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Mud and Fire

Firstly dear friends, many thanks to those who gave finance to help bring the Yezidi girls back from captivity and reunite them after almost nine years. We have deposited your gifts with the management of a safe house on our side of the border, where it will be handed over only once the girls are back. Should, God forbid, something go wrong or be delayed, the funds will be returned to us for safekeeping until the rescue operation can be completed. Thanks to your generosity we will be able to provide medical aid, food and clothing for the immediate months after their return.

As of this week video calls were made and planning from two different locations is under way. Please keep the turning of captivity in your prayers. Two hours since writing this I am adding what for me is a P.S. I have just had a tearful conversation with the brother, our staff member who showed me photos of his sisters nine years ago in 2014. He showed a photo of one brother who was killed in captivity, of one sister who was bombed on a bus when she was escaping. Of another brother who was blown into body parts during an air strike. Of one brother still with no information. He is fearful that history will repeat itself and something fatal will happen to his sisters on their way home. Please carry him in your hearts at this time, I assured him that many are “for him" from a distance.

We are grateful for gifts for the Emergency Crisis Response, we have located potential suppliers and will be buying after Newroz, i.e. during April. Much of our purchase life has been slowed down due to the state of emergency in Turkey and lack of export here. Many items that are usually available are out of stock with suppliers saying that they can not even place orders at the moment.

This has been a week of looking out, of taking care of our Tribe prior to the Newroz (The Kurdish New Year) Holiday, a week of going out to the weak and the poor to give food for the holiday.

Having shared that which we have with the needy, we are now excitedly looking inwards and preparing both for the Newroz Festival and for the opening of our Performing Arts Academy in a new center above the stables.

Narrative will be minimal this week due to our intense work schedule. We hope that you will feel part of our journey as you look at the photos of widows, sick and orphans who are an integral part of our life as are you.

The ancient words spoken by Isaiah have been in my mind this week as we have shopped for food, put packages together and taken them one by one to seventy individuals and families.

“Is it not to share our bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house... If you shall pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday." Isaiah

"My children, whenever you give sustenance to the poor, I impute it as though you gave sustenance to me." Midrash on Numbers 28:2

All our elderly ladies are special. Two stand out as mega special. Two gentle valiant ladies, one our wonderful Miss Tahle, almost blind who gropes her way through tents, just to hang out with us for a while, and the delightful Miss Kene whose only son is still lost in ISIS. She comes in every few days to ask for a prayer for him and a cup of milk for herself.

Miss Tahle

Miss Kene

"If you want to raise a person from the mud and filth, do not think that it is enough to keep standing on top and reaching a helping hand down to that person. You must go all the way down yourself, down into the mud, down into the filth. There take hold of that person with your hands and pull him and yourself into the light." R. Shalom of Karlin in the 8th century

Hoori and her mother have lived in the pen with their sheep forever. Her mother died about a month ago, Hoori continues to live alongside the sheep. She sleeps when they sleep, she eats what they eat. We wanted her to know that she is not forgotten and to give her real food for the Eid.

On the eve of March 20th we will celebrate the festival of Newroz, signifying the deliverance of the Kurds from a tyrant and the arrival of spring as deliverance from the darkness of winter.

Our artistic theme is based on horses and fire, honoring both the theme of the Kurdish event and our reality of basing the new centre alongside and above the stables.

It has been a hard winter, not so much temperature-wise but facing many unexpected challenges, As we celebrate this festival of fire, we are looking for that which is dross in our lives to be burned away, and that which is pure to remain and be our guideline for this Kurdish New Year.

We look forward to sharing some of the joy of our New Beginning with you next week.



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