Looking at Khonav now, I find it hard to believe she’s the same person who arrived here a couple of months ago. I still remember the kind, but quiet Khonav I met on that first Sunday morning; she had an obvious blue tinge to her skin tone and could only walk a short distance before exhaustion hit. Before her surgery, her energy levels were so low we had to take the car for the 30 second drive to the beach. This all seems worlds away from the Khonav we now have at Jaffa. Her energy is increasing every day, and with it her confidence and joyful spirit. More and more, despite the language barrier, we are seeing her beautiful personality shine through – her sense of humor, her creativity, and her care for those around her.
This past week we have had so much fun. From doing jigsaw puzzles to drawing on the windows with special window pens, Khonav is up for anything. Although I love seeing the way she approaches everything with so much enthusiasm, what has really encouraged me has been watching the way she draws the other children into activities. It is really valuable for children like seven year-old Ramyar to have an older role model like Khonav to look up to.
The families have a favorite board game that brings out the competitive side in everyone; since Khonav explained the rules, even the mums love it and take it very seriously. Almost every day, Khonav and Ramyar insist that we play – sometimes for hours on end. Today however, co-worker Markus had another idea. Equipped with various stationary supplies we decided to make our own board games instead. Khonav and Ramyar quickly got involved and even made dice to go with them.
Yesterday, we made the most of the sunshine and had an art session out on the balcony – everyone got involved! Khonav carefully painted a beautiful Kurdish flag and wrote “love” above it. She really loves her country and the people there. She’s always calling her friends back home and sending them lot of photos – I’m sure she misses them a lot. It really touches me to see this relational side of Khonav; she cares a lot about the people around her. She’s been constantly asking after our German volunteers who returned home last week; the love they showed her has obviously had a huge impact. This is a real testimony to how God uses our relationships here.
When I think of Khonav I think of 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here!” Just as she has experienced the physical transformation after her surgery, I pray that she would experience the spiritual transformation brought by being in Christ. Please keep praying for her as she waits for her final echo.