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Dreams InDeed International
Post Office Box 30730
Phoenix, Arizona   85046-0730
Overcoming Evil With Good
Overcoming Evil With Good
Sowing Seeds of Peace.
Building Trust With Living Stones.
Injecting Hope through Values in Action.
Enduring Sacrifice as an Act of Passion
Special Note of Thanks
Thai hostel children standing on bamboo log

In our last letter, we were against some stiff odds as we sought to support another passionate dreamer in a country disintegrating into conflict, Thailand.  Our aim was to raise $14,700 in a month.  We saw your sacrifice as we met that goal together.

Thank you!

Join in overcoming evil with good:

1.  Make a donation. 
2.  Forwarding this email to a colleague asking them to join you. 
3.  Become informed through Dreams InDeed's Web Site.

Also Featured

Artist in wheelchair
Read about another dreamer who is  Restoring the Unseen Beauty of the Broken

With a nervous Lebanese taxi driver at the wheel, we headed into the unknown at night. 


David and I had assured John, our board chair, that we'd play his visit to Lebanon safe.  But we should have known better.  We called one of our wilder dreamers when we touched down in Beirut.  After David snapped his cell phone closed, he said, "Melhem insists we come straight to him immediately, now!"


"Now?  It's after 9 pm!  Where does he want us to come?" I exclaimed. 


"He wouldn't explain.  He just said to tell the driver to take us to Bourj Abu Haidar."


So we jumped into a taxi.  When we asked for Bourj Abu Haidar, the driver seemed anxious.  That name had made front-page news a few weeks earlier: "The most serious fighting in Beirut since 2008 appears to have been touched off by a traffic dispute that escalated into deadly, hours-long street battles..."


Burned car

It hadn't been mere road rage.  Rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles had left several dead.  Everyone knew the city again teetered on the brink of civil war. 


But what to do?  How to sow the seeds of peace? 


Melhem pondered the power of their core values.  Fear destroys; love builds.  Revenge wounds; forgiveness heals.  Suspicion divides; respect unites.  And then it came to him in a flash.  

Sowing Seeds of Peace.

"It's Ramadan (the Islamic month of fasting).  We'll host a public iftar (special evening meal to break the fast) in the street right where the fighting took place.  We'll invite a thousand people from both sides to defuse the violence!  We must do it this week!"

Preparing for dinner crowd.
Youth volunteers preparing for iftar.
They flew into action, securing donated food to serve a thousand.  But without a network there, how could they get people to come?  Youth volunteers went door-to-door, inviting each one face-to-face, trying to craft a fragile trust and overcome bitterness. 

Then when one front door swung open, one of the volunteers was stunned speechless. 

Building Trust with Living Stones.

"Their house was totally burned out in the firefight.  A father with his daughter and son lost everything but their lives.  Even their roof had caved in.  We must do something!"

This devastating tragedy was the perfect opportunity to take action to earn trust.  They took the decision on the spot - they would re-build this family's home, working shifts day and night.  Cell phones buzzed, and dozens of volunteers of all Lebanon's backgrounds converged to restore that home, that family, and that neighborhood across lines of division and violence. 

Clearing charred debris.The building project spoke volumes to that community.  And at the public feast to break the fast, hundreds of people responded to the invitation to sit down and eat together again, starting the process of turning adversaries back into neighbors.  It became front-page news in every paper in town. 

When we finally arrived on the work site, it was 9:30 p.m.  The streets were completely dark.  Few people were out.  The area seemed deserted.  We slowly made our way down an alley to a dead end.  We got out of our taxi and walked tentatively toward some lights.  We were greeted by a young man who led us down a footpath.  The area opened up to a small building with charred walls and no roof. 

Injecting Hope through Values in Action.Youth clearing debris.

The homeowner and his neighbor were gushing with praise, "They said they would come help.  We doubted that.  But the night of the public feast they started work.  And they have kept coming every day.  They live their values.  I've never seen anything like this!"

The impact of these volunteer values of love, forgiveness, and respect in action?

  • A neighborhood on the verge of all-out civil war sat down to share a meal together.
  • Neighborhood youth jumped in to work alongside the volunteers from other places.
  • Community leaders confirmed that sustained service relationships bring people together.
Enduring Sacrifice as an Act of Passion. 
Woman clearing debri
Volunteer clearing debris.
Melhem sums up their commitment, "Our aim is to gather the entire Lebanese family as a treasure for humanity by serving with and for the Other.  Our patience will endure longer than any division.  We will not be overcome by evil, but we will overcome evil with good."

These are the type of dreamers we strengthen.  Those with passion: enduring sacrifice.  Ordinary people with extraordinary passion tackling seemingly impossible odds.  A little bit of help from you and us makes all the difference.

Look for our next letter and be prepared to dream and act again with us.  We just found our next dreamer.  Let's keep joining hands to "overcome evil with good."

Seeking to beat the odds, 
Janice Haskell

Please contact us with your questions and how we may be of better service to you.