Loving People and Being Loved in Jericho
Trip Start Jun 14, 2011
158Trip End Dec 19, 2012
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We also spent time visiting individuals in their homes. Most of these individuals physically could not leave their homes in order to attend the evening service, so we gathered as a body of believers (church) in their homes. In each home, we worshiped, took communion, and prayed for the individuals and families. For example, we visited an elderly woman who was sick. She undividedly loved Jesus, and she was so full of joy. We worshiped with her and took communion. Then, some of the women stayed behind to help her clean up, change her clothes, and change her bedding. Then, they continued worshiping with her. The rest of us went to buy her bread (giant wheat pitas), fruit, vegetables, and juice since she could not leave her home to go shopping. We delivered the food, and then we worshiped a bit more and prayed for her and for her healing. She was such an incredible woman, and it was an absolute joy to spend time with her.
Jericho is mainly an Arab area, and therefore it is primarily Muslim. However, there are some Arab believers in Jericho as well, and it was an honor to meet them and observe their strength and boldness in standing for Truth even in the face of some persecution (we did not directly see the persecution, but we heard about it). It was also fun to join with them in Arab style worship with 2 hand drums and our voices.
During the afternoon, part of our group took a gondola up to the Mount of Temptation, where they claim that Jesus spent 40 days fasting and then was tempted by satan. Three of us stayed behind. We ended up meeting an Muslim Arab family whom we had never met before, and they invited us into their home. They brought us freshly squeezed lemonade, and then they proceeded to bring out an entire meal of pasta with tomato sauce and ground beef as well as pitas. They specifically made an American dish for us and proudly presented their "macaroni," motioning for us to eat. We had actually just eaten lunch, but it would have been rude to reject their hospitality. I was totally stuffed already, and it was miserable forcing more food down, but we had to do it. They had gone so out of their way to treat us with honor as guests. Arabs are some of the most hospitable people in the world. I have spent a lot of time in Asia, and most of the people in Asia are so hospitable. Today was the first time I encountered Arab hospitality, and I must say that it even surpassed Asian hospitality. We had so much fun with this family! Although we could not communicate much in each others languages, we laughed a lot together. And they asked us to sing, so we sang an English worship song. Then, we asked them to sing, and they sang a song in Arabic. We also looked at some of their family photos, and we took a lot of photos together. I wanted to bless them in return somehow, and I was praying, "Lord, how can I bless them?". One of the daughters really loved my purse; she had been posing with it in the pictures. So, I emptied it out before leaving, and gave it to the daughters to share. After leaving, we also prayed for the family and asked Jesus to reveal Himself to them so that they could receive the biggest blessing of all, Jesus Christ.