Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Say Jibna (Cheese)

Last week several of our team members participated in a picture project. They took pictures of the children and then helped them make a frame to give to their parents. It must have been quite an experience for all involved. A couple of them tell about their experience below.

Last week’s photo project was fun and tiring, and although cutting things out of foam isn’t my forte, I got pretty good at making hearts and letters and Palestinian flags.

The project seemed simple enough: go to local school, take photos of all the children and teachers, and make frames for the photos. The first day taking the photos went fairly smoothly, although many children were absent due to some confusion about a national holiday. It was fun taking photos and hanging out with kids that day. The second day, making frames, was when the fun really started. Glue, scissors and lots of children is always an exciting combination. The stickers went fast, and in spite of our “one sticker per child” rule, I continued to notice frames with several stickers on them. Teachers tended to be particularly frustrating as we would assume they’d know better, and yet they persisted in defying our one-child-one-sticker rule, helpfully putting several stickers on a favorite child’s frame. Still, each day we learned how better to perfect our system, and we ended up making lots of new friends. In just a few days we helped hundreds of thousands of children…or maybe a little less…maybe just a couple of hundred…but I could swear that I cut out a hundred thousand little hearts.

While we were at the school, the principal told us that when we come and help them, they feel as if we are sharing their burden with them. I was able to tell him a little about the reason why we want to help bear their burdens. Another teacher at the school smiled for a picture that I took of him. He told me that he almost never smiles, but that “there is just something about you that makes me smile”. He is one of the teachers who invited us to dinner, so inshalla, I’ll will be able to talk more with him.

Monday, June 02, 2008

God love the Palestinians ... and so do we

Team members in Lebanon shared this story.

One thing that is amazing to us is that no one can understand why we want to help Palestinians, including Pals themselves. At the center where we teach English on Thursday mornings, one girl argued with us for about 10 minutes trying to convince us that we can’t possibly REALLY love Palestinians and want to work with them. She just couldn’t understand why we would work with them “of all people,” and she kept saying “but we can’t pay you.” We kept telling her that God has placed a love for Pals on our hearts and we want to help them as much as possible. I think we convinced her we were serious, but she still didn’t understand. She said “I’ll have to go and ask God why He would do that.” Hopefully as we go back week after week she’ll see that the love really does come from God and not from us!