We have now been in Jerusalem for a total of two weeks, and though it does seem like time is flying here, it also feels like an age since we were with you all. It is as though we are astronauts exploring far-away planets where gravity has profoundly different effects on the passage of time…*
We got to celebrate our first Holy Week in Jerusalem, and owing to the unique way this city is populated; we get another crack at it this week! Thursday afternoon, we had been involved in decorating and preparing a bookstore run by a local ministry my parents are closely linked to for Easter, and Jared and a local musician played Arabic hymns. The idea was to interest (lure?) locals as they were getting out of school and work to come into the bookstore, take a free DVD, coloring book or chocolate, and hopefully create relationships. Later that day, we attended an English/Arabic Anglican Maundy Thursday service at St. George’s Cathedral, followed by a procession through the city to Gethsemane, where we prayed and sang hymns looking over Temple Mount. It was a profound moment of realization of where we are, and the significance of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection.
On Sunday Morning we went to the Sunrise Easter service at the Garden Tomb. Sunrise. That means 4:30AM. And cold. And strangely unsatisfying. We could probably make a list of all of the things about the service that just didn’t work, but needless to say, we really wish we could have been at Christ Redeemer for the Easter Vigil, celebrating with our friends. **
This coming weekend is Eastern Easter, which is a holiday for all of the ministries and projects my parents are involved in. We are going to take this opportunity to go to Eilat on the Red Sea for a few days this weekend and enjoy the beach and sun.
Katelyn has been doing Zumba a few times a week with Mom, and has been leading a couple of songs by herself each time, building confidence and her choreography repertoire so that eventually she can lead hour-long sessions by herself. She has also been attending different women’s meetings and gatherings with Mom to see if those are avenues in which she could be used.
We are still trying to figure out what we will be spending our time doing here. Since our first day, we have been given ideas and suggestions, some of which are turning into real opportunities while others are becoming inevitable victims of over-scheduling. That being said, we often feel like we haven’t really accomplished anything yet. We are still waiting for permission to enter Gaza, and we are also going to be leading an English coffee hour for college aged women who want to improve their conversational English. We don’t know when that will start happening yet, or what it will look like.
We know you are already praying for us, but please continue to pray as we get further into our time here and are still looking for how to be best used. We also are looking into possibly getting an Arabic tutor, and would appreciate prayer for open minds to absorb language.
We will hopefully keep you updated regularly.
Jared and Kate
*10 points if you can guess what our inflight entertainment was.
** Nice short beard, Tony!