Saturday, April 26, 2008

Laisser venir a moi les petits enfants !

Yes I am a disillusioned Christian who has secured (according to the church) a front row seat in the kingdom of hell; I proclaim out loud that I am closer to God than the Pope will ever be.

Lost in the meanderings of religious teachings, and a spoon fed faith in my early years, I can now affirm that I am a better Christian than most of the men of the cloth I have had the misfortune to encounter.
Born in the Biblical land of milk ad honey; I have witnessed suffering inflicted by “the people of the book”. I have seen holy men act against their vows, and I have bared witness to the repercussions.
I even came to question God’s wisdom and his very existence. I even used such doubts as an excuse to my misdeeds.
I might have embarked on the wrongful path for a while, but found it not so fulfilling; on the contrary it brought me closer to understand my own spirituality.
Finally I can rest my weary head to sleep at night; not because I have changed in my convictions; but for I have encountered pure innocence.
Innocence that stemmed from the eyes of a deprived child; a child that did not even ask to be born. Not even an orphan, but a child that was abandoned by his own parents for some lame excuse. A child that will cling on to any iota of TLC a stranger could provide. A child willing to prostitute a smile for time spent even pretending that you care.
In this Biblical (my foot) land of milk and honey, we have forgotten the mission that was bestowed upon us (us children of the book, and not only Christians) to love and help one another; and yet we criticize the west and their (loose) values.

In a small village in Bikfaya called village ---…--- I found refuge. And moreover I found myself.
I have found a sense a being and belonging within the eyes of those, not only less fortunate but those who enjoy a “joie de vivre” second to none; for they do not know any better (and that is a shame). A community populated on an average of 85% of destitute, abandoned, orphaned, forgotten children; being taken care of by volunteers who are not foreign to their plights.
Yes you can go incognito and donate outgrown clothes and toys, and pretend that you have moved one step closer on the ladder to paradise. But if you ever have the courage to meet the kids; you are hooked for life.
Never (even with your own flesh and blood) would you see such happiness, love and gratitude than you would see at the “village S.O.S” or any other organization of the sort.
When you feel that life is pulling you down and you are down on your luck, take the trip and go and visit those who are less fortunate, it is cheaper than a therapist; and the ripple effects are much wider.



mc said...

J'ai failli t'appeller ce matin parce que tu aimes tout le monde...

Belle expérience à SOS village, mais il faut du courage !!!

Marillionlb said...

We go there every week-end, it is a breath of fresh air in this troubled time. You should try it if you have the time.

mc said...

may be I will try...

you will tell me more this summer when I will taste the "ceviche" :-)

frenchy said...

SOS village est une belle initiative mais ne faudrait cependant il pas redonner à ses enfants de vrais familles et non une famille de substitution?

Il y a certes le concept de famille, avec une mère et des enfants, mais la figure paternelle me semble manquer.

Cela amène aussi la question de l'adoption, chose impossible dans l'état au Liban, pour des raisons non pas sociales mais religieuses.

La religion ... une nouvelle fois qui nous limite

PS: encore une nouvelle fois merci pour cette belle soirée lors de mon dernier séjour au Liban :)

Marillionlb said...

@ Frenchy,

Like I said most of the kids at the VILLAGE are not orphans, they are simply abandoned (and abuse). The women in each house try their best to play the role of a mother, but like you said the father figure is mostly missing. It brings me great joy every week when I visit, and I do believe that I am making a difference in their lives, my son's and mine.
As for adoption, Lebanon has offered another alternative, that of selling unwanted kids mainly to foreigners (documented in foreign press).
Next time you are back home do drop me a line so that we can meet again.

Delirious said...

I thought we needed a special authorization to visit the kids and be in contact with them...

A few years ago, my friend was the president of a Leo club which took in charge one of the kids there. The kid needed help with homework, and I went there a couple of times to tutor him. He was hyperactive, didn't sit still for a second, it seemed all he and the other kids with him wanted was attention and TLC. Then my friend left the club, and we didn't pursue it any further. I regret it now.

What days and times do you go?

Marillionlb said...

3 of the 5 kids we take care of are very hyper and cannot stand still. The youngest is very often rushed to hospital for stiches and brusing.
I usually go every saturday after my son finishes his conservatoire, and if work allows on wednesday afternoon. If you would like to check it out one day feel free to call me (Nat and David) have my number, and you can join us.

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