So many faces.

Guisma and Marymouda (Adef Children).JPGI have all these little faces floating through my mind. The children of camp Djabal are special, just like my two little ones back home.

It’s been a rough, productive, exhausting, beautiful, sad, exhilarating trip.

I just saw little Guisma’s face on the slide-show I put together. I wonder if she thinks about her baby sister that is no longer with her.  Will Guisma’s face and body be thinner the next time we come, just like her two brothers’?

So many thoughts and emotions right now.  We are definitely not like professionals in any of the fields we somehow touch through i-ACT. We completely allow ourselves to participate in the lives of the people we come and see.  IMG_1096.JPG We do not detach ourselves.  Do we lose our perspective?  No. As my wise friend and teammate Yuen-Lin says, we gain clarity when walking on this sand.

I’ve always liked the quote: “Participate Joyfully in the Sorrows of the World.”  It seems a contradiction, but it is one big round ball of truth, when you try it.

Peace, Gabriel.

Gabriel co-founded Stop Genocide Now in 2005, which gave birth to i-ACT in 2009.

He became involved in the situation in Darfur out of a sense of personal responsibility. He believes the power of community and compassion, combined with personal empowerment, can bring about meaningful change.

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Category: Day 10: April 2 · Tags: ,

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6 Responses to “So many faces.”
  1. Gabriel,

    Love the quote.

    and this…
    “We completely allow ourselves to participate in the lives of the people we come and see. We do not detach ourselves. Do we lose our perspective? No. As my wise friend and teammate Yuen-Lin says, we gain clarity when walking on this sand.”

    I want to thank each one of you for helping me really feel the stories of the grace-embodied people of Darfur that you have met and gotten to know, and therefore we have gotten to know through your experience, heart and sharing.

    Thank you. Simply, Thank You.

    Sandra

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Sandra:
      It means so much to us to hear that our work is having the impact we hope it has. We want people to feel a little of what we feel. We want to create friendships. It’s been great having you along in this journey. I know we’ll work together on this in the near future.
      Best,
      Gabriel

  2. Teresa says:

    Hi Gabe,
    As you know I’ve been traveling several days also while you have been in Chad so I have been trying to catch up on your journey during my only down time which seems to be the wee hours of the morning before getting a few hours sleep and starting my usual hectic days. After following the 7 i-ACT’s now I do definitely feel more connected to the people we have come to know and that have shared their lives and tragic personal experiences with us in the hope that they will be heard and somebody will have the power to make a difference. My emotions are strong when seeing the faces, hearing the stories though I always feel that my contribution in making a difference is so minimal if any. However, reading Yuen-Lin’s words about being part of a chain that can lead to a larger impact I know I don’t want to be the one to break the chain so I will work at strengthening my part of that link.
    Safe travels back.
    Teresa

  3. Gabriel says:

    Hey Tere:
    These days, weeks, have been like a blur. I can’t believe I’m back in NDJ. During the trip, the team here–we often question whether people “out there” on the other side of the internet can feel at least a little of the connection we feel here with the people in the camps. I’m glad to hear that you do. It’s what our work is about, creating the connection that drives people to share a little of their time or resources. It’s been so great to have YL out here. Besides having our web-guru right next to us, we have this way-beyond his years wise man that brings such clarity to our surroundings. I hope you’re well, and we’ll see you soon, Tere!
    Hi to Charles.
    Best,
    Gabriel

  4. pam b says:

    Gabriel and the i-ACT Team, Beautiful and tragic images, just like Gabriel’s quote and reminder to us all to participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. You all are our examples of how to do this. Thank you for connecting us.
    Ever onward,
    Pam

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Pam:
      “Beautiful and tragic” describes perfectly what we encountered every day here. I wish I knew the answer for what we need to do to change the status quo in Darfur and how the world responds.

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