I really appreciated this update from our teammates Kent & Myrna.  Please read:

The definition for despair is: 1) To lose all hope; 2) To be overcome by a sense of futility or defeat…  More and more we are seeing refugees who are “living lives of quiet desperation” (Henry David Thoreau).   A few days ago at our family meal and outreach, I sat with a family who have two children.  Their son is one of my favorites – a very sweet boy, who likes to tease me about my poor Farsi.  After dinner the mom was standing outside on the balcony with her son and daughter.  She was looking down to the street as the traffic went by.  Susie [a teammate] stepped out to speak with her.  She told Susie that if she didn’t have two children to care for she would jump in front of one of the buses as they went by.  I had no idea.  A life of quiet desperation.

“A” a woman with five children to care for gets up early each day to take her older children to school and then goes to work cleaning apartment buildings for little pay.  She struggles every day to keep her children fed and to have a place to sleep.  Often her heroin-addicted husband comes home at two or three in the morning and he wakes her up to cook food for him in the middle of the night.  He is sometimes abusive and she is afraid.  A life of quiet desperation.

“L,” a journalist who wrote a book on human and women’s rights, has a death warrant on his head.  He fled his country and has not seen his wife and children in two years.  As he sat on our couch recently, he began to weep when I asked about them.  A life of quiet desperation.

Many young Afghan men left their homes after being denied an education because they were the wrong ethnic group.  They spend their days living in the park,  walking around from place to place to get food.  They feel they are wasting their lives and there is no end in sight.  Lives of quiet desperation.

Families that are separated as one parent takes some of the children and goes to another  country hoping for asylum and to be able to send for the rest of the family.  An almost blind grandmother caring for her grand daughter whose parents have moved on and no longer want her.  A child left to live with relatives or friends or even worse, on their own, as parents break up the family in hopes of moving on.  Lives of quiet desperation.

… We do what we can to ease their way – we give out groceries, we give out clothes, we listen to them, cry with them, pray for them.  In the end there is little we can do to change their circumstances.  But we can offer hope.  Hebrews 6:18-19 says “God did this so that… we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”  In a world where nothing is secure we need an anchor.  

Read the entire update here.

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