The time I was invited to a Picnic by a stranger

“I have only returned to Lebanon 10 years ago with my wife and children. Before that, we have lived in so many places in the States, South America and Europe. I have lived in 14 different countries around the world. Now I feel content in Lebanon especially being able to help as many Syrian refugees as possible. I have started my own charity organisation where we help more than 100 Syrian families by sending them monthly food supplies and opening schools for the children. We just sent July’s supply last week and I couldn’t be happier. We also go to Syria as much as we can to help around 800 Syrian refugees in need there. Unfortunately, it is not as easy and safe, last year we went 13 times but this year we went 7 times so far, which I’m very glad of. Helping people gives me an immense feeling of fulfilment and joy.
22 years ago, I decided to leave everything behind and follow Jesus Christ. He was there with us when my wife got burned. When my son was on the brink of death and we had no money to get him the treatment he needed. Now I feel better than ever all thanks to him. Coming to Lebanon was a great choice knowing I can be a good role model to my children and myself, and knowing that I can help people here. We all go through bad times in our lives and we keep on believing that we’re barely surviving, but God always says ‘that they may have life and have it more abundantly’ and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Pastor George and his beautiful wife Ann have invited me and more than 60 people from different countries to a beautiful picnic, offering hospitality that varied from a wonderful lunch feast to fruits and desert. Not only that, but we also were surrounded by the beautiful nature of Hammana and the beautiful presence of the pastor. He talked about adversities and opportunities, about gratitude and seeking god’s hand of help.
Pastor George did not know the people he invited, it was the first time I meet him at the picnic. We were all strangers to each other. But he believed in the pure human bond between people, regardless of their backgrounds and religions.

I am more than honoured to have met such an amazing person and to have the opportunity to start working with him to help Syrian refugees. But most importantly I am extremely glad I could share his story with the world hoping that he might inspire people to better themselves and to be more accepting of one another.

I document my own story through the story of others. You can find more beautiful faces of smaller stories on my Instagram @Byzantinae where I document the everyday life of people.

IMG_1050[Pastor George and his beautiful wife Ann]

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