Bringing You Up To Date

Hello, hello! I promise I have not forgotten about you all :). I have realized over the past 15 months of full time volunteer service, that being in the field day after day for extended periods of time eventually wears me down. It is in these moments that I start to slip up, writing less and less. I apologize for not keeping you more informed on our efforts on the ground, as I know each and everyone of our supporters plays an integral role in making our service possible.

The past months have been full on! We have spent weeks on the island of Lesvos providing emergency winter relief, visited squats in order to fund food programs, improved our offerings with the Yazidi refugees we love and serve, and so much more. I want to bring you up to do date on our current efforts today, but will share stories, photos, and videos of our last few months in Greece over the next few weeks.

I am writing today from Amman, Jordan, where we have been based for the past month. We flew here with Lifting Hands International in order to meet the Helping Hand for Relief and Development Team. Lifting Hands sends containers full of aid for the refugees HHRD serves in both Jordan and Lebanon, and we wanted to be able to share with you where your support is going.

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A Syrian family living in a field after being kicked off the land of a Jordanian farmer. PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon Ahston

Many of you donated to the wishlists we shared months ago, and we want to introduce you to the people your purchases have benefited. This also helps you understand where all of the continued purchases are going. Kyle has put together a video clip of our camp visits, which I will post soon!

After spending our first days with HHRD we decided to stick around Jordan for the Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher Training offered by the Yoga Mandala ProjectI couldn’t be more grateful for having attended this offering hosted by the same women who offered a similar training with us in Greece. Here is my brief testimony on the experience:

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The past four days have been a blessing unfolding before my eyes. I have had a burning inner desire to share trauma sensitive yoga with the refugee population over the past two years. I have been digging and digging to find materials, information, trainings, anything on this specific focus… I am so grateful to have been connected with the Yoga Peace Mandala- supporting refugees with Yoga Project. These women have become my teachers, my mentors, my source of inspiration.

Bella, Susan, Claire, and Rula beautifully embody karuna, “compassion in action”. I have had the motto of “compassionate action” since completing my teacher training, and these women demonstrate it beautifully and organically. They have shown me the possibility of caring for the world, while also nurturing my own self.

The past four days have been spent experiencing the teachings, diving into my own heart, reflecting on the past 15 months of full-time volunteer service, dreaming of the possibilities that lie ahead. I leave the training feeling firmly rooted in the practice, embraced in community, and inspired to share these teachings with those escaping war, as well as those serving them.

I have many ideas popping into my head, but know there is plenty of time to put them into action. Weekly trauma sensitive yoga for the volunteer community in Northern Greece coming soon!”

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We are now developing a project in Jordan in order to support the Syrian Bedouin refugees in a sustainable and beneficial way. IT IS POSSIBLE TO MAKE A DIRECT DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF SYRIAN REFUGEES LIVING JUST ACROSS THE BORDER IN JORDAN. More details on the goat project coming later TODAY!


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