The refugee camps had been devastated by unprecedented flooding. Homes were gone. Buildings were down. Shops had collapsed. Everything was changed. Large ponds now covered the Sahara sands.
It was shocking to see the disaster that people with so little were now dealing with. What will the future hold? How do you rebuild when you have nothing?
As regular visitors, we wondered what would now change in life as we’d always known it there.
Seeing the concern in our eyes, our old Saharawi friend gently, simply said, “Don’t worry.
We are your refuge.”
Another checkpoint stop. Another middle-of-the-night flight to catch. Another long, lonely stretch of travel beginning. Alone in the truck, while the driver shared tea in the cooler night air, I felt the loneliness, the weariness, swelling in my heart.
A soldier emerged from inside the checkpoint and strode toward me. A passport check? A flashlight scan?
Through the open window, he handed me a cold, sweating bottle of water. A smile, and he was gone.
I was not alone. God’s care and love, in unlikely form, turned my sadness into sweet rest and reassurance. He was there.
Heavy rainfall pounding on tin roofs for the seventh day. Extremely rare in this vast desert. Muddy bricks shrinking, dissolving. Walls will move….fall. A nearby scream compels neighbors to bundle necessities and run to higher ground. The sound of falling walls, bending sheets of tin, shouting voices all announce that struggling survival will have to begin again.
Yet, in the midst of the chaos…the devastation, there are tiny cries of new life. Babies are born. Life will go on. Neighbor helps neighbor. No one is alone. The old tents return to their ancient roles of shelter…..of family….of heritage.
Beauty of hearts and spirits continue to bloom in the desert.