Daena Thelen-Daniel Supports Flood Victims in Germany

from Batina Sheets

Mid-July 2021 brought extensive flooding to parts of Germany and Belgium. Wahhab and I inquired about the welfare of our dear friend, Daena Thelen-Daniel, who lives in Cologne. She responded with a series of emails and photos, which she has agreed to share with our Kinship Community. In response to our original inquiry, she offered this:

“We only had minor flooding in our basement but nothing as devastating as 20 kilometers away in the little towns surrounding Cologne. Many people who work in downtown Cologne live in these small communities. The deluge seems apocalyptic but there appears to be great solidarity among people – everyone is helping. I will do so tomorrow.”

After Daena’s workday in the flood zone, she shared the following descriptions and photos:

“The amazing thing was the amount of people turning up, offering help. Everybody ready to serve. Young men with strong arms, teeny girls in their unicorn T-shirts, families, elderly people, farmers with their tractors, military…..and there was no distinction, no fixed roles. Just the atmosphere of ‘all are welcome to join in as best as they can.’ People that would never ever have come together otherwise experiencing this strong feeling of connectedness, of a shared life, of brother-sisterhood. That was Kinship in real life beyond the spiritual context we know in the Inayatiyya.”

“The bookshop where I offered to help looked barren, but the lower basement was a nightmare. One should think that the owner would be desperate – maybe he was – but he had this wonderful sense of humor. So, we stood in the picket-line shuffling mud and water out with our buckets and there were jokes; this physically hard work was lightened up.”

“When I left that evening two young girls, hand-in-hand, approached me asking if I might be hungry. Their parents had prepared soup, bread, cake for everyone. They drove their car as close as possible near the city wall, opened the trunk with all the food and served everyone who was passing by.”

“What warmed my heart was not only the generous offer of food but also that it was a migrant family (maybe Turkish) who didn‘t know anyone there but felt they wanted to contribute.” 

“A definite presence of spirit was almost palpable through all those hours I spent there. On my way back the impression of a temple being built – like in our Universel prayer – was very strong.”

“It deeply moved me, touched me to be able to be part of the experience. I think I might have received more than I could give.” 

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