Lano's Heart Surgery

northern Iraq

Lano Touches Hearts in First Minutes in Israel

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2010 - 00:00 by Jonathan Miles

I've just pulled into Jerusalem with five new Iraqi children coming for heart surgeries. I think it was maybe the most joyful border crossing we've experienced.

It was after 9 pm when we crossed the Jordan River into Israel, and the families had already been on the road for six hours. But they were laughing and happy to finally be in Israel. The star was three-year-old Lano, who has Down syndrome. She was so excited when the Israeli security man read her name from her passport that she started waving to him and crying out "Lano! Lano!"

All the Israeli border personnel couldn't help but be drawn into the warmth of this experience. As I watched them I think I caught a glimpse of what all this means to them. All their lives their relationships with their neighbors in the Middle East have been marked by fear, suspicion, and hatred. It's got to be balm for the soul to be loved and appreciated by Muslims visiting from an "enemy" state.

Tomorrow morning Lano is off to the hospital for her first exams. We'll keep this page updated as her redemption story unfolds.