A Visit to the Local Fellowship
He kept scrolling through old photos: a shot of his sister in font of their garden, a picture of his parents by an old olive tree, and a selfie of his in front of the old family car. I watched as we went through photo-after-photo of old memories… Of their home.
Beside me, the old couple wept. The husband, quickly trying to dry his tears… The wife continuously sniffling.
I saw their colorful and traditional clothing… A bright green garden full of roses… Smiles and family gatherings… Neighbors in front of their home, having fellowship and drinking tea… Of a beautiful town celebrating Easter and the life of Ch-ist.
When DAESH -ISIS- began pushing into Mosul and towards their village, they fled. In their minds, this trip would last a week. Two at most. It’s now been months.
The 6 of them live in a room smaller then my own…
Originally over 45 families lived in this fellowship… Now only 24 remain.
Our friends actually have a room, while others live behind hung sheets…
I rejoice with them in the life each of them has today, but also grieve with them and their loss of a home. Their loss of literally everything… I will never know what that feels like, so I can only weep with those who weep…
Their son and my friends brother works three hours away from the rest of the family. He found a job working in a restaurant, but has no home. He eats only bread and a little yogurt for breakfast, works all day, and sleeps on the kitchen floor at night.
So much loss and a family broken a part…
The mother cooked us a variety of food and used much meat. It was an expensive meal… They gave us so much, even when they have so little. We ate, laughed at my mispronunciations of Arabic words, and talked about our lives here. After looking through hundreds of photos, hearing stories of their people and culture, and after a few cups of tea, it was time to leave. I stood up, kissed all the women, and said goodbye.
Before leaving, my friend said “I thank G-d we met. Even in all of this bad, maybe He is just letting us meet new people and learn about other’s cultures. We met because of this. So, even in this we can find good…”
I am in awe of her faith and of her thankfulness in the midst of trials.
Before walking out the door, I looked back and the mother tearfully pleaded for me and my roommate to pr-y for their family to return home… For their family to be together. I wanted to pr-y right then, but honestly I knew no words would come out. I could only cry. I now regret not trying…
My heart is stirred with an intense compassion, I feel such sorrow and grief over this country, and I have such an unexplained love for these people I live amongst and with.
If I feel all these, how much more does a Father feel? He loves each of my friends and each person of this nation more then I ever can. He loves them and has compassion on them. He felt so much grief and sorrow over each of us, He gave His life for us…
So now I tearfully write this blog in hopes that those who read this might pr-y…
Pr-y for my friends without a home…. That somehow, they might return.
For this nation… It’s so broken.
For peace… For more of Him.
For our enemies. They are not too far from grace, mercy, and forgiveness.