I’ve been hoping to escape the Middle East almost since the day I landed here in late 2009.
There are things I love about the Peninsula, and Oman in particular, but while some people were made to adore sunny 108+ degree cloudless days for over half the year (I’m looking at you, Brits), this rain-lover was not.
And while I love other cultures and languages (and will never be disappointed in the years I’ve spent here), living forever in this particular culture would not be my favorite fit.
So how excited am I that not only are we off on new adventures, but new adventures that might just take us to mountains and valleys and fruit and flowers and rain and seasons and the Mediterranean?
Uhhh… pretty excited.
And better – way better – than that, this move resonates with our deepest desires. We’ve realized our current life is a lot of he-does-this and she-does-that, when really, we want a WE do THIS.
We’ve long wanted the stories we’re living to mingle more intimately. We’ve prayed that when they do, there would be a strong element of tangible good in it. We’ve hoped that it would use the best of how we were made, challenge the best of what we have to give, and put all of it to good use.
Last spring, in the chancest of chance meetings, we heard of a home for kids in Lebanon that, while doing great good, remains underfunded and understaffed.
While many homes host only orphans, or only children from a particular religious background, Home of Hope takes in kids picked up by the police, and accepts them regardless of background or tribe (space permitting, that is).
Most of these 4-18 year-olds aren’t orphans. They may be refugees that have lost touch with their families, or been removed from severely abusive situations, or in many cases, their parents are (or soon will be) in prison. In the extreme cases? The police intervened as their parents sold them for their organs. Or as slaves.
Yes, you read that right.
And parents or no, the majority of the kids don’t have Lebanese papers (citizenship, a visa, etc.) and can’t get them. They also can’t go anywhere else. (It takes papers to travel.) Effectively, they don’t exist.
They can’t enroll in school, can’t get healthcare, can’t be adopted. When they’re old enough, they won’t be able to legally hold a job, rent an apartment, or get married.
They will, of course. Because life demands it. But they’ll have to do so in the cracks. In the shadows. Unseen.
And this is the real need, I think. Who has ever been for them? Who has noticed that she has a way with spacial manipulation or that he has perfect pitch? Who has ever given them a chance and who ever will? Who has ever seen that one valuable life and leaned in to tell them how important they are?
There’s a funny thing about us discovering this need, at this time. It fits exactly who Brady and I are, where we are in life, and the many things He’s been putting on our minds and in our hearts. We don’t have our own kids. We spent a decade living in community working on a college campus. We’ve been thinking more and more about injustice and our responsibility as the “haves” in the world. And we’ve been yearning to be able to live the same story (instead of separate ones).
So, late one Tuesday night last spring, we decided to leap. Into the wild. Into a new story. It’s pretty freaky, really. But the good adventures always are.