We met with Jihan, the principal of Hope School, yesterday. It is so exciting to see her passion and enthusiasm for the school and her desire to see it thrive and expand. She explained to the team the school’s goal of seeing every child achieve academic success, even those with severe disabilities, behavioral problems, or a low income. She also wants it to be a safe place for any child to grow and learn, whether they are Muslim or Christian. The school’s student body is about 52% Christian and 48% Muslim. That is a very good ratio considering Beit Jala as a whole is 97% Muslim and 3% Christian. She spoke of how she encourages her teachers and students to love one another and be tolerant of each other’s differences, especially with regard to religion. Her message of Christ’s love being visible and tangible to others through His followers actions and behaviors earned nods of approval from us, her captivated audience. Jihan also spoke of how important TMI teams are to the school and the great impact they have had in helping the school reflect a positive image to the rest of the community. Our team can walk around the property here and see 20+ years of TMI handiwork from teenagers that came before and in whose footsteps we have followed. We have several teammates in fact who have family members that went on teams to Hope School in the 80’s and 90’s. Looking at the big picture, what a difference our examples can make, eh?? Who knows who will travel here next as a result of your son or daughter’s journey to the Holy Land this summer. 🙂 Our time spent with Jihan was all the motivation we needed to be ready and eager to begin work today. Bless the work of our hands Lord and use us for your glory!
We have unpacked, washed the Boot Camp smell from our bodies and our clothes, and have adjusted to the six hour time difference between the USA and the Holy Land. Well, most of us have anyways. It is 4AM as I write this report to you. My son, Gabriel, is cooing away beside me, happy as a lark to be up even though he should be sleeping!! Hopefully his little body will adjust to his new time zone soon. As for me, there is a REALLY big cup of coffee waiting for me at the end of this night.:).