The past couple of days have been quiet. Saturday we walked into Beit Jalla and let the kids go to the bakery. We had a tour of the St. Nichols Church and went to the Boy Scout building for a cold drink before heading home.
We stayed close to home for church returning to the Local Baptist Church. The people are so kind to us, they drove everyone home so the team would jot have to walk up the steep hill to come home. Once again it was a joy to worship together with other Christians in Palestine.
The work project is going well and spirits remain positive. The team are hard workers and have made quite an impression on those around us. Saturday the school gave everyone at shirt with the school name in English and Arabic. They also provided a typical brunch for us as a thank you for all that has been done. The teens were very thankful and enjoyed every bite of the brunch.
The teens have been writing every week so we hope parents are getting mail. We know that you can see updates on line but it’s encouraging to have an actual letter from your child. We thank you for your prayers and want you to know that we feel very safe here at Hope School.
9 days; the amount of time our team remains in Palestine 26 persons: the amount of people we will have to say goodbye to. 1000 plus minutes: the overall amount of time spent in personal morning devotions. The change all this brings: monumentous. The experience of worshipping with Palestinian Christians is unlike any other. For several weeks we went to the same church and everyone there was so sincere in their worship. There is such an amazing presence of God in the services and listening yo their Arabic tongue praise the same all powerful ever loving God is simply a work of His art; more inspiring than any anthem, deeper than any ocean and is in short a sweet tsunami of peace, love and unity with people you have never met, nor even know their name. But, we all served and sought the same God. Along with that comes the fact that the Bible comes alive here is so true. As you read through any testament and understand the places, culture, foods and lifestyle here are the same experienced in the Bible. Everything is more real and more alive. In C.S. Lewis’ “The Last Battle” the characters run into the perfect new world and the term “farther up and further in” is called out. I feel like this whole theme of this trip could be summed up with that saying, a call to everyone: further up and further in!
Palestine has been a new experience on its own. Our team has grown into a family full of its strange quirks and I’m pretty sure that God chose the most differently strange people and threw them together on a single team. Just being here and experiencing the culture and the land where God has worked since the beginning is something I don’t think any of us will forget. I love it here.
We’re into our last week in Israel and I know that a lot of the team is ready to go back home. But we all have been impacted and gained new perspective of this war-torn country. We hear missiles throughout the night and day as reminders of where we are – along with hearing mosque prayer calls and the people’s stories here. They live so much infers but are non- gracious, kind and hospitable to guests. Every where we’ve gone we’ve met incredible people and the staff here at Hope School is phenomenal. They want us to see as much of this country as can be done safely and they work humbly for this ministry that is in need.
I have about 2 more weeks in total of the TMI experience. I know that this trip has impacted and changed me. I know that I will look back in this trip throughout my lifetime and smile and laugh, remembering all the people I’ve met, experiences I’ve gained and lessons I’ve learned. The friends I’ve made here are friends forever. Though I face situations I dislike and agree with (almost on a daily basis) that’s that’s not what I choose to focus in. God gas revealed Himself to me I fresh ways on this trip and I’m humbled to live foe a God that’s so incredibly powerful and loving.