PRAISE GOD FOR FAMILY REUNIONS
Whenever I dwell upon the love and strong bonds between people in the “good old days,” the first feeling that springs to my mind is JOY! Pure joy!
I recall the first time I heard from my Grandmother in details about our ancestors. She said that our great grandparents came from Syria. They were descendants of skilful fabric merchant immigrant
In the year 1905, some of them took their trade of fine Brocade and silk industry with them as they immigrated to North and South America. A few others settled in North East Africa, precisely in the Sudan and Egypt where our God had graciously opened wide, welcoming doors for them.
“Did you know the number of those who left Syria at the same time?” Grandma quizzed me candidly. Then, seeing my lack of information, she answered, “they were forty-two young men. Your grandfather Anton, and one brother Nicolas and their sister Olga were among them”
“How about the rest of grandpa’s two brothers and one sister? Why did they not join them in the same country” I sadly asked with loud-thumping heart beats.
“It was decided by the brothers. Every few relatives chose a different nation in which to go and live. According to our customs, the sisters had no way to object or refuse. They simply followed without giving their personal opinions.”
Even then, as a child, I knew the meaning of the word “separation.” I too, was once subjected to leave my two brothers and two sisters from a very early age. I was destined to submit to my father’s will. He insisted I had to go to the American College in Egypt to further my education.
Along the years I kept inquiring from my Aunts and Uncles about their siblings. This is the story they recounted to me.
My relatives, those Middle Eastern immigrants, were great God-fearing Christians. They settled down in their new life wherever the Lord led them. After a year or two had passed, the brothers and sisters discovered that they were missing each other terribly. They wrote letters to one another and decided to schedule a time to meet.
They traveled by boat to Cairo. There, for a complete month, the families held the most astounding family reunions in those days of great simplicity and ease. These meetings were carried on during the summer of every year. They willingly chose to get together and recompense themselves for their forced separation. They tasted how, after an extended absence, the great longing did bring forth the gushing fountains of tears. Then their hearts overflowed with the greatest JOY!
I feel I can now sit for endless hours praising God for the genuine happiness which overpowered the life of those families after returning to their everyday life. In my heart, I imagine them during the following months after the reunion. I am positive each one became immensely refreshed through those delightful, ever-to-be-cherished encounters with their sweetest memories!
Every time I read Genesis 45:1 (KJV) I am reminded of the story of my ancestors with their brothers and sisters that touched my heart exceedingly.
For similarly, in the opening words of that chapter this is written: “Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him and he cried.”
“Our Heavenly Father: May all Glory be to Your Name forevermore, for granting Your children to experience all the joy You have promised them in Your Word....Amen”
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