Faces in Jerusalem

Trip Start Jan 08, 2008
Trip End Mar 18, 2008

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Flag of Israel  ,
Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dear family and friends,
It is an incredible thing to watch a baby "zoom in" on a face. Their gaze is initially fixed on mom and dad and then extends to other people.  As a child becomes older, they are taught not to stare.  But, the human face naturally draws our attention.  In a face we can find trust, recognition, acknowledgement, joy, mystery, and love. We can see questions, sadness, fear, distrust, and even hatred. Nebeel, a shopkeeper in the Old City that we met our first week here, sat with us one morning and pointed out the nationalities of people as they walked past our table.  He would look at their faces, watch how they carried themselves, and listen for a word spoken in another language. One day in Beit Sahour, I joined a 7th. grade class as they made lunch together and then shared around table. There were fifteen students and two teachers along with a local chef who had come in to teach them the art of making pitas. Everyone was speaking Arabic. Since I couldn't begin to follow their conversation, I began to pay attention to their faces. It didn't take long to join their laughter as we enjoyed the meal together. Khawla, the social worker from Hope School in Ramallah, spoke with both Michael and I on Saturday about the Israeli/Palestinian struggle and the effects that it has had on the children. She said, "We have to look at each other and see that we are all people that have suffered and are trying to live." Looking at each other. What do we see? Do we see the faces of fellow brothers and sisters who Christ died for?  Or do we see someone who might cheat, steal from us, or harm us?
We hope that you enjoy looking at just some of the faces that we have seen here. Some of the people have actually entered our lives, others are unknown to us. Yet, we are all children of God - with wonderful faces that God has formed.
Pray for peace and remember the poor.
Jolene and Michael

As for the "What Is This?!!" from this past week, it is a picture of a rock formation that was seen by General Gordan, in the late 1800's,  from his hotel room.  When he investigated the sight near the rock formation, he found an ancient tomb and became convinced that this was the real Golgotha.  Archeologists have cast doubt that this was the actual site of Christ's crucifixion.
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