CHOSN NEWS: The Al Hussein family are here at last! Mostafa, Bahijeh, and their sons Mohammed (6) and Yassine (5) are thrilled to be here, in a safe and secure spot. They want everyone to know how much they appreciate what our community is doing for them and others. They were met at the airport by a large group from both congregations, including the Sunday School (with their own banner). They were taken aback by the welcome, and it was great that everyone came out.
The boys (including Derek and Mike G) were almost immediately out in the back yard with soccer balls, and they are energetic and happy little boys. Mostafa is recovering from a broken leg, but is doing well. Bahijeh has some medical needs, but those are being addressed efficiently by our medical group and others in the medical community The family have settled into the apartment, and are very pleased. Grocery and clothing trips have been completed, and other initial startup tasks are being scheduled by the support groups that we have in place.
We did learn that the family (and relatives) were bombed out of their village about 3 ½ years ago, and escaped to another town near Turkey, that was attacked subsequently. They have been in Lebanon for the past 3 ½ years. Mostafa works in construction, drafting, and as a shoemaker, and we’re hoping these skills will be in demand here as well.
It has been heart-warming to see the tremendous help provided by Kassem Abouchehade, Moein Shawan, and others from the local Muslim and Arabic-speaking community. I think they will be a true support for the family as well, and we will only be strengthened by the interaction and new friendships ourselves.
So all in all, off to a good start. We need to keep the momentum of support up, while letting them grow into their new life. We can only benefit from knowing and working with these courageous people. It’s also been great to see the collaboration between volunteers from St. Andrew’s and St. David’s, and that will only grow as the mission proceeds.
We do anticipate another family sponsorship, through the same channels, but are told that this may take months to work through the system. We will keep everyone posted, and thanks again for your support to date. Financial contributions, through the church office or regular envelopes, are still much needed and appreciated!