What moved me most about Elmarie’s talk was when she spoke about the attitudes of the families who have remained in Syria. How open their hearts have remained. How they seem to have chosen love over hate, in spite of the unimaginable atrocities their families have endured. That love is acted out with their simple lifestyle of sharing what they have. The hospitality that is part of their culture, extending across religious and cultural lines to share what they have, however little that might be. As a result of this, they are in turn impressed when they see Presbyterian workers visiting and taking food to the women prisoners, caring about them as people, not as enemies. “So”, they say, “This is what Christianity is!”
Yes, what Christianity is supposed to be. – Avalon
Scott Parker, our PC USA Ecumenical Partner, had been asked by the Middle East Council of Churches to lead their efforts in responding to children traumatized by unrest and war in Iraq and Syria who now seek refuge in Lebanon. Out of this invitation came “Strong Kids, Strong Emotions,” a play-based program that seeks to develop emotional and spiritual resiliency in Iraqi and Syrian children refugeed in the Beirut area.
Scott shows his playfulness as he talks about the value of puppets with the children. But, his dedication is also very evident as he speaks of children being cared for in recovery in their group setting, which includes being in class as well as making friends while playing at their school.