As we're finishing up our hummus and bread in our kitchen, we don't really know what to write...so here are just a few updates so far!
On Friday we took a trip outside of Israel, to help with one of the ministries of JEO that brings food to needy people (they have a list of people they regularly visit).
At each house, we were invited inside to enjoy some (lava hot) Arabic tea and coffee. It was difficult to really have conversations with them, because of the language barrier, but we did have a little translation. From what almost everyone said, I'm sure there are many, many more people there that could have greatly benefited from one of the bags of food we brought. We learned that it is very hard for these people to find jobs, because they are not allowed to work in Israel. This is just one of many problems, especially for the believers there. We met a believer there whose husband, when he found out she was a Christian, stopped bringing food home to his family, among other acts of disapproval. Let us not become so politically tied up in the way things are in this area, that we become emotionally and spiritually detached and desensitized to the individual people who are living there!
Friday night, we attempted to meet up with Alyssa's friend who happens to be in Jerusalem. We were supposed to meet in the Old City, but instead of meeting our friend, we simply walked in circles in the Old City for about an hour (keep in mind, the Old City is only a third of a square mile; and we were supposed to meet at a main landmark...). When we finally got there, our friend was already gone...but we at least got a nice little walking tour of the city...
Saturday, we finally did meet up, and proceeded to spend about 6 hours non-stop walking...to and from the Old City, and then within it. That night, we looked up bus routes and how to acquire bus passes!
Today, while walking to the bus station to buy our passes, we passed a big street market. Of course, we went there on the way back! The market was filled with fruits, vegetables, spices (such a cool thing to see!), nuts, olives, meats, breads, and one of Olivia's new favorite sweets: HALVA. She got very confused later at the frozen yogurt shop, and ended up with halva and mango frozen yogurt.... We've decided we need to learn Hebrew and/or Arabic...
I can now confidently say that we pretty much know our way around...at least around the places we'll go most often. And, because of our (frequent) wrong turns, we've figured out a few shortcuts! We're going to start our work officially tomorrow, so I'm sure we'll have more stories soon! Thank you for your continued prayers :)
- Olivia and Alyssa