You might wonder how I have launched into this campaign of mine called SOJOURN EMPATHIES to create art works to raise awareness of people who have lost loved ones and homes in war torn countries.

I think it all started when I began to deal with the trauma of losing my own home due to the threat of violence and several attempts on my life from a terroristic gang located right here in the heartland of the US. After leaving this fabulous place of residence in the small town of Frankfort, Ky. and the best art studio I will probably ever know, I began the most empowering faith journey I have ever experienced by pursuing the path of the healing art of Reiki, the Japanese based use of energy based therapy.

I started pursuing this path under Reiki Master JoAnn Utley in Louisville, Ky. And in the progress of this path, and my prayers to God from a Christian background, I felt strongly guided to send healing energy to Syrian refugees. As I began to practice long distance healing, I focused on the children of Syria. I even began to focus on specific children who had undergone horrific torture and maiming because of the egregious strife in this area of the world.

After conducting these sessions, I began to make actual human connections with people involved in all facets of helping the Syrian refugees including a social worker who is working with Syrian refugee children in southern Turkey, Madeleine Steenbergen and others involved in this endeavor.

I believe that I have been held up by angels during this time of healing for myself and I also believe that I am called to pass the healing on to others who have suffered from loss of home and loved ones. The angels have constructed this project to help me reach the world, raise awareness of the plight of these victims in this Syrian crisis and to allow healing energy from all people of this earth to heal this vortex of suffering .

This is the story of the origins of my art project SOJOURN EMPATHIES. If you read this and are touched by the suffering of these children and adults in this unconscionable vortex of suffering PLEASE SHARE MY BLOG WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

The article below I share with you as a sign of hope. I will send out more signs of hope as I find them. I hope you are as heartened by this story of compassion as much as I was.

I welcome your signs of hope in the form of a word, a thought or feeing of understanding .

I need to know that you are out there. Please let me know if you are touched by my story or the related story by giving a thumbs up on FB or just some response. This is all I ask. I do not ask for your money as I will do this on my own and the help of my small group of supporters. Just please send me a sign that your HEART IS ON BOARD.

Of course, if you would like to know more about my project SOJOURN EMPATHIES, please follow this link:

Despite Decades of Enmity, Israel Quietly Aids Syrian Civilians

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A Syrian woman at a hospital in Nahariya, Israel, with her 8-year-old son, injured in a rocket attack that killed his older brother.
NAHARIYA, Israel — Two brothers, ages 10 and 8, were playing marbles outside their home in a town in Syria when a rocket decapitated the older one and critically wounded his sibling. Having rushed the surviving child to a local hospital, the mother recalled, medics told her: “If you want to save your son, you should take him to Israel.”
A few days later, the boy and his mother, 34, arrived at Western Galilee Hospital here in Nahariya, on the Mediterranean coast. The traumatized boy told the staff how he had seen his brother’s head fly.
His mother broke down as she showed a visitor how he had hoarded the hospital’s packaged chocolate puddings in a bedside drawer, hoping to give them to a brother and sister still in Syria. She said she was convinced that the son who died had shielded his younger brother from the rocket explosion. “We buried him without a head,” she said.

As opposing Syrian delegations convened face to face this week in Switzerland, the tragedies of the Syrian civil war were reverberating here, the emotions sharpened by the decades of enmity between Israel and Syria, still technically in a state of war.


News, analysis and photos of the conflict that has left more than 100,000 dead and millions displaced. 
Full Coverage » 

After nearly three years of internal conflict that has killed an estimated 130,000 and displaced millions, some Syrians say they now fear President Bashar al-Assad’s forces more than the Israeli soldiers at the frontier, who transfer wounded patients and their relatives to the hospital via military ambulance.
Israel guards their identities to avoid exposing them to additional danger when they return home. “Assad calls those who come here collaborators with Israel,” said a Syrian accompanying his critically wounded 5-year-old granddaughter, who arrived last month.
Nearly 200 Syrians, about a third of them women and children, have been treated at this hospital since March 2013. More than 230 have been taken to Rebecca Sieff Hospital in the Galilee town of Safed. A third of the cost is covered by Israel’s Ministry of Defense, a third by the Ministry of Health and the rest by the hospitals. Dr. Masad Barhoum, the director general of the hospital in Nahariya, said that so far the treatment his hospital had provided had cost it about $2.6 million.
Israel made it clear that it would not tolerate refugees amassing along the decades-old Israeli-Syrian cease-fire line. But Israel’s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, said this week that Israel “cannot remain indifferent” and had been providing food and winter clothing to Syrian villages across the border fence as well as tending to some of the wounded.
A small, low-profile humanitarian effort, it is politically risky for patients and their relatives. Some said they had been afraid to come here and now fear going back.
For some, the journey begins with help from the Free Syrian Army, a Western-aligned loose coalition of rebels who are fighting Mr. Assad’s government, and from international coordinating bodies in the area. Spirited across the frontier into the Israeli-held Golan Heights, the patients and their relatives pass into the hands of the Israeli military.
The 5-year-old’s grandfather, a farmer, said life in wartime was like “living in a whirlpool.” When the rebellion against Mr. Assad first started, he said, “It was us against Bashar, and we had a chance of winning.” Now, he said, “the whole world is involved,” but he asked why America was not coming to the rescue.
About five weeks ago, he recalled, he had been working his land when he learned that his grandchildren had been hurt in a rocket attack. He had heard about the Israeli medical care and, ignoring the political risks, worked to bring his granddaughter here.
“When there is peace, I will raise an Israeli flag on the roof of my house,” he 

The war has eroded once-impervious psychological barriers on both sides. This month, an Israeli aid drive led by volunteers from the Working and Studying Youth movement, Israeli Flying Aid and other local organizations collected about 20,000 items — mainly jackets, blankets and sleeping bags — to be transferred to Syrian refugees. Donors were asked to remove all Israeli labels. Barak Sella of Working and Studying Youth said there were plans to establish a website for dialogue between Israeli and Syrian youths.
A wounded mother of six, who had been at the hospital in Nahariya with two wounded daughters for nearly six weeks, said, “I grew up hearing that Israel was an enemy country and that if you met an Israeli he would kill you.”
The mother, 31, said she had been on the roof of her home with her children and a nephew as snow began when a rocket struck. She said she did not remember what happened afterward. When she awoke in the hospital, she said, “I was very, very afraid, but I tried not to show that to the staff.”
Her left leg was amputated below the knee. One daughter, 6, was recovering from shrapnel injuries. The other, 3, had lost an eye and suffered damaged lungs and a mangled arm.
A son, 5, and the nephew, 12, were in the hospital in Safed, accompanied by their grandmother. The younger boy lost one leg; the nephew, both.
Having barely taken her first steps with a day-old prosthesis, the mother was about to return to Syria with her two daughters and a large suitcase packed with donated clothes and toys. They were to be picked up by an army ambulance in the afternoon to begin the six-hour journey to the border and home.
She expressed fear over what might await her. She did not know if the children she had left behind in Syria had survived the rocket attack.
Asked to draw a house in a hospital classroom, the 6-year-old girl drew rubble. Most of the mother’s neighbors and many relatives had already left for refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. Once back, she said, she would confide only to those closest to her where she had been.

Photograph shown :
A Syrian woman at a hospital in Nahariya, Israel, with her 8-year-old son, injured in a rocket attack that killed his older brother. Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times


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