August 31st, 2017 – The survivors always like to bring something with them when coming to Caesarea Villa, so we give each group an opportunity to take part in Shalom House meetings we arrange for them. This means that we have several groups calling us or waiting excitedly for their next turn to come to enjoy a Shalom House with the March of Life volunteers.
Lesly, one of our volunteers, describes what happened at the most recent meeting: “This time, as soon as my friends arrived, they hugged me, kissed me and told me how much they miss us. But one of them gave me one of the best hugs and greetings I received in recent times.
I remember how hard it was for her to accept a hug, and how angry and upset she used to come to the Shalom House. We tried very hard to talk to her and to make her feel at home, but we could not reach her. On September 18th last year a German volunteer was able to break the ice. Here is the link to the Facebook post if you would like to read her story again:
After that event, we saw how she started to open up more, but I have not received a hug from her like I got last time.
It’s been almost a year since I first saw her smiling, and here she is, warmly embracing me with a big smile and telling me how much she loves to come to the Shalom House. I tried very hard not to cry when I heard her saying to a volunteer that came to help us for this meeting: “It was very difficult for me to smile. I was very upset all the time and did not allow them to come closer to me or to take pictures of me. Now, everything is okay. I love how I am always welcome in this house with a lot of love, a big smile, and a warm hug, and just because of this, I can smile again”.
Wow, this is one of the best rewards I can receive from my time in Israel! You are welcome to come and see it for yourself. We need volunteers to come to help us serve our precious survivor friends!”