Monday, November 12, 2007

Tennessee Volunteers #1

We said good-bye to the team from Texas this morning and an hour later we welcomed a group of volunteers from Tennessee. We are truly blessed to have these volunteer group enhance and advance our work among Palestinians. Below are some of their thought about their arrival and first day:

Dear family and friends,
As you all finished an amazing race this morning, we’ve just begun one. We arrived safely. No problems at any of the airlines with connection points, and although the flight over was long, we did get a little rest. Enough to stay awake and busy our first day here. Thank you for praying for us. Today, before we got settled into our apartment in West Bank, we picnicked with our hosts on pita and humus, on a promenade overlooking Jerusalem. The food was delicious and the view is spectacular. We could see walls around the temple mount. We could also see the very tall and long wall that separates Israel from the West Bank. We walked the same path Jesus took down from the top of the Mount of Olives to within several hundred yards of the Eastern Gate. Along the way, we saw the place that He prayed for His Father to “take this cup from me.” A bit later as we toured the outside walls of Jerusalem, we stood on the very steps in front of the Hulda Gate that Jesus would have walked through as He entered the city. It is magnificent to see this place and walk on the very steps where so much of the 4,000 years of history you’ve just learned about took place.

We are at our apartment in West Bank. It is rainy and a little cool this evening, but we did get to walk to a store room together to prepare bags of food and personal hygiene products that we will deliver to a local village tomorrow. We also prepared small hostess gifts of candles and tea-towels we brought to give to the ladies we meet. One of the people we’re assisting told us they are able to provide continuously to those in need through the generosity of others. He also told us of the many needs of some of the people here and that delivering food and other necessities is a great opportunity to show how much they are cared for. It also opens the doors for them to get to know our friends in Palestine better. Please know that a portion of your giving goes to this effort. We are honored to be here to represent you, but you are just as much as part of this as the workers that are here.

One of the spiritual highlights of the day today was praying at the western wall. It is considered one of the holiest places in the world, and as we covered our heads and placed our hands on the wall, it was easy to understand why. We prayed for all of you. We also witnessed people grieving and crying for something missing in their lives. After a Jew prays there, they walk out backwards because they do not want to take their eyes off the holy place and possibly miss seeing the Messiah come back. We will pray that they do not miss Him either.

That’s all for today. We’re very tired and going to bed. We’ve got along day planned for tomorrow, but we’re excited too, and looking forward to it.

Love to all.


Anonymous said...

I'm so thankful that you all arrived safely! I pray God is with you every step of the way.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ones, may you awake refreshed (in just a few hours) ... physically, mentally and spiritually. May the Lord order your steps as ambassadors of reconciliation, for you are already equipped with special gifts from heaven for such a time as this.