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Michigan, USA –The Chaldean community has seen horrible devastation as Chaldeans are again persecuted for their Christian faith. Nonetheless, Chaldeans remain unwavering and continue marching towards their faith amidst distressing struggles.
“The pain we feel is hard,” says Husam Bodia. “Our people have been ripped apart for believing in Jesus Christ. Our women and children have been thrown to wolves; the men tortured and killed. No matter. We will not turn away from our faith. Thank God our church remains. Our Church is saving our people and our way of life. It is a cold glass of water in the desert.”
Bodia, like many other Chaldeans celebrate the Chaldean Church’s leadership in reaching out to the injured and needy. “Our prayers have been answered. We have more priests and deacons ordained than at any time in our history,” Bodia adds that the most recent ordination being Fr. Fawa Kako.
Kako’s ordination marks another example of the Chaldean Churches in America dramatic and bold steps in serving the community. Chaldean religious leaders across America have been tirelessly working to organize and prepare for the care and comfort of those in need.
California, USA – Senseless death after senseless death rocks the Chaldean community. From news of loved ones murdered for their religion in Iraq, refugees able to escape the religious persecution are forced into subhuman conditions and feared dead, and in America as the economic toll of the country takes its course, Chaldeans remain especially vulnerable to robbery, mayhem, and murder.
For a culture with strong family relations, the devastation is catastrophic. “Chaldeans value their family relationships,” says Raymond Bahri, a Michigan social worker. “They tend to come from a large family and pull their resources together to survive. The family traditions and get-togethers like birthdays, communions, and graduations are widely celebrated as feasts.”
Perhaps that is why the pain of losing a loved one to a senseless murder over money is so devastating to the Chaldean community. “Something as priceless as the family relationship being ripped apart by murder is shocking,” adds Bahri. “It breaks my heart to learn of the murder.”
Recently a friend of mine joined me at my cousins wedding. Besides the number of guests, decorations, and non-stop dancing do you know what surprised my friend? That we ate dinner at 10 pm in the evening
It goes without saying that Chaldeans on average get anywhere from 5-7 hours of sleep a night. Long hours in the family business and events that span into the wee hours leave little time for bed time. Some are impressed that Chaldeans can function at such an intense level with so little rest. It may be impressive, but that doesn’t make it good for us.
A June 2010 Newsweek article entitled “The Surprising Toll of Sleep Deprivation”, discusses a research study that only allowed participants 6 hours of sleep per night for a two week period. The study found that even though the subjects felt some sleepiness and “they thought they were functioning normally, formal testing showed that their cognitive abilities and reaction times progressively declined over the two weeks. By the end of the two week test, they were as impaired as subjects who had been continuously awake for 48 hours”.
When you look at these results, it’s very clear that many Chaldeans would be performing even better if they had more sleep.
Let me begin by sharing my deepest and most heartfelt gratitude to all the wonderful e-mails shared with me by readers of my articles. As I have written to some of you, please join me by sending me your ideas or writing for this wonderful website. It is a blessing that it is available and hopefully other courageous writers will contribute an article about their profession, passions, or points of views.
I am sorry it has taken so long to write more articles as the winding down of another semester, caring for some elderly relatives, and helping my dad find a job, has kept me quite occupied. My family has hit a financial snag when my father was laid off from work. I share this not to endear any readers, that is the furthest from my mind, but to share a personal reflection that has given rise to today’s article. Thankfully dad was able to find another job, but he now has to drive nearly two hours one way.
I mention this to highlight another reason why I love my dad so much; his optimism born from his faith. When I tried to empathize with his ordeal of a long travel and less pay he smiled and said, “brronee (son), I listen to your Ipod (after I showed him how to connect it to the car, he is infatuated with the device and has adopted it as his own), pray an extra rosary, and enjoy your mother’s bag of fresh fruit and vegetables; I am even more blessed now. God always knows better, I just enjoy the ride.”