Today’s reading:  John 20

What information source do you rely on to get your world news?  I am a Wall Street Journal reader.  Every day I have three different WSJ emails pushed to my inbox.  They give me give me a couple paragraphs about the top 2-3 stories, then 2-3 sentences about 15 or so other topics.  It is perfect.  I scan the page and quickly know what’s going on.  If I want more information about any topic, I can just click on a link that will take me to the full article.  Truth is, I don’t click out to most of the articles.  A couple of sentences about an event is usually about all I need to know.


On Saturdays, I get an email called Grapevine: colorful stories and diversions from WSJ.  My approach to this email is the same even though it comes on the weekend – scan the page and see if there is anything that intrigues me enough to read more.  At the end of beginning of May, Grapevine published a story about Patricio Galvez, a Swedish citizen whose daughter had converted to Islam and moved her family to Syria a few years ago.  This one caught my interest.  I clicked the link, read the entire article, and was left wanting more.

In early 2019 Galvez’ daughter and her husband were killed in an airstrike, leaving behind 7 children ages 1-8 somewhere in Syria.  The article was about Galvez’ travel to Syria “on mission” to find his grandchildren.  Eventually he located his youngest grandchild in a hospital and the other six in a northeast Syrian camp.  After much petitioning Galvez was admitted to the camp and reunited with 7 emaciated, feverish children.  While he was able to meet them, give them clothes, toys and food, he was unable to take them from the camp until the Swedish government officially claimed them.  Galvez was forced to leave the camp alone, without any of his grandchildren.  It was heartbreaking.


Three weeks later on May 20, the WSJ published an update to the story.  Swedish officials had claimed the children and they had been reunited with their grandfather in northern Syria.  A few weeks later, after some fundraising assistance, they all boarded a plane back to Sweden.  It was anything but an easy trip (they almost missed the shuttle because one child had barfed, another had come down with measles, and the grandfather and his two helpers had forgotten diapers for the baby).  The article ended when the family arrived back in Sweden and Swedish social services had gotten involved to help figure out a long-term plan to care for the children.

It is going to be a long, rocky road to integrate these 7 children into Swedish society and fully raise them to adulthood.  But…in their home country with a grandfather that loves them, they have something they didn’t have alone in Syria.  They have hope.

Do you ever feel hopeless?  If so, our scripture for today is just what you need.  This is the greatest hope story of all time.  It is better than a grandfather traveling all over Syria to rescue his grandchildren.  John 20 tells of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Only by dying and rising again could Jesus ultimately conquer sin and death. He is our only hope of abundant life eternally.  What would make you put your faith in anyone or anything else?

His Daughter Died for ISIS.  Can He Save Her Children? The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2019.
New Start for Family Rescued from Syria, The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2019.