Last summer, over 1.4 million Iraqi civilians fled for their lives across the Ninevah plain. They were halted at flash checkpoints. Ordered at gunpoint to drop every possession. To walk on empty handed.

“Out of suffering have emerged
the strongest souls;
the most massive characters
are seared with scars.”
Attributed to Khalil Gibran

Suffering – childhood innocence was lost.

“I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon,” Turkish photojournalist Osman Sağırlı reported in the refugee camp.
“I realised she was terrified after I took it… because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces, or smile when they see a camera.” Not four-year-old Hudea. Hudea surrendered.

 

Strength – childhood joy is re-discovered.

After experiencing what the UN reports as crimes against humanity, these child survivors were still in shock. Stoically, they stumbled out of their dismal refugee site. Lined up. Sat down. They furtively stole glances at the young volunteers hosting their summer camp. But they wolfed down the juice and snacks. They started to reticently take part in the games. Then day by day, their trauma receded. Smiles broke out again. After three weeks, their re-discovered language of laughter filled the air.

Suffering – faithful friendships were lost.

“I had a girlfriend before I came here. All day at school we were together. We loved each other, now I only wish to see her. I don’t know where she is,” grieved ten-year-old Miriam in the shell of an unfinished mall where her family had taken refuge.

Strength – fresh forgiveness is offered.

When asked her feelings toward those who had driven her from her childhood village, sweet Miriam displayed wisdom beyond her years. “I’m just sad they drove us out of our homes. Why did they do that? I don’t want to do anything to them. Why kill them? I only ask God to forgive them.”

Suffering – stolen households, lost livelihoods, jeopardized futures.

Strength – refugee dreamers, seared with scars, taking the initiative to serve.

Dreams InDeed started accompanying and strengthening dreamers in Iraq in September 2014. Within just eight months, the lights of their dreams flickered to life in some of the hardest places on earth:

  • One dreamer recruited volunteers across sectarian lines to improve improvised shelter and run a summer camp so children of 111 marginalized tribal families could begin to recover from what the UN alleges are crimes against humanity.
  • A dreamer network mobilized local volunteers to provide emergency shelter, food, medicine, and winter clothes to over a hundred refugee families with mentally challenged children.
  • A dreamer founded a community center to provide psycho-spiritual support for mentally challenged refugees and training for their families and the volunteers sustaining their care.
  • Yet another dreamer network founded and built a school to welcome 957 refugee children to resume their education after fleeing their schools back home.


After her first two days in the new school, Miriam, one of the new pupils, said, “I want to thank those who built us a school.”
But her strength of soul was revealed in her next words. When asked what she wanted to tell people around the world, she said, “I want to tell them not to be afraid. And to love God. Why do you kill each other? Let there be love in our hearts.”

 

Dreams InDeed is committed to strengthening dreamers like these, young and old.

Strong souls are emerging out of deep suffering.

Together we can banish fear, taking ten-year-old Miriam’s encouragement to heart.

Together we can put love to work!

 

Swiss Secretariat

Dreams InDeed
Rue de Lyon 77
Geneva
CH-1203
Switzerland

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Dreams InDeed International
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We’ve got some great news to share from the Haskells!  

 However, before we jump into that, allow us to introduce ourselves as the chairs of the US and Swiss boards of directors for Dreams InDeed. 

I am
Rick Williamson, US board chair.  As a clinical psychologist, I specialize in trauma recovery and strengthening individuals and communities against stress impact. I prepare humanitarians and responders worldwide to serve effectively in harm’s way.  Over my fifteen years in this field, I’ve recognized the essential role of those special persons in every community who embrace and build up their most affected neighbors. 

I serve with Dreams InDeed not only because we engage in the world’s hard places, but we also aim to strengthen the “insider” for the truly transformative impact that the world so desperately needs. I am honored to serve along with each of you in support of the Dreams InDeed mission.

And, I am
Joe Campbell, Swiss board chair.  As a mediator in civil and political disputes, I contributed to peaceful resolution of the troubles in my home country of Northern Ireland, leading to the Good Friday Agreement.  I also mediated in Nepal alongside politicians, community activists, and church leaders in the search for a just and lasting peace. In both, I supported Dreamers and have often been a Dreamer myself. 

 

I know what it means to be affirmed and encouraged by outsiders who make it their business to be informed enablers.  That sensitive participation fosters hope amidst despair.  It is my honour to join in the crucial work of Dreams InDeed.  Together with you, I will do all I can to nurture sparks of hope into lights of joy.

Now, here is the news we just received from David and Janice in the Middle East:

 

Dear Rick and Joe, 

 

Thank you for your faithful and effective servant leadership as our US and Swiss board chairs.  We were challenged by the wisdom and faith of both boards setting such ambitious goals this year.  As our fiscal year gets underway now in July, we’re excited that strategic doors of opportunity are swinging open on every aim we agreed together!  

 

Goal: equip exemplary dreamer cases in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and East Africa.  Progress: despite escalating violence, dreamers are persevering with six initiatives among the hardest countries of the worldwide Fragile States Index.  This year, we’ll sustain both Dreams InDeed’s unprecedented regional registration and our continuing Jordan residency to strengthen these dreamers, guided by Janice.

 

Goal: research parable communications to engage closed minds via both word and deed.  Progress: The University of Oxford has approved David for doctoral field research on The Pedagogy of Parable.  To develop this Dreams InDeed training curriculum, David will shuttle between research in Oxford and case work on the ground in the Middle East.

 

Goal: research publishable Middle East cases on the transformation of pluralist conflict.  Progress: an exemplary Lebanese visionary has volunteered his civil society, public service, and business networks for rigorous field research.  Plus two Oxford professors, experts in values education and intercultural dialogue, will supervise the fieldwork.  

 

Goal: engage next-generation prospects to serve dreamers in hard places worldwide.  Progress: Kellogg College, with Oxford’s greatest number and diversity of international graduate students, has granted David membership.  Adjacent to Kellogg, Dreams InDeed has secured an operating base in Oxford for us to host and befriend global candidates.

 

Goal: expand our thought leader networks for aligned advisors and European board members.  Progress: upon review of David’s Pedagogy of Parable research proposal, six professors immediately volunteered their expertise in international development, political science, public policy, economics, leadership science, and character cultivation.

 

 

On behalf of the boards of directors of Dreams InDeed, we thank you again for journeying with us on our mission to strengthen dreamers in hard places so the poor thrive as God intended. We look forward to your continuing participation as we accelerate toward our shared vision: “a light in every hard place in our generation.”