I had a humbling visit last night from Mr Makaya, his wife Christine and two of their friends. While Mr Makaya was imprisoned in Congo Brazzaville, his wife came to our synagogue and attended Seder at our home. She asked us to pray for her husband and spoke of her deep faith in God’s redeeming power. I feared we would never see Mr Makaya alive.
Last night he came to say thank you for our community’s help. ‘We did nothing,’ I said. ‘It wasn’t nothing,’ Christine replied. ‘The deputy American Ambassador came to your synagogue. You introduced me to her and she connected me to the Ambassador who made sure the White House knew how my husband was being mistreated. That protected him.’
‘We need your help now to keep going,’ the friends explained. ‘How can we sit here and have tea and cake when our people are dying back home because they haven’t even the money to buy aspirin on account of the corruption of one ruling family who controls everything?’
I’m sharing this now because the murderous attack on Ukraine may make us feel helpless and useless. But we must do whatever we can. We must believe that our actions, however tiny, are not nothing and that, please God, they may lead to more than we think.