Exhaustion sets in as we drive home after another 13 hour day. I don’t know which is more draining… The smoldering sun, the long hours, the heart-wrenching stories, or the fact that there is more help needed than I am able to provide.
Even though I feel drained, I am so grateful for today. The group of Yazidis has been welcomed in such a loving camp. The ministry, police, and NGOs are collaborating in such an effective way with one another, and with the refugees themselves. I haven’t seen another camp with such a positive environment. Today is an example of the whirlwind of being here immersed in the suffering. I have to take the ups and downs as they come, because I am left with no alternative.
On our way home today Ranin said to me, “this little boy in your lap today, the men told me he goes for the women because his mom was killed.” My heart sunk. This little one is full of so much love, joy, and pure innocence. He showers me in love each day as we sing and dance together. He is two years old and his mother is dead.
I don’t know if I have ever seen so many widowed fathers in another other camp… I have such a special love and sense of compassion this group of 407 Yazidis. I can’t help but think this could be my family, and I remember that this is my family.
As I look in the eyes of each child who showers me in love, I remember what they have survived, what they have endured at such a young age. I think of the boys all on their own who have family split between Iraq, Turkey, and Germany. I think of those whose families are no longer walking on this earth, of the elderly men and women who struggle to walk to the bathrooms, of the blind woman, and of the man with down-syndrome.
Tears come easily just letting this set in… I want to take the pain away from my new friends who treat me like family. I want to take the painful memories away, the broken hearts, the continued suffering. I wish things weren’t the way they are for the Yazidi people. I wish the world would hold these people in the love, comfort, and compassion they deserve. How can our world close their doors to survivors of genocide? What is wrong with our world?
The whirlwind continues here in Greece, and my gratitude continues to flourish. I am learning lessons of compassion, resiliency, and forgiveness. My eyes continue to open with each interaction, and with each connection made. <3.