Friday, October 17, 2008

Tn Team 10/17/08

Hello friends, today we visited the girl’s orphanage in what used to be Bethany. Bethany is where Lazarus lived and died and was raised from the dead! Such sweet girls, (and two little guys). CH brought canvas bags for them to paint and she and Ms. BB and Fee brought lots of stuff to put in the bags. It was a great project and the kids loved making them. Two of the girls sang for us and they had such sweet clear voices, and then Fee and S---t told a Bible story. Before we left, we played one of their favorite games . . . “sea and shore” or “barha and bar”. B---n was the first one out, but they called it a practice run and let us start over. He was in the final three the second time (and it saved his pride!). When it was time to take group photos at the end, we were told to say “habeeb”, which we did very loudly, and very often, until everyone was laughing. We totally had a blast. There are some sad stories about a few of the children, but they are bright and intelligent and cheerful. The house mothers we met were very kind. We were glad to see them again this year and will be honored to keep them in our thoughts, trusting God with their futures.
There will be no blog tomorrow. We are going to spend the day at the Sea of Galilee around Tiberius and Capernaum (can you imagine!?) before we board our plane to come home. Please keep us in your thoughts that there are no delays going through security or customs. We will see you Sunday morning for the 11:00 service!

TN Team 10/16/08

Marhaba! Hello! Today we delivered food and jackets to several homes. It was really cool. We were, again, graciously welcomed into the homes of the people we met. In fact, we had some very interesting conversations and a couple of new doors are now opened for our resident friends to follow-up on. And that’s a very good thing. B---n bought a soccer ball to take specifically to the home of the man with all the children. The older children were in school, but he was a hit with the younger boys . . . and they could really play! When we left, B---n gave the ball to one of the boys and S---t told him whenever he played with the ball, he should think of B. It was a good day. When we were finished with home visits, we went to the Garden Tomb and shared the Lord’s Supper. If that weren’t enough, after that, we visited the Baptist Prayer House. The purpose of the prayer house is to “praise, pray and proclaim.” We were invited to the prayer room and let me say it was quite an experience. Everything in the room is designed to draw you into prayer. We were grateful for the experience. Tomorrow, we’re off to the orphanage. Thanks for thinking of us. We love you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

TN Team 10/15/08

Hello friends! Today we visited the West Wall and prayed for every “As You Go” name that has been submitted. It is really something to stand there, realizing that Jesus saw that very wall. And then, when you begin to pray it becomes even more special because God inhabits the prayers of His people. The jackets came in today so we’ll distribute them tomorrow to the family with 60 children. B---n is hoping to play soccer with the kids. It rained today, so hopefully it’ll be dry enough. We’re also going to distribute food and make home visits. That’s always good because we get to meet and spend time with people. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WB 10/14/08

Marhaba! Kayef Haleik? We hope you are all doing well. We are. Today was an easy day but we did visit the olivewood man in Bethlehem and picked out the Christmas ornaments we’ll sell this year so we can continue to support our six children at the Lighthouse School in Gaza. You’re going to love them so plan to save some of your Christmas shopping dollars because they’ll make beautiful gifts! After Bethlehem, we made our way to the Dead Sea. B---n, CH and Ms. BB got in the water to see how much their scratches from the olive harvest would burn. According to B---n the answer was “a LOT!” He found scratches he didn’t know he had. The 60 jackets ordered for the family we visited the other day are supposed to come in tomorrow and we’re supposed to deliver them. Keep that in your thoughts, please, as we really want the opportunity to go back there. We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

TN Team 10/13/08

Today was an exceptional day. We picked about 300 pounds of olives from 16 trees in Beirzeit. We worked with the family who leased the trees. It was very hard work and we are very tired, but it was an eventful day and much was accomplished. We’re thankful for the opportunity and are grateful you are thinking of us. As an aside, S---t, the one who has experienced a hot shower the last two days is extra grateful. The rest of us are refreshingly chilled!

TN Team 10/12/08

Hello everyone. It’s late Sunday evening and we’re just finishing our day. We visited the First Baptist Bible Church this morning. CH and Fee made a craft with the children during Sunday School while the rest of us attended the worship service. It was really cool. Of course, it was all in Arabic, but one of the members told us the speaker would be preaching about the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew 25, about how we need to be prepared because we don’t know the time and place. We felt very welcome there. After service, we were invited to lunch at the home of Jad and Cynthia. It’s an understatement to say we enjoyed visiting with Jad and hearing his stories. He’s quite an amazing person to get to know. We were especially gratified to get to meet and sing for Cynthia. She has been a major influence in this area for over 50 years. She suffers from MS and Alzheimer. Jad says the Alzheimer’s is a blessing from God because she doesn’t realize she’s suffering the debilitation of the MS. That kind of shook me. It shook me more when he took us back to meet her and from the room we heard him say, “Cynthia, it’s me, Jad, your husband.” I thought about how much he loved her and how hard it must be for him. We all went in and sang to her. When we sang “Jesus Loves Me” her face broke into the sweetest grin. She couldn’t remember that Jad was her husband, but she recognized the name of Jesus. B---n questioned what would be the one thing he remembered when he couldn’t remember anything else. That may ultimately be our testimony. Definitely something worth thinking about.

We miss you and we’ll see you soon. Tomorrow we’ll be helping a local family harvest their olive trees. That should be quite an experience.

TN Team 10/11/08

Marhaba from your friends from Tennessee! We arrived yesterday afternoon about 5:30ish. It was exciting for the three of us who have been here before because we recognized so much and feel so comfortable. It was more so for the others who are visiting for the first time and seeing the land with fresh eyes. The apartment hasn’t changed. . . it’s still 72 steps up! But the view, once you’re up there is way worth it. We got up early this morning and went to the falafel stand. It was as delicious as we remembered and even B---n tried one. I think we shamed him into it, but he actually liked it and I was proud of him! Unfortunately, Mike, the stand owner, was not there. Apparently, he’s been traveling stateside, but is due back any time. I’m hoping we get to see him before our visit is over.
Today we delivered food to and visited with some very nice families. A lovely young woman was especially intrigued by Fee. She came and sat beside her and the two of them chatted for about 30-40 minutes (without knowing each other’s language beyond a few words!). It was sweet to watch. It was especially gratifying to watch S---t interact with the men in the villages. His ability to communicate seemed to really put them at ease and the men were very glad to have the chance to talk with him. In one of his more colorful conversations there was great discussion about Noah and Moses. We’re reminded of the things we have in common and that at the end of the day, there is only one major difference between us.
Think about our field personnel, P & L, that God will give them discernment and wisdom as they lead us. Also that the families we visited families we visited will not suffer any negative consequences from local authorities because of our visits.