Last night we arrived back to Terminal E at Logan International Airport. The trip began early morning in Lebanon and by the time we arrived we had been up for 24 hours.
A wet snow was falling as we made our way out of the terminal, a contrast to our 60 degrees and sunny in both Jordan and Lebanon.
There is a lot to reflect on and think about as we readjust to our day jobs and seek to live faithfully in a place that we don’t find easy.
We are richer in spirit and are humbled by what we have seen and heard.
These are some first thoughts on return. More stories will be coming, stories that are important to hear, but for now these are the things most on my heart.
- “Refugees all want to come here”..this is a myth perpetuated by a faux media. They want safety and to go home. It is arrogant of the West to think that all want to come to this part of the world. It is wrong of the Church to base decisions on fear instead of prayer and wisdom.
- The churches in Jordan and Lebanon are deeply involved in helping in the crisis. They are tireless in their efforts to feed, clothe, educate, and provide health care for refugees. No penny you give will be wasted. I have provided links to two organizations that I guarantee give money to projects directly helping refugees in their daily lives.
- The problem is so huge there is no room for competition or territorialism. There is only room for collaboration and hard work. No one organization or group of people can possibly handle the scope of refugee work that exists. Competition hurts the very people that the organization wants to serve.
- In every crisis, there are opportunists. This is the hardest thing for me to come to terms with. Exploiting the marginalized, the refugee, the hurting is nothing new – but there are infinitely creative ways to do this. My heart hurts deeply for this. Da’esh (ISIS) is one evil, opportunists are another. The way to intervene is to offer appropriate help.
- Babies are born in the worst of circumstances. They are a picture of grace in the midst of difficulty. I’ll write more later on the importance of offering good forms of birth control. I would gently challenge anyone against birth control to visit a refugee camp and not reconsider their position.
- I have been challenged more than ever to pray and believe that the Church has a significant role to play. It is a role of service, prayer, and help. It is a place for the Church to show what it is made of and to live out the Gospel message.
- There is only one who is the Saviour, and I am not that Saviour. Yes, I hope I have a role to play, but I have to see my role through the eyes of humility and grace. There is no place for arrogance.
It was a gift to be with my husband on this journey and hear stories together. Thank you to those who have followed us on this trip.
On this Martin Luther King Day, I am reminded to pray that voices and lives rise up for peace and justice around the world. In the words of Amos the prophet: “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”
- Conscience International – If you are interested in small projects like food distribution, helping to fund a mobile medical clinic, or helping support Syrian children go to school. CI does small projects that directly support refugees with almost no overhead.
- Heart for Lebanon – This is an amazing organization that works with refugees around Lebanon focusing on food distribution and education. The organization is based on developing relationships with refugees. I can’t speak highly enough about this organization.
Note: We received permission to take and share all pictures that you see on this blog.