Exciting things are happening! Kevan’s book — We Carry Kevan was JUST released yesterday! Please go to your nearest Barnes and Nobles and buy his book! You will find it in the new release section!
This week’s organization is: Alhadaf
It was almost exactly three years ago when I receive this text:
“While you’re in Jordan, you should meet with Allen with Partners and Maran. She is a friend of [your coworker].”
This message came as I was feverishly working to compile our travel schedule to Ammon, Jordan. My team had back to back conferences on opposite coasts, and another oversees trip two weeks after our Jordan trip. I was overwhelmed but I knew the importance of these meetings.
The trip to Jordan was life altering on several levels. One because that trip personally caused me to evaluate my job, and because meeting Maran and seeing her organization permanently marked me.
Maran ma’ay’ah abujaber is the founder and CEO of Alhadaf. Alhadaf’s mission is: To inspire children and their families, placed in the Kingdom of Jordan and are affected by the world’s injustice, to achieve positive change in their lives.
Alhadaf does just that. They work primarily with Iraqi refugees who had to flee because of ISIS. They do art therapy, offer limited medical assistance, provide meals, haircuts and opportunities to learn and grow. Ultimately, they help reestablish dignity after many of the refugees were left with just the clothes on their backs.
Here is some of their art therapy. The picture on the right is what the one child drew right after they escaped ISIS. The left is what that same child drew several months after doing art therapy and working with some of Alhadaf’s employees. Each employee is a certified PTSD counselor.
Maran and her team breathe compassion. They strive to be a firm foundation. A stepping stone towards healing for each person who comes to Alhadaf.
While I was in Jordan, Maran took us to an apartment where (if my memory serves me right) five refugee families were sharing one apartment. Their faces are ones I cannot forget.
There was a hollowness in their eyes — a hollowness that I had never seen before. They were still in shock, numb, seemingly lifeless. But, they were grateful for Maran. Alhadaf was their only silver lining.
I asked Maran to write on what fears she has faced since starting Alhadaf. This is what she shared with me:
Christi, the fear of failure is something I’ve struggled with especially coming from a household of all girls, as well as living in an Arabic country. I always had this feeling my sisters and I were not strong enough because we are women. So, I always feared that.
That feeling was overwhelming. Several times, I had to go to the people around me to encourage me to try my best to fight that fear. That is until God talked
to me through the story of Ruth. He told me not to worry about being a woman,
or belong to a certain tribe, or, about coming from a house of all girls. He said, “You are strong in Me! Like Ruth and Naomi. When Ruth went to another place, she began to understand her identity: Your God is my God and that’s where my strength is — in my God.”
I would say that my continuous fear is that because I work among orphans and refugees — specifically Iraqi refugees— The funds are very low and limited. There are lots of times that I fear losing my vision because I need funds. This is something I always struggle with. But eventually I came up with a strong strategy that God called me to. And just because I have limited funds— God reminds me that in my weakness He is strong. This
helped me worked around my fear— knowing that God will provide.
I have another fear. The fear of
not being there for my kids because of the number of hours I need to put in because of the amount of work there is to do. The fear of not being the
perfect mom. So, I’ve lowered my standard a bit, and it’s okay if I am not perfect all the time. I realized I don’t have to be perfect. That helped me deal with that particular fear.
As you see, I have lots of fears that I had to go through. I also struggle with anxiety. I do all I can to lower my anxiety. But I just take step at a time, one day at a time, one year at a time, and in my weakness, I remember He is strong.
Maran is truly the real deal. She has the biggest heart. She gives all she can to everyone around her no matter what they might look like, or what their status is. She is a woman of conviction and of action. It is truly an honor to know her! To learn more about Maran and her work, please go to www.Alhadaf.org.
Maran and her husband Emil, have three beautiful boys. They currently live in Jordan and have dedicated their lives to others. If you would like to help Maran and her organization, she will be in the States later this month so she will be able to receive donations easier than a wire transfer. Please contact me via email or via the comments so I can help arrange this. Thank you!