After another week in the darkness … power was restored today! It was only for a short while, but it meant a citywide celebration. The power plant is under siege and so the problem is not solved yet. Apparently they had reached an agreement to allow the supply of electricity. But in practice, we live through entire weeks without power, interrupted by a few days of “extravagance” in which we celebrate for having 2 or 3 hours of electricity. Similar to the roar of soccer fans for a good goal scored from midfield, one hears the contagious cry of joy throughout the city when the power is restored.
Someone creative wrote the following lines which we translate from Arabic:
“The people of Aleppo are the happiest in the world:
They rejoice . . . if the power is restored!
They rejoice . . . if the water is restored!
They rejoice . . . if the internet is restored!
They rejoice . . . if the cellphone signal is restored!
They rejoice . . . if they cross the road without getting hit by a stray bullet!
They rejoice . . . if after standing in queue for 5 hours at the bakery, they succeed in buying some bread and return home safe and sound.
They rejoice . . . if a son went to college, and no missile exploded near where he was.
They rejoice . . . if they have slept during the night despite the sound of explosions.
They rejoice . . . if the night has passed and they wake up for a new day.
This people lives from joy to joy!”
Beyond the irony, it is absolutely true that these people have learned to rejoice. They have learned to thank God for what they have and appreciate as gifts of Providence all those everyday things that seem insignificant.
Missionaries in Aleppo