us how much we care about each other. All the moments that we have shared, of happiness or of unhappiness, have given strength to our relationship.
What do you share?
JW: We don’t just drink beers, because we are friends who pray together, and that too makes me happy. We confide, we tell ourselves what we do not say to others. We give time for each other.
GR: We are like on a tandem, we move forward together. When one is in pain, the other pedals a little more. And vice versa.
→ READ. Hymn to love, the record of The cross