Oh so sweet

“Trust is a future word.” – Father Kamal

During the Greece pilgrimage, that phrase is one that I took to heart. Fr. Kamal was sharing that, when reading scripture, we should remember that the Jews had past and present but no future. I’d learned that last summer during CPE at Hebrew Home. However, Fr. Kamal helped us better understand that there was no need for “future” because the future is always in God’s hands.

These were the best words to send me into this next portion of my pilgrimage summer. Flying into this strange place in the middle of the night…trust. Going through customs alone and without any local language skills….trust. Waiting at the “Meet and Greet” for my friend (whose cell number I do not have), alone and without local language skills….trust. The future is in God’s hands. Calm. Not a worry in the world.

Now, 48 hours later, after sleep and picking up other volunteers, we’ve set up living at the guest house and made our first village run. I can’t begin to tell you how many preconceived ideas about this area I’m anxious to shatter when I return. What I will tell you is how amazing the people here are!

They are THE KINDEST. Upon arrival, the first thing that happens is that chairs get brought out for everyone and water glasses are filled and shared. Next, espresso cups filled with Turkish coffee are distributed and there is a conversation. Only once the cups have been removed does the process of distribution begin, not before.

Those being helped are not called “refugees.” They are known as IDP’s…Internally Displaced Peoples. This village had 55 families. The children come running and gather around to receive the bags for their families. The mayor of the village has a list and calls each child by name to ensure that all receive a bag and no one is left out. Our western thinking may snark at the idea that the mayor is in charge of doing this, but the people will be in an uproar if he does not take care of the people of the village. This man has lived here his whole life and wants to ensure that each family is taken care of. It was truly remarkable.

After the first wave of distributions, we were taken for a walk around the garden where they are growing tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. The photo above shows the view of this small village garden that also includes a fig tree, pomegranate trees, cherry trees, and some kind of tree that had fruit that looked like both raspberries and blackberries. Plus, the boxes in the photo are for the honey bees that keep all of it pollinated. 

The unknown tree fruit? Sure looks like raspberries or blueberries. We were told it’s mulberry. I can’t dispute it but the darker berries are the sweetest thing I’ve ever eaten. We’d sampled a couple from the tree at the beginning of the tour of the garden. By the end, we were presented with three plates worth of washed berries that a villager had climbed the tree and picked for us!

The people we visited with today were cheerful and generous. They work hard but they also show hospitality like nothing I’ve experienced in the West. The future is in God’s hands. We are asked to live each moment as it happens. Work hard, play hard, take care of and love our neighbors…in the moment…this moment is the only one we’re given.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tries to teach us a thing or two about worrying. He sums up nicely with one of my favorite verses, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” We are each to take care of the moment that is right in front of us…deal with life as it happens. Trust is a future word because God is already there. 

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