Every week, from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown, is Shabbat (Sabbath). Everything shuts down here; no stores, no buses, no cars on the road, no food unless you think ahead and buy groceries (we've already learned that lesson!).
This past Saturday, however, the streets were not empty. Rather, they were filled with people. Ultra-Orthodox Jews crowded the street on which we live and the intersection next to us. Alyssa and I had gone out to take advantage of the empty streets and take pictures without looking like tourists...we turned a corner to head back home and heard shouting and saw a huge mass of people, right where we were going! It turns out the Ultra-Orthodox Jews were upset that a certain parking lot was open on Shabbat (apparently they've protested it before, but yesterday marked the second year it had been open), and they were attempting to block the streets surrounding it.
Of course, we got as close to the action as we could. Police herded people while on horses, IDF soldiers patrolled the area,
children watched the scene,
one man blew bubbles, and an old man came walking up the road saying, "Well, Shabbat Shalom, everybody! Shabbat Shalom!"
Yes, shalom, indeed.
Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27
In other news, we painted faces at a school day camp this week. We painted a lot of hearts and flowers, some spidermen and robots, many of the girls wanted "makeup" to look like Alyssa's famous eyeliner, one boy wanted to look like Spongebob, and another boy came up to me wearing a Fez and said, "Give me a mustache to match my hat! And a unibrow!" Although it was a simple design, it was probably my favorite of the day:
Later on, we saw him riding away on his bike, still sporting the hat and 'stache. :)
I'm loving it here. Tomorrow we will be working in a bookstore in the Old City and Tuesday we'll start running it by ourselves for the rest of the week while the other workers are at a conference...please continue to keep us in prayer!! :) Thank you so much for your continued intercession. We greatly greatly greatly appreciate it!
Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints. Romans 15:30-31