October 08, 2022

The Olive Tree Blossoms

Olive Tree Centres
After two years of planning, interrupted by multiple Covid lockdowns, we are overjoyed to announce the opening of our new Olive Tree centre in Amman, Jordan.
Left to right: Issa, (our Jordan Consultant), Karen (Mosaic Trustee), Fares from our partner NGO in Jordan, Mike (our CEO) and Christopher (Mosaic Trustee)
Our CEO Mike Simpson reports ...
I am writing this on a flight back from the Middle East with a sense of God’s blessing and sovereignty. In Jordan we have just opened our latest Olive Tree centre, our church partnerships are thriving and in Iraq our women’s economic empowerment initiative is coming to fruition, The sense of fruitfulness pervades despite the harsh economic, environmental and political conditions in the region. Most importantly it is evident that lives have been transformed through the love and grace of the Lord working through Mosaic and our partners.
The Tree of Hope mosaic is unveiled at Olive Tree House by the local Greek Orthodox priest Salem Medanat and our CEO Mike Simpson
There are deep wounds amongst the thousands of refugees and displaced people we support, but the powerful effect of the hand of Christ reaching out to offer hope, help and healing is very clear. We listen to many grieving and traumatised people and share their tears, but in doing so we offer the balm of Christ’s compassion. The practical support provided for these poor people through the generosity of our donors is deeply appreciated. For them to sense this expression of compassion, understanding and empathy is profoundly beneficial.
Riveen and her husband Saemon with their new born baby Perla (Pearl). Riveen, an Iraqi Christian refugee, led the team who created the beautiful Tree of Hope mosaic - now installed at Olive Tree House
Making such an important decisioI hope it excites you as much as me to see the fruit of our joint labour of love. We have now opened the Olive Tree House in Ashrafieh, Amman and St Paul’s church has also established a small Olive Tree centre. These empowering centres of community will deliver many practical programmes in education, as well as therapeutic interventions for refugees. In Iraq we have now delivered over 20 livelihood projects for those struggling to make a living in the Nineveh Plain. We continue to stand with our dear brothers and sisters at St George’s in Baghdad supporting the wonderful work of Faez and his team.
Another baby at the opening - this one has a traditional Iraqi Christian costume
A traditional Oud was played at the opening
All of this is creating a beautiful image of hope for those we serve – you might call it a mosaic of hope. I am delighted to say that we have added new pieces to the mosaic in the form of our new Executive Director Helen Jackson, a new Trustee Fiona Kelling and our fourth Patron - Bishop Guli Francis-Dehqani. As I retire later this month I am blessed to see this new mosaic taking shape and the vibrant colours of our work of love displayed so beautifully. May the Lord continue to guide and bless the work in the years to come.
Mike Simpson
At the opening of Olive Tree House Riveen spoke movingly about the creation of the Tree of Hope
Our outgoing CEO Mike Simpson speaking under an olive tree at the opening of Olive Tree House
Detail of the mosaic during its creation
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Posted by Mosaic Team