Monday, June 23, 2014. A belated "Hello" from the Middle East. Any of you who are reading this and know me (Jan), should have already figured out that our trip so far has been full of excitement! Starting with our flight from Newark N.J. We were on our way to a "memorable" time when About 1-2 hours into the flight, one young woman fainted and was throwing up. They called for any doctors on board to help with a "medical emergency." So I slowly made my way to the back of the plane where all the action was taking place. Thankfully for her and I God had prepared the flight with an Internist on board. So I basically stayed out of his way and tried to provide some reassurance. Then, Mariano, our team leader, comes up to me and tells me that one of our team members, Kelsey, was sick. She was also vomiting and not feeling well. Unfortunately, Kelsey spent most of that flight lying on the floor of the plane by the emergency exit door. Thankfully, God provided again and after a "brief" stay at an emergency room in Munich, Kelsey was good to go and her and Mariano spent some time sight seeing around Munich. They were able to fly into Tel Aviv the next afternoon where we had a joyful reunion at a local street festival. Sarah, our other team leader, Kimberly, Hayley and I arrived in Tel Aviv on time but all of our checked bags did not. About 3 hours later we were able to exit the airport and had a glorious ride to our final destinations. All we're tired but have quickly become close friends and spiritual sisters. Ok, maybe Sarah, Kimberly, Kelsey and Hayley are spiritual sisters and I am more like the Mom, but I will gladly take on that role. OK, no one really wants their Mother, nor anyone else's Mother on their trip so I will cool it on the age thing.
We have met so many friends in such a short period of time, it is truly amazing how God knits people together. Those from around the world or local, have all become great and dear friends as we all work toward one goal, glorifying God and following him.
Yesterday morning, Mariano, Sarah and I went to a time of prayer hosted by a Muslim Inman, a Jewish woman and a Christian pastor. They talked about us all being one as we worship the One True God. They also talked about loving our neighbor and our enemies, as Christ loves us. We ended the time together by all joining hands as we formed a circle and sang, "We Shall Overcome." Amazing! Moving! Most were weeping as we prayed for love and peace to begin in our hearts and to radiate out to the entire world.
Kimberly, Kelsey and Hayley had an equally moving church service with the family of one of their professors, learning about God's love and presence.
Our next weeks are packed with lectures, work and absorbing this Holy Land. And Sydney, I hope you read this; Happy 20th Birthday!!!! From, Mommy. I can't believe you are 20 years old already and I am very sad that I am not with you to give you a big birthday hug and kiss, (your presents are coming when I return.)
Mom, Happy 88th Birthday on Thursday! I love and miss you.
To all of our family, friends and all who are praying for us, we thank you! God is in us and with us. He goes before us and behind us. He is above us and below us, to our right and to our left. We are in his mighty hands because of your prayers. We are holding you all up in our prayers as well, as we know how difficult it is to be at home wondering and waiting.
We will try to be more vigilant about posting updates. Just know that if we go a few days without posting anything, it is because we are exhausted from all our many encounters with God through his people. We love you all!!!
Mariano, Sarah, Kimberly, Kelsey, Hayley and Jan
P.S. We NEVER have to ask about the weather. It is always sunny, with NO clouds, hot and beautiful! Sorry, just thought you all might want to know how lovely the weather is here. Haha. Jan