I have a term I use to describe some people that I meet. I call them “heart friends”. Those kind of people that within seconds of talking with them you just know from the warmth of their heart, the compassion of their spirit and the hope they can always inspire no matter what the circumstances will make them a friend for life.
My “heart” friend and valued colleague Yara Raad is one such person. Yara is currently working in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and shared with me a very personal reflection on why she does what she does. She has graciously allowed me to share this with you on this World Humanitarian Day.
They call them humanitarian workers
“When every morning, your first thought, prayer and wish are for them and, about them. When seeing them smiling, even once, everyday, makes your day.
When every sunshine is a new chance to make their life better and their beautiful tomorrow a reachable dream. When you’re always wanting to help them all. All of them, wherever they are.
When you feel that you are not doing much to them, to their lost childhood and you try harder and harder and, harder again.
When you never get tired, never get bored and never want to stop doing what you do.
When this feeling of being satisfied is always linked to how satisfied they are. When your heart aches for their stories that take you back to your deepest depths thinking, what else can be done?
What else must be done?
When they smile at you and your heart smiles. When you see their tears and your soul cries. When water, food, education, money and health are not words anymore; when those become a prayer, your daily prayer.
When all your friends are looking for their children names, and you looking where to go next and which children to help.
When the best gift ever is a new donor, a new project and more funds.
When the nights you don’t sleep, wanting to draw brighter days to those who have no place to sleep.
When your first and last wishes are to bring smiles and to save lives. When you are never ever effortless because their pictures, their voices and their stories become your caffeine.
When you go look for them and you find them looking for you. When you see the future sparkling in their eyes. When with all what their pain they still smile, give, laugh and love.
When they tell you that when counting their blessings, they do count you as one.
When Arka, Rinia, Ali, Maryam and Ghadi become your beautiful story and you become their words, and their voice.
When in every part of the world you have left a part of your heart, an echo of a laughter and a drop of a tear. When your country becomes your “first” home, but never again your only one.
When Calixte, Karen, Mahmoud, Dwayne, Sawsan and Kevin are not only colleagues at work but your new big family; with them you grow and you learn. Together, you endure and you achieve.
When no religion, nor color, nor language ever, counts nor means, anymore.
When you feel that nothing in this life is better than this “job” you do. When this “job” is no more a job but a faith, a joy. A life.
When you are being God’s tool in their journey. When you feel that He is always next to you and whatever happens, He will always hold your hand to help you serve the most vulnerable..
When you pray, you know He is there listening, whispering promises of always being by your side, to help you do more, much more. When your heart is full of joy by just waking up and knowing that you are serving those in need for another day.
When you know that the humanity will never be lost because “you” will never stop being its first advocate. When all your heart, mind and soul are set to be wiping tears, drawing smiles and spreading love.
When you look up high and you see the skies smiling at you, thanking you for being who you are; for trying your best to make this world a better place.
When all these “whens” make you want to live forever to keep doing what you do. When your days and your nights are worth living…
Only then, you know that life in its fullness exists and is worth to be lived and shared; only then you know that yes, humanity depends on you; on the human in you.
Only then you know that you were born to live to be the one you are today – a servant of the lost humanity – one of God’s angels in these people’s lives.
These angels have names. They call them humanitarian workers.
Yara Raad has worked World Vision’s humanitarian emergencies in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Africa.