MarHaBa….Keef Hal Leek
This has been a hard newsletter to get off. We have had some wonderful experiences this month along with some very heart wrenching experiences. Sometimes it is so hard to “get on with normal life” when experiences change you! We ask ourselves so often “Why have we been so blessed with so much?” More about that later! To start off …. We had a wonderful zone Conference in Egypt the beginning of the month (see the attachments). When we got back… it was “Catch up”. We have been finishing up some projects and starting others (more on the projects next time). We received a call from the Irbid Director of Social Development wanting to meet with us again. Mr. Ahmad Ishmarat had recently met with the Jordan’s Minister of Social Development, Hala Latoof. Now, you must know that this level of government controls all our comings and goings within the country of Jordan concerning Humanitarian efforts. So, we have been praying and working hard on developing good relationships with the Ministries. The new Minister is a woman and has just recently got back from the USA where arrangements had been made for her to attend BYU’s Women’s Conference and tour Welfare Square in Salt Lake. She was given several opportunities to dine with different church leaders. She has come back excited and educated with a different outlook of LDS Charities. She never imagined how big and world wide our efforts reach. We will be meeting with them in the next week and discussing several new programs that will involve the efforts of LDS Charities and the Jordan Government. It’s exciting to see the work move forward and opportunities open up. We often stand in amazement!
We have been meeting with many communities and their leaders in the northern part of Jordan over the last month. We have had a few very emotional experiences trying to help make changes for the welfare of these people. One, I will share, but will not go into much details, is a man of 68. We were taken to his place of existence, because that is all you could call it. He was lying on the ground in the cave-like shelter with nothing over him but a filthy shredded blanket with flies swarming around his lifeless body. His boney face was covered by tangled matted hair. The smell was horrific! He had evidently experienced a stroke and his family had just thrown him away, so to speak! In this culture one does not step into tribal or family affairs. But in this situation many of the community leaders had been secretively notified and they took us with them because they think we have “wasta” (someone who has pull and power) and no one would question us. What an emotional experience! Well, this man’s life has changed… from being at the bottom of life to having some hope and purpose to his life. I can’t begin to even describe the feelings, the time and emotion that this situation as brought us through. And this is only one person of so many, not only in Jordan, but throughout the world.
We are sending the attached newsletter with some reluctance because of the experiences that have followed our trip to Cairo. We feel so blessed, and feel so much gratitude for the opportunities that have changed our lives and hopefully have changed others.
We pray for you all. “ MaSaLaama”