Good morning my friends!
Some night last night. Went to a party at an Armenian club and met Wahe’s (my friend, translator and driver) extended family: his son and his wife and his four daughters and their husbands and fiances, a whole tribe of the sweetest little kids you can imagine, all hugging and kissing each other all the time. Wahe told me family is simply everything for them and they teach their children from the very beginning to love and tenderly care for one another. As a whole they are a group of truly kind and welcoming people. Also at times disheartened, unsure of a future.
To be honest, couldn’t sleep at all. Spent the entire night tossing and turning, so many thoughts, concerns, wonderment going on—still processing what I’m finding here. Saw Francis the Bishop of Rome speak to congress on the BBC—wouldn’t it just be beautiful if some of his words requesting more compassion and kindness on our world could come to be among our various leaders in Washington? Well, that all feels pretty far away right now.
I go now to do some more interviewing with Fr. Douglas, and then I go to take part in a “Healing Conference” at Alliance Church and Mission. Lots going on and I take you all with me everywhere I go. I promised more pics and I will do my best to take more and send them. Thanks so very much for paying attention to this—makes all the difference.
Love and peace to all!
I have to tell you this place is just one surprise after another. After taping a very powerful interview with Fr. Douglas this morning (he’s not kidding about speaking his mind plainly, as you will all see), the Patriarch of the whole Chaldean Catholic Church just showed up unexpectedly to see Mar Elia. He seems like a very nice man and I offered him a greeting from the Episcopal Church. I will be trying to get those photos up with Jess’s help shortly (Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako is the guy in the shades in the music room).
Also, wandering around among the caravans where folks are living I discovered a cave, obviously created by the people here, with a manger scene with large figurines of the Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Unexpected, and just another sign to me of the lengths Fr. Douglas and this community will go to to make this place feel sacred, and like a home. Watch for these pics as well.