After an increase in COVID-19 infections in Palestine, Jericho is back under lockdown as the government works to curb the spread of the virus. For Seeds of Hope, that means our community outreach and humanitarian support is more important than ever.
We just completed an incredibly successful food distribution project earlier this summer and we’re working to secure the funding to repeat the project to address the extensive waiting list that has developed. But even in the midst of continued unemployment and dire situations for so many of our neighbors, we have hope in seeing the bridges that are being built.
On a home visit to distribute food coupons, Yara Abedrabbo, our Director of Finance, had an impactful interaction with a local family. In Muslim culture, adult women keep their hair covered and dress conservatively. The children in the home Yara visited had never seen an adult woman in short sleeves with her head uncovered. “They were touching my hair to see if it was real!” Yara remembers. “We were all laughing together. It was the highlight of my day, to give them that joy and amusement.”
On the surface, it was a funny interaction that shows the curiosity of children, but if you look a little deeper, it’s evidence of the heart behind all that we do at Seeds of Hope. For this family to come face to face with another culture was inevitable, but for it to be an experience of joy and laughter and love is exceptional.
Especially for Muslims, encountering people or places that are representative of “western culture” is so often a threatening or adversarial interaction. But not only was Yara welcoming to the children, she was there to drop off food coupons that the family desperately needed.
When we serve and support our neighbors in need, it’s not just putting food on the table or helping with a medical diagnosis. We’re building a bridge across our community that tells our Muslim neighbors that they are safe, they are welcome at Seeds of Hope, and they are loved.