We arrived in Israel Tuesday evening to sprinkling rain. It rained off and on Wednesday as we picked olives with the young people from the boys ranch. The usual olive picking technique is to put a cover under the tree and then hit the tree with sticks to make the olives fall to the ground. Then everyone joins in picking up the olives. Being novices at this job we were given bags and told to pick olives by hand. Our job didn't look nearly as fun as what the boys were doing but we did out best. One of the counselors told us the young people help pick the olives, then the olives are taken to a olive press and the oil is removed. They are paid by the weight of their product and this is one way they support the farm. Everyone takes part in the work. We arrived to help in the picking right as lunch was being served. We were invited to join them. They had chicken cooking on the grill and all kinds of salads to eat. The food was all donated by someone. They even brought their grill and catered the whole affair at no cost to the farm.
After we picked olives for a couple of hours it began to rain harder and we decided to head back to the hotel to dry off and clean the mud off our shoes and clothes. Driving back to Jerusalem we saw one of the hardest rains we've ever seen in Jerusalem. It may have slowed down our touring schedule but it was something to celebrate since Israel needs the rain so badly. Israelis get as excited to see rain as people living in Pensacola Florida do about snow.
This morning the sun is shinning and we are headed back to the boys ranch to tour the facility and to visit the Herodian, Herod the Great's castle that was built before the Messiah. Please pray for safety for us as we drive each day.