This morning found me with a few friends depositing our shoes outside a doorway off a narrow alley laden with fruit, vegetables, rice and other sundry items. We entered among lots of cheek kissing and “come in, come in.” Sitting on narrow mattresses that line the small living room, two preschoolers jumped up and down while an Arabic children’s program sang in the background.

Once we were all situated and the heater turned on, it became our new occupation to keep the smallest of the children from blowing out the flame on the propane heater while watching in horror as the older worked to flick the button on a lighter she found. As we drank syrupy tea, the little one ran back into the living room with eyes as wide as saucers, sporting half a banana. When a visiting neighbor jokingly asked if he could trade him the banana for a cell phone, the little one empatically cried, “NO!” Apparently he really loves bananas.

As we chatted, we asked the mom how her family back home was. Her shoulders slumped as she shared that two of her brothers were in prison for fighting for the rebellion. Then father sadly told us he hadn’t had any work in a month. An unfortunate result of thousands of refugees flooding the area. I was again thankful for the job I have that allows me the freedom to help those in need. My only wish is that we could do more.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, (Matthew 25:35 NIV)

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