I had some other Iraqi friends, not mentioned in the book. I have lost contact with them but looking for them now. One snowy winter day I was driving to the elementary school to pick my daughter up and I saw a woman running through the snow, cutting through lawns, clutching her sweater close to her chest. She seemed a little desperate to me. I wasn’t sure if it was the cold snow falling or if for some other reason. Perhaps she was late or maybe her children wouldn’t expect her to come and get them and she didn’t want to miss them as they left their classes.
I pulled over close enough, rolled down the window and asked if she was alright. In a strong Arabic accent she explained that she was just going to get her children and walk home. I told her I would give them a ride home; to meet at my car after she had gotten them. Her name was Lida; a tiny Iraqi woman with three small children; two adorable dark haired girls and a boy with the same dark hair and eyes to match. They didn’t live too far from the school, still Lida was very appreciative and the children were excited. She invited us into the house and for some reason I accepted. I think we liked each other immediately. It seems like I met her mother and sister that day also. I believe they all lived together at the time. Her husband must have been at work that day. My daughter and I were served hot chocolate as we visited with our new friends.
Over the years we remained close. I remember them telling me that their mother was from Syria and at the time I didn’t realize where that was on the map. This family is a Christian family and they told me about how as children they had to hide under the tables or in the closets when Saddam Husseins’ soldiers would burst into their home and how afraid they were that they might be killed.
We know that Christians are being killed now and children beheaded by Islamic extremists. Whole groups of people are being told to either convert to Islam, leave or be killed. There are stories of men just being lined up and shot down while they take the children and women. The people are refusing to convert and are killed with no remorse. This Isis group is so extreme that the other extremists will have nothing to do with them. It is as if we are watching the words of the bible coming to life; like being played out on our big screen T.V.’s.
At some point my friend Lida moved to California and I lost contact with her. I know this family is in the U.S. because they had become citizens so I know that they are as safe as we are for now.
I know someone who returned home to Israel many years ago and I think of him and what he and his family have been facing daily. I don’t just think of these areas because I know people from there. I would be sad and concerned for these people regardless. I think of the Ukrainians, the Russians, the Ebola outbreak and other issues that are going on right now. I can only continue to pray for the human race.
I know a couple of people who don’t watch the news at all. I am a person who wants to know what is going on. I want to see what’s coming. I know most people like to read a book and then go see the movie. I rather see the movie and then read the book. In this case I know quite a bit from reading the Bible and listening to certain preachers about this new world movie that seems to be playing now. I am interested, fascinated and pray continually.