There are so many stories in this one photo. It is a statement of new life and of the oppressive heat that exists in this place.
Look closely and you will see three roosters who have found relief from the heat in the shade. With daytime highs in the 110’s, we are all seeking shade. I can’t recall being in this kind of heat before. Thankfully, the humidity isn’t much more than 20%, but heat is still heat! Over the past couple of days, we have layed low due mostly to Eid but additionally to the heat. I’ll admit that all I’ve wanted to do in the heat is sleep. Like the roosters, we will make adjustments to our day. Our visits to villages and camps will take place later in the day when the heat is waning so that we do not put undue burden on the people we visit (or ourselves).
The other thing you see in this photo is new life. In the village where this was taken, there was NOTHING three years ago. The village was wiped off the map by ISIS. Forty-five families fled and returned. They have rebuilt homes and are so proud of the trees and plants that are now bearing fruit.
An arbor with grape vines to provide shade and nourishment. “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” -Isaiah 58:11
My good friend, Wadie, regularly reminds me, “If God brought you to it, God will get you through it.” Isaiah 58:11 is a reminder of God’s promise reflected in Wadie’s statement. But, being here has me reflecting on Isaiah 58 in a whole new way. In verse 12 it continues: “And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” -Isaiah 58:12
I see it here everywhere, people rebuilding lives, raising new foundations and restoring the streets to live in. Where this arbor is, the land belonged to this man’s father and he will pass it down to his children…foundations of many generations. New life returning.