Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Texas Volunteers - Tuesday

Today the team went in three different directions. Jim and Don delivered food to 11 families. Jack and Houston finished the paint project that we started on Monday. Gwen and Courtney help with a handcraft project at a women’s center in a refugee camp.

To see some pictures of the team, the people they've met and the work they are doing, click HERE.

Gwen’s comments on the last couple of days:
On Monday, November 6, the women went to the Senior Adult Center in Ramallah to socialize and do crafts. About 25 ladies and several men gathered. There were mostly from the Christian community. Some spoke broken English. They were excited to have us there and welcomed us warmly. There were so enthusiastic about the crafts that they didn’t want to quit. One craft was a flower made from a party napkin. We used about 80 napkins because they just didn’t want to stop! Smiles and hugs broke any language barrier. They asked us to please come back tomorrow, but we said “next year”.

One Tuesday we went to the Women’s Center in Amari Refugee Camp. Fifteen Muslim came for crafts. We brought the supplies to make boxes out of plastic canvas and yarn. They were all smiles and worked hard to learn how to make the box. Only one lady finished her box, but the others were far enough along to take it home and finish it. We offered refreshments and there were so appreciative.

Both groups of women were warm, friendly and receptive. I love these people! Meeting them is a wonderful experience.

Houston’s Impressions of Ministry
Steep plunging hills, barren stony slopes, winding narrow roads, thick stone walls, ridge top villages, history everywhere … thousands of years.

Two-story house, three stymied poor families, five young sons; unemployment, little to do, women, second-class.

Three bedrooms, two kitchens, goats and sheep under outside stairs ….. we came to paint, be friends, minister. White latex on ceilings and upper walls, caramel enamel on lower walls, windows and doors; smiles on faces… response to needs.

Shy smiles, clean/sand/patch/paint; tea, coffee, meal (their appreciation… roast wheat, chicken, potatoes) … new friends. Photos, wee new donkey colt and 1000+ year old olive press; smiles all around, foreign Christ followers … help, mosque across the street … frowns.

Local Christian workers ….orientation/support/participation; Local believer … red hair, expertise, commitment, hard work. God’s world, bigger than many imagine, people’s response to loving service … more genuine than many expect.

Lasting difference.

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