Joy in Place of Sadness

A few days ago I finally had a chance to visit some survivors. During my first month in the position of administrator I had been busy with office work. I had been looking forward to finally making some visits, but could not seem to find the time. Then an opportunity came to make some spontaneous visits. One of our volunteers, who is a Russian translator, has been working hard to update our lists, but there are some people that do not have a phone number listed. We decided to walk door to door according to the list so that we could request this information, which will allow us to be in further contact.

I was very nervous on my first visit because I was not sure how people would respond to us coming without setting up a visitation time. I had never done this before, so it was hard for me to know what to expect. I should not have been surprised, but God planned the perfect visit for us!

We came to the apartment of Yehuda and Rina, both survivors from Greece. Since this couple did not speak English (or Russian for that matter), it turned out that I needed to translate for our translator! We explained who we are, and if they desire we would like to maintain contact with them. They were so happy we came, and the timing was perfect! Just a few hours before there was a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. Rina, the wife, told us that she was watching the news, and so saddened by what she saw. Seeing the scene of this indiscriminate murder brought them back to the tragedies that they experienced in the Holocaust, as well as all the wars they have been through in Israel. Rina kept telling us that our visit made her happy and brought her out of a state of sadness. She also reiterated that our desire to listen and just be with them is such an expression of love. As we left, they hugged and kissed us, inviting, and in fact insisting, that we come back anytime.

I left this short visit in awe. I was amazed at how something so simple could be so meaningful. I kept thinking to myself, we did not really do anything. Yet this is not how this couple viewed us. They saw our hearts and were touched. This experience reminds me of the impact we can make in peoples lives, and the value of simply showing them we care.

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