Jim Bednar is not a Donald Trump fan.
The Springfield proprietor and member of a First Congregational Church of Wilmot has built a career on roving abroad to assistance refugees. Last week he returned from Jordan, where he worked with those replaced from war-torn Iraq and Syria.
He’s withdrawal this week for the Democratic Republic of a Congo, and after a week there he’s going behind to Jordan in September. Tunisia competence be on a menu, after Christmas.
Needless to say, a wall separating a United States from Mexico and banning Muslims from this nation are not causes he’s behind.
“(Trump) scares me really much,” Bednar, 61, pronounced by phone. “I don’t consider he has a genuine clarity of a world, quite in terms of a unfamiliar process area and sensitivities and complexities involved.”
If anyone has a genuine clarity of a world, it’s Bednar, whose peaceful voice gained a decibel or dual usually when a review turned to Trump. He late 3 years ago from the United States Agency For International Development, or USAID.
The acronym says a lot about a organization, and a man, too. It’s one of dual U.S. bureaucratic unfamiliar assistance agencies, and Bednar served as a goal executive in 5 countries: Morocco, Zambia, a Czech Republic, Sri Lanka and Ghana.
They are countries that have been scorched by polite war, fight crimes, corruption, and replaced populations, all on a scale as unfamiliar to a United States as a languages their residents speak. Sri Lanka, for example, is a hearth of a self-murder vest.
“There were atrocities on both sides there,” Bednar said, “and usually now are they perplexing to start a fight crimes tribunal.”
Bednar concurrent efforts to urge preparation and health care, sight teachers, build schools, settle rural systems, deliver puncture systems, yield tents.
“Each nation was unique,” Bednar said.
A discerning demeanour into his credentials shows since he is who he is. The signs are everywhere.
His father, Zdenek Bednar of Czechoslovakia, lived by a Nazi function during World War II and was study in a U.S. to be a apportion when a 1948 comrade takeover occurred in his homeland. Zdenek’s father wrote and told his son to stay in a U.S., creation Zdenek a domestic refugee, and planting a seed for Jim’s life prolonged career of use and selflessness.
The family staid in Bennington, Vt. Zdenek, who died 12 years ago during age 79, would turn a minister, operative via New England.
He late and changed to a family’s summer home in Springfield, where Jim spent many of his childhood, and where he lives now after timid himself in 2013. He lives there with his wife, Cune. They have 3 grown children.
Zdenek, who served as part-time apportion during a Church of Wilmot UCC, stays a clever change in his son’s life.
“We were really close,” Bednar said. “He was a purpose indication for many people, and for me he instilled a thought of service.
“He had clever opinions, though was intellectual, an implausible preacher, really caring, a special person,” Bednar continued. “He was soothing spoken, and a usually time he lifted his voice was when he was preaching. He was really dynamic.”
Bednar never lifted his voice during a phone conversation. He also voiced confinement over being a focal indicate of my column, emailing me, “Can we get a clarity of a article? Many hundreds of people are operative in many some-more formidable situations and longer tenure than we did.”
On a phone he combined a spirit of piquancy when we speculated that he competence not be a Trump fan. He mentioned Trump’s thought to build a wall along a Mexican border, saying, “We already have an instance of a Berlin Wall, for great out loud.”
His resisting perspective with a unreserved Republican presidential hopeful comes from immersing himself in other cultures. Although Bednar strictly late 3 years ago, he continues to travel, continues to get paid and continues to do things for others. The usually disproportion now is he’s not obliged for crew evaluations.
“Being late does not meant being late in a normal sense,” Bednar said, quoting a observant he listened recently. “You’re usually removing new tires.”
Those tires took him to Amman, Jordan, final month, where about 850,000 refugees reside, many of whom have fled a wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A outrageous majority, about 700,000, live in towns and cities, while usually about 150,000 are in camps, many in tents backing a Syrian border.
That, Bednar said, leads to a balancing act that has also flush as an emanate during a stream presidential campaigns: how to assistance those in need, a refugees, while providing services for your possess people.
“There’s vigour put on a health caring system, a educational system, a economy, everything,” Bednar said. “It’s a outrageous strain.”
Bednar pronounced schools in Jordan underline double sessions, with an normal of 50 students per category and not adequate teachers to hoop a load.
“My purpose was to attend in meditative by how to consider a needs of a people from Jordan and during a same time consider a needs of a refugees,” he said. “When we have to mount in line to get medical since there are so many people, review it to how people would conflict in a United States. There would be a lot of indignant people. Amazingly a Jordanian people are really receptive on holding people in. They have a birthright of doing that.”
In Jordan, Bednar saw Muslims who prayed during morning and, during about a same time, he listened church bells ringing.
He’s lived his life desiring in this arrange of coexistence, this consistent of cultures and religions and viewpoints. It’s made him, his work and his thoughts on a Nov election.
“We can learn something from life in Jordan,” he said.