"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

Iraq, Initially

Posted in Day-To-Day, Good Causes by matt on Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Yesterday Cayla and I went with Ruth, a PLC staffer, to visit Kurdish families in the community. Our first stop was at the home of a little girl named Heran (pictured above) who had received surgery last February but needs another one soon.

Being first time visitors, we were eager to experience PLC’s follow up process with the families of this new culture. On the practical side, these visits are for monitoring the kid’s condition pre and post op, but we also saw a relational aspect to it that goes beyond just a simple checkup or examination. We knew PLC was passionate about caring for Heran’s heart, but now we’ve seen that they’re also passionate about caring for her.

Cayla and I quickly realized that hearing about these visits and participating in them are two different things.

Our linguistic and cultural fallback is now rooted in all things Thai, so attempting to supplant that with this new strange Kurdishness proved to be more difficult than expected. Everything had become so knee-jerk. Now it’s foreign all over again.

With Thais you smile – constantly. Everyone’s smiling huge grins of approval regardless of how they feel. Here it seems like mostly only children smile, and that probably because they don’t know any better. This is a culture that’s been to hell and back, and just about everyone over the age of 35 remembers it, so smiling just isn’t very ‘in’.

But overall it was one of the many good experiences we’ve already had here. The family was extremely kind and willing to attempt communication with us. And they served grapes! It was tough to appear polite as we nearly inhaled them.

Please continue to pray for perspective and humility during our time here. We’re excited to see what God might do with us next year, but we wanna listen well to Him and to each other.

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