The month of June brought with it warm summer days, and a special addition to our community from the shores of Stolkholm, Sweden. Tara Azizi (second from right below) became the very first Kurdish volunteer to serve with us in Jerusalem.
Having heard of Shevet in Sweden last year, Tara later shared that she felt compelled to come. I was excited to greet her at the airport, my heart full of questions and anticipation. People from all over the world have come to share in the work here, but Tara was unique. Someone from within the culture we typically welcome as our honored guests was, instead, coming to work side by side with us. After a prolonged security check at Ben Gurion, Tara still bore a gracious spirit and a beautiful smile. We embraced her as our friend and sister, and, likewise, she accepted us as family. For the next three weeks, Tara poured her life into this ministry, blessing our staff and Kurdish families both in home and hospitals. Whether it was helping with translation, counseling a distressed mother, or contributing to our morning meetings, Tara endeared herself to us. Something that made a significant impact during her stay was her ability to communicate deeper matters of the heart in Kurdish. On several occasions, Tara was able to articulate scriptural truths of God’s love with the mothers that we felt impressed to share. Moreover, Tara offered us a rare opportunity to learn by sharing personal insights into the Kurdish culture that will help us serve our families better. For this, we are truly thankful! During her last evening with us, we gathered in the Shevet garden for a special farewell. Several of us expressed how poignant and beautiful her time of service was to our community. “I know this is a gift from God,” Tara responded. We couldn’t agree more. The greatest gift God has given us is His perfect love, and for a season, we experienced this through the life of our dear sister Tara.