What Are You Thankful For? A refugee child answers.

“What are you thankful for?” I asked little Lina, during her lunch break last week at one of the WAM sponsored feeding programs in Lebanon.  She beamed, “This sandwich!” she said, as she held up her lunch, “it is delicious, fresh, and hot!” I was a bit surprised by how excited she was; after all, it was still just a sandwich. I was curious, so I asked her why. “We never eat meat in our tent,” she replied, “and the food is usually cold.” Her answer saddened me, but did not surprise me.

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That day, I witnessed 300 Syrian refugee children enjoy a fresh warm meal, made possible only because of our donors’ generosity and support. I wish every one of you could have been there with me to experience the happiness that comes from seeing these children run, smile, laugh, and ask to take pictures together.

The 20-minute lunch break went by so fast. “Did I get enough pictures?” I wondered, “Did I interact enough with all the children? Did I make an impact?” How do you engage 300 loud happy children in 20 minutes? I wanted the school to extend the lunch-break out another 20 minutes, just so I could speak to, and play with, more of the children I hadn’t yet interacted with. 

As the teachers lined them up and walked them back to their classes, they smiled, waved, and flashed me a “thumbs up” sign. Suddenly the playground was eerily silent as I found myself alone with my thoughts and feelings. As I reflected on what I had just experienced with these children, I realized that their impact on me was stronger than my impact on them.  

As I celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I recognize how thankful I am for these children, and for what they have taught me. They are grateful for the simple things I often take for granted. I am also thankful for our partners on the front lines, who, on a daily basis, give to these special children by educating, nurturing, feeding, witnessing, and praying for them. They do all this because Jesus commands us to love our neighbors.

Finally, I would like to thank you for supporting our ministry so generously over the years. Thank you for praying for us, and for continuing to stand with us, as we witness to those who have so very little. It is because of you that we can continue to do this work. Together we are making a difference.  

From our family to yours - Happy Thanksgiving! 

- Patrick Bouchebel