The Words of the Schellen Family

Story of a Filial Son from Lebanon

Hermine Schellen
September 18, 2011

Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han, June 2, 2011

This is a tribute to a young man, by the Name Maroun. I have met him, since we lost our Internet connection in our house, due to the breakdown of the 'Router' that enabled us to connect to the internet. We brought it to a repair place, but it could not be fixed. Neither were we able to buy a new router in all of Lebanon, from our internet provider. So we have no choice but to go to internet cafes, if we want to use the internet, for the time being.

Fortunately there is a very nice café, just 5 min away from our house, were mostly young people come buy for some snack or soft drinks, etc. and just spent time together, in an very relaxing, very typical Lebanese ambiance. The waiters are all students, from different Universities working to pay their tuition. Just like Maroun.

When I first saw him, he greeted me with a big smile. And it turned out that he makes the best minted lemon, I ever drank. In the beginning he used to stand, right at my table, after bringing me the lemonade, wanting to hear from me, how it tastes. Another special thing was that, sometimes when I was just getting ready to leave the café, he would come and say "don't go", with such a serious look on his face. I would smile at him and say, "sorry Maroun, I got to go." As my son was just traveling, and I missed him so much, especially in the beginning, I was happy to meet Maroun, who reminded me so much of my Son.

And what was is also amazing about him, is his smile. When he is not to tired, he has a very beautiful smile, that shines all over his face. And one can sense a great and beautiful heart that is so pure. However it took several weeks, before he would gradually reveal his personal circumstances to me. One evening he suddenly told me, to my great surprise that, he is actually sleeping in his car, that is parked near the café. I was shocked at first to hear that. Sleeping in a car, when the temperature in summer reaches almost 40 degrees Celsius and only slightly cools down at night?? Unbelievable! And as this café is a 24-hour open type café, he is working day shifts and all night shifts till 5 am. Just imagine him going to sleep in his car from till noon, when the temperature is close to 40 degree?

When I found this out I became so worried. I tried to find a solution for him. However he said he does not want to stay at the dormitory for students. Neither at the special Christian dormitory for boys. That got me really puzzled then. But he just simply said "no thanks I don't want to stay there", in a very determined way. Only later on he told me that his Father has cancer. While he was saying that, he looked very sad. Also what was special is that he was going regularly to visit Holy sites of saints, to pray there. I am sure, especially for his father's healing. And just tonight I found out the whole story, namely that his Father needs a treatment that costs $1000 every two weeks.

Now try to imagine that the Lebanese average income is between $700 to $800 a month. And many people don't have health insurance, neither is there any social welfare etc. Now what really struck me is that Maroun has determined to work double shifts up to 15 hours a day, in order to earn the money to pay for his Fathers medical treatment. That's why he is sleeping in his car. To save every cent for his dad! And he would not accept help. He said he only wants God to help his Father to get well. When I heard him say all this, I was greatly moved in my heart to see such an amazing deep love for his father. That's why he would not accept help, he wanted to take care of his father, no matter what sacrifice he needed to make.

Truly Maroun is an amazing 'Son of his Father' with such a great filial Heart. To me he is like a modern day 'Saint'. In fact the Name Maroun is from a Lebanese Saint, who is the founder of the Maronite Church, which is the largest Christian Denomination in Lebanon, and is directly linked to the Vatican. The former Cardinal and head of this Church until very recently, is his uncle namely, Cardinal Sfeir. Maroun has the same Family Name. One thing I am certain of is, that I have not met 'a son' outside our church, with such great filial heart for his Father, not in Lebanon, neither in any other country, then.


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