"For one human to love another is the true joy!"
Today, I had the honor of sitting with 3rd Person Inc., an organization doing incredible, thoughtful and meaningful work with refugees and those on the margins in Amman, Jordan. This area of the world is still very new to me and I was grateful to learn more about the realities of our refugee brothers and sisters. I am compelled to share what I learned.
Abu Salaah welcomed us warmly into his family home, now in East Amman, but their real home is Aleppo, Syria. We’ve heard of that city from headlines over the past 4 years, but what we don’t know, or rather, WHO we don’t know are the faces, the names and the stories behind the sterilized numbers that have scrolled across our screens.
An experienced farmer by trade, Abu Salaah and his family were forced from Aleppo and made their way through the country looking for safety. When it couldn’t be found, they arrived in Jordan by way of Lebanon. But Abu didn’t make this tedious journey alone — he was accompanied by his wife, children and elderly mother. They are a family with eight surviving children, their oldest son having passed away to an illness.
Abu Salaah’s background as a farmer doesn’t come as a benefit here in Jordan, as farmland is hard to find within the capital city. When he first came to Amman, there was some work, but things have drastically changed. You can see his determination to do whatever it takes to feed, shelter and clothe his family.
There’s a kind, weathered and yet hopeful look in his eyes as we discuss how the heart must be prepared like soil for a good crop. This wasn’t a transactional experience, it was transformational for each of us drinking coffee together as we sat on cushions. I could see his desire for his wife and children to be cared for and have the opportunity to grow up in a world where being a Syrian refugee wasn’t their only label. I could see the hopes, dreams and pride he had for his family.
The conversation was led with such dignity, mutuality, encouragement and hope - that when it was time to leave, I felt like I was leaving a relative’s home. As he thanked us for coming, I grasped his hand and couldn’t help but feel an electric current from him as he said, "For one human to love another is the true joy!”
How do we love one another? We show up with our presence. We fight past our fears and insecurities and we sit together. We have tea, coffee and conversations around the table whether they are filled with laugher, tears or a combination of both.
To learn more about how 3rd Person Inc. and their commitment to rewrite the stories of people in poverty in this region, please visit www.3rdpersoninc.org