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It's OK To Be Overwhelmed

I sat on a rock in a field of mud in torrential rain yesterday, soaked to the skin and sided with Jonah. Tarshish would have been a better choice than Nineveh. Not even the skies noticed my tears cascading down as they too mourned. Oscar my dog huddled close, putting his paw on my shoe in an act of comfort.

“Oh that my head was a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people”

Jeremiah 9:1

It was a big melt down day. Several of our Syrian families had recently returned to visit family in Hasaka only to have their loved ones murdered by Daesh escapees of Al Sina’a prison. Those alive asked for our help to return across the border into Kurdistan. As “Asylum seekers“ permission was denied, the corpses were retained in Syria and the mourning families unable to return to the very little that they had built in War City. How fate played its hand. The one time they went for a visit their lives were taken. My heart broke.

Jeremiah said “A voice is heard..mourning and great weeping. Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more.” 31.15

A dozen of our Yezidi teens have been in Sinjar for the past nine days, waiting for the opening of a new area of mass graves in Harden to see if, whether and whom of their missing families. Our hearts have ached all week as death reminds us that it is not done.

On 22.02.22 the exhumation and identification of a mass grave in Hardan commenced. Dr. Saeed, Saad and I will never forget the day when we walked through the grave back in 2015 when bones and clothes, and skulls and pieces of jewelry were scattered in the mud. It was winter time and the rain was washing everything to the surface, that which had been hidden was being revealed. We walked in silence. Upon returning to our vehicle, we hugged each other and screamed until we had no breath left.

As of 2022 there are still another 70 mass graves to be exhumed, 6 of which are in the village of Hardan on the north side of Sinjar Mountain. It is known that 362 Yezidis were kidnapped from the village, of which 132 are still missing, and may possibly be identified in the next weeks.

The agony of waiting continues into its 8th year.

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the towering rock of safety”

Psalm 61

Today in honor of our student family who are waiting in silence, in that continual tension between life and death, I repost The Blessing and remind us of this ancient truth. May we all this week, together pray the Blessing over these broken communities with whom we do life, live life and share life.


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