30 Shades of Beige (& Blue)

It’s harvest season here. The wheat has been cut down in the fields and is being brought in. On our way to our lodging on Friday, there was a section of highway that had at least five miles worth of semis lined up along the highway just waiting to be loaded with the wheat. Everywhere we look is golden beige, either from the grain or from the baked soil in the current heat. It is amazing to think that everywhere that we see gold was green just a few months ago!

There is a lot of green here. Something I didn’t expect. In fact, much of the landscape reminds me of Iowa…but with a mountain range. As the daughter of a former farmer, and the fact that it’s Father’s Day in the US, I’ve thought a lot about my Dad and his family’s farm that I visited when I was little. I remember that the work was hard, but I don’t know if it was as hard as it can be for those that are in these small villages.

While we were distributing relief packages to the 57 families here, this man was busy separating the wheat from the chaff. To run this machine, he had cables going from his tractor’s battery to run the generator to produce electricity to power this piece of equipment with a power cord! Where there is a will, there is a way!

The machine breaks the wheat down and the good portion goes into the wheelbarrow and the chaff goes into the white bags. The wheelbarrow is periodically emptied onto a mound on the left and the chaff is emptied onto another mound. It was fascinating to watch him do his job!!

Again, we sat down with the Muktah (mayor) first. Water, followed by tea, followed by water, followed by waiting, followed by a discussion of the community’s needs, followed by Arabic coffee (do not call it Turkish coffee here), followed by distribution, followed by water and an offer to take us to the ancient portion of this village which dates back to before the time of Christ!

The reading for today’s morning prayer included the Parable of the Lost Sheep from Matthew 18:10-14. I have a new appreciation for that parable both from this area (the flats and the mountains) and from Petra. Finding AND retrieving one lost sheep is a remarkable undertaking in these conditions. This is how important each of us is to God! This is why I am here. These people are God’s sheep also…and they need our assistance and to know that they have not been forgotten.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who take care of their children. Each one of us deserves to know that we are loved and worthy of love. Thank you to those who do an amazing job of making sure that happens!

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