Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Noisy Hassan

Today I visited some homes in the West Bank delivering food. We were in a village near Ramallah. I’d like to tell about 2 of the visits.

In one home a young man answered the door. His name was Ala’ and he was 23 years old. He invited us in and we sat in the living room. We were soon joined by his mother and a neighbor. We found out that there were 3 sons and 6 daughters; three of the daughters and the oldest son were married. The youngest son, Abed, was 14 years old. He was born prematurely during a curfew. (During curfews which are imposed by the Israeli army no one is allowed out of their homes.) Since his parents could not get out of their home, they could not go to the hospital. Abed suffered severe brain damage. He walks and understands instructions, but cannot talk, dress himself or control his bodily functions. Ala’ has never held a full-time job. Since Palestinians are not allowed to enter Israel to work there are no jobs. He tried to work in Ramallah, but transportation takes most of the $10 he would make for a 12 hour shift and the jobs only last a few days. Ala’ told us his father does not work because he is very old and ill and unable to work. “How old is your father?” “He is 45”. It turns out that his father has respiratory problems; I won’t go into that story.

The neighbor invited us to come to her home so after some juice, we went next door where we were served coffee. As we walked from one house to the next, I asked the family name. “Oh, ask anyone and they can tell you where Hassan Enkarka lives” Later, our Palestinian partner told us that means Noisy Hassan.

This neighbor was a widow. She and her three children lived in one room. It was very old – yard thick walls, domed ceiling, slanting cement floor – but very clean and orderly. They do not own their home; it is provided through the generosity of a neighbor since she cannot pay rent. Another neighbor runs a wire to her house so that she’ll have lights since she can’t pay electricity. In the court yard, there is a washing machine that her teenage daughter is using to wash cloths. It is loaned for the day from another neighbor. Her husband died when he was 30 years old. He had severe diabetes. She is able to get around now, but has been ill. Her daughter, who is the oldest, dropped out of school to care for the family. Her oldest son is 16 and retarded. Her youngest is 14 and is the only one is school. She told us he was the hope of the family.

We told these ladies about God’s love and told them we’d pray for them. Our hostess told us that her name was Kadijah. “When you pray, mention my name to God; tell him my name.” Abed and Ala’s mother asked us to pray for Abed. “The only thing I ask for Abed is that he would be able to go to the bathroom by himself.” So, before we left we prayed – by name for Kakijah and for Abed. We asked God’s greatest blessing on the village.

Please pray with us for Kadijah and Abed.

Posted by PL