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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

back to work

two days in the Galilee was a nice relaxing time - Vered HaGalil is always beautiful this time of year and a secluded spot - the only thing i would have changed would have been the tempterature - it was kind of like standing behind a truck and the exhaust blowing in your face the whole time - unbearable - over 100 each day

on monday evening we went out on the Sea of Galilee - for about an hour and a half and enjoyed a meal together with some nice music in the background - We had St Peter's fish for dinner - that they had caught that same day - it was wonderful

We toured all of the places in the Galilee - including Nimrod's castle and going up to the border with Syria and Lebanon - where an old Israeli bunker was still standing

Last night we went to dinner with Lisa - to a nice Italian resturant called Little Italy and then some of the group went downtown - Thomas managed to get his picture taken with three pretty Israeli soldier girls - one with her head on his shoulder - i think he said he will put it up on thewall at Domino's when he gets back to Madison, Mississippi :) maybe blow it up poster size.

Today we went to our last work project - there was a change in plans because the woman that my group was supposed to visit developed pneumonia and the doctor told her we couldnt come - so we revisited Shira - the single mother from last year (she is orthodox and has 4 children) her husband was injured when he tried to stop a suicide bomber from getting on a bus - his legs were mangled so badly from the explosion that they had to be amputated - he could not deal with the depression and it ended up breaking their family apart. We painted her home, cleaned the floors, and garden, folded clothes and left gifts for her and the kids. Shira has had to return to work (she wasnt working when she was married) and she has very little - but the apartment was very artistically decorated. I really liked it

Tonight David and Ariella are coming to the hotel to visit - we met him and his wie four years ago on the first trip for me - he was beaten and stabbed 12 times by Palestinian teen agers and left for dead - some people found him and somehow he survived - he had not spoken to any one in 9 months when we visited the first time and had never had a Christian in his home - and after our first visit - he talks and talks and has such a sweet spirit - he calls my dad in the States about once every month

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Galilee - a tour

Okay on the last post I accidently wrote that it was 120 Celcius - and as my father generously pointed out - that would be close to about 400 F - and although it was suffocatingly hot - I did not witness any spontaneous combustions - which I sure I would have if it had actually been 120 C

Yesterday - was a nice day of working - my group went t Tikva's house (someone we know from a trip four years ago - and to whom we are very close relationshipwise) She is a single mother of 3 children and has been having a difficult time since her husband left, took their business and is now trying to take their children through the court - she was moving out of the home we worked in 4 years ago and scaling down to save money for the court costs - she supports herself (and her children) by selling jewelry - beautiful Yemenite jewelry. Her landlord has been giving her a hard time about moving out - trying to charge her for things that are not her responsibility - and in Israel it is more complicated than in the States. It is not a matter of getting her deposit back - the landlord in Israel has a legal contract with the renter and has a "guarantee" that they will keep their end of the contract -he wwas trying to say that she was breaking the contract by the condition of the house (which by the way was much better than when she moved in 4 years ago - at that time the stove was fallen down in the cabinets, the doors wouldn't lock, it was filthy, the front "yard" was so grown up you couldn't get to it) Part of the issue with the landlord is emotional - the property used to belong to his daughter - and about 6 years ago he was driving through the neighborhood with his wife and daughter when someone threw a molotov cocktail through the window - killing his wife and daughter and severely burning him. Short version - I started taking pictures of the house to show what condition it was in after we painted and cleaned it - and mentioned the fact that I had pictures of the condition of the home 4 years ago that I could send to her lawyer - he then decided he could compromise. :)

Today we are going to the Druze Village, Capernaum, Church of the Beatitudes, Mount Carmel, and eating dinner on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. It should be a great day-then back to Jerusalem to work one more day -

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Shabbat

We had a time of fellowship last night with Shaul and Orli - friends of ours from the time when we lived in the land - he spoke vry powerful words about the land and that there was no middle ground as far as the alliance with Israel - you are either for her or against her and even though there is a lot of "wrongdoing" among the people of the land that we have to allow God to deal with those issues and not judge them for ourselves - that we must follow Yeshua whereever he goes and whatever that means

Today it was a Humsin - which are the hot desert winds - that are VERY hot - we had scheduled a trip to the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Masada - with a friend of ours - Bryan - he is working on his Phd in Archaeology. He read the account from Josephus on the way down - about the Jewish War - and then half the group hiked up the snake trail and the other half went up the cable car to Masada. It was SO hot on top of the mountain - about 120 degrees Celsius - some of the guys got sick trying to hike up the mountain - and we all sweated off about 20 liters of water - it reminded me of trips down to the Sinai Desert when I was a child and it really felt like being in an oven - seriously. It is always a moving experience to me to see the mountain of Masada - because so much of it is preserved and remains in its original form. Bryan contributed a lot with his knowledge of the 1st century nation and what it must have been like for them there.

We then went on to lunch and some of us swam in the Dead Sea for about an hour - bobbing up and down. We moved on to Ein Gedi and read the scriptures about David and Saul and looked over the same hills that Saul probably hid in. On the way back to the Holy City we stopped for a camel ride and to purchase jewelry from the Bedouin who owns the camel - I always have to get one thing from him when I am here .

Friday, June 02, 2006

Shavuot in Israel

Yesterday we met Shmulik and he spoke with us about the history of Jerusalem and Israel. We also met Itzhak - a friend of his - he wanted to meet us he said because it touched his heart so much - what we were doing with our work here. He compared what we were doing to the life saving work of doctors with lukemia patients in the hospitals here - after spending a few hours in the Old City - Half o f us went to Ben Yehuda and ate delicious shwarma and walked around the city - there are SO many tourists here this trip - especially American high school students seeing the land - everywhere you go you hear people speaking English

This morning we woke up at 4:30 AM and went to the Kotel (the Western Wall) - it is the holiday of Shavuot and is one of the three holidays that the Hebrew Scriptures commanded for the men of Israel to come to Jerusalem (the first being Passover and the third being Sukkot) There were swarms of people making their way to the Kotel before sunrise to pray - once we got there it was so packed you couldn't get even halfway down the courtyard area to the Wall (probably 30,000 people praying easily) we stayed for about an hour and listened as the young men sang and prayed together - it really is a moving site to see that many people in prayer together. There were soldiers and police everywhere patrolling because it always heightens the risk of something happening - when large amounts of people gather together like that and especially on a holy day - so we were very aware of our surroundings and made sure to watch those around us

At 11:00 today we are going to the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the replica of the temple. It is supposed to be a great museum

please excuse any spelling errors - there is no spell check and I have to try to post these quickly before the hotel computer boots me offline