[Sayma-Discuss] FW: Blessings, Joys and Open Hearts

Charles Schade c.vmbra at frontier.com
Fri Dec 21 14:21:03 EST 2012

Thought Friends might be interested in this testimonial.  By the way, does
anyone in Nashville know of the "young man" in question?  If he's not
involved with Friends, perhaps he might want to be.  Shan did not provide a
name--possibly for confidentiality (Somalia is a dangerous place and he
might have relatives there).  


From: Sheena Hendon [mailto:SHendon at afsc.org] On Behalf Of Shan Cretin
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2012 9:26 AM
To: Shan Cretin
Subject: Blessings, Joys and Open Hearts
Importance: High

Dear Corporation Members,


As this year draws to a close, I have been reflecting on how difficult it
can be to experience joy or feel blessed when the world is a swirl of
sorrows and suffering for so many people.  Then, at an unlikely moment,
something happened tonight that made me smile, made me especially grateful
for the people I am so privileged to work with.


Ralph Medley and I were in the Training Room on the lower level of our
Philadelphia offices, finishing up an end of year conference call with
perhaps as many as 60 AFSC supporters.  I had spoken about our work around
the world and several callers had asked questions or made comments.  We were
about to end the call when a young man suddenly chimed in, "Can I talk?  I
only have 10 minutes on my break."  "Sure," we said.  "Go ahead." 


And the young man told his story.  He was born in Somalia and went to a
refugee camp in Kenya when he was ten. While there he encountered AFSC. In
2009 and 2010 he took part in an AFSC training for young people at the camp
and it changed his life.  He was so pleased and excited as he told us about
the training. Not only did it change him and the others who participated,
but the atmosphere in the whole camp was transformed! Now he is 21, living
in the Nashville for six months, but he wanted to find AFSC, to meet us, to
thank us, to encourage us to do more trainings for Somali youth here in the
US, too.


I don't know how the young man found us tonight, but it was surely a
blessing and a joy to have this unexpected testament to the wonderful work
being done by our staff in Africa. I know from my travels that there are
hundreds of people, young and old, who are touched by our work every day.
Thanks to this young man, my heart was soon filled with echoes of inspiring
stories I've heard from AFSC offices across the US and around the world.


So with a newly opened heart, I want to thank you all for your care and
support for the Service Committee this past year. Through your service as
volunteers, you are all working every day to bring hope and joy to a world
that is too often in pain.  Thank you for allowing me to serve with you!


Wishing you and your families abundant love and joy in this holiday season
and in the coming year!


Yours in peace and service,



Shan Cretin

General Secretary

American Friends Service Committee

1501 Cherry Street

Philadelphia, PA 19130

Tel: (215) 241-7074

SCretin at afsc.org



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