Hello dear family and friends! Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus our Lord! We are so happy to update again after a few months of living in and loving on Israel. Thank you for your love, support, and patience as we have been gathering up experiences and treasures with Jesus, and doing a lot of praying and listening.
Almost one year ago exactly, we had just packed up our first apartment together, packed our bags, and headed off on a journey with an unknown course ahead of us. We left with open arms, open hands, and beating hearts. We began with three months in Harvest School, worshipping and listening to the Father in Africa, with 250 students from all over the world. This was a definitive start of dying to self and following the voice of God on a direction-by-direction, day-by-day basis.
We know that this lifestyle of unknown, this daily trusting and openness of plans, has been an adjustment not only for us, but also for those closest to us. Our families have to regularly let us go, embrace that we don’t have a clear plan except Jesus, and be emotionally prepared for our coming and going. They are learning how to best love us and care for us, when even we don’t know what this looks like for us right now. God is doing a work on the earth, in NC, in America, and across all of the nations. He is doing a work in all of us and teaching us how to follow Him and love like He does.
Thank you for loving us. We are so thankful for your love, support, and patience with us as we are learning and listening, asking and waiting. We do a lot of asking and waiting : ) This time has been marked with learning an intimacy and tenacity in God’s presence. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities. We feel that here, and so we worship! Worship is such a powerful weapon.
So – onto the practical updates!
Sam has been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking lunches for the volunteers and staff. John has been helping out with maintenance jobs and cleaning. We both have also enjoyed leading worship for the volunteers and guests during a daily worship hour. This has been one of our favorite things!
Living and serving in community here has been a ministry in itself. There are volunteers and staff members from all over the world. We have really prayed a spirit of unity, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit over this place! We also welcomed our house parents from Harvest School to the guest house in August, and we have loved having them here as friends and partners!
We have enjoyed getting to know the Messianic Congregation here. The services are all in Hebrew, but we have translation and have been able to make friends. We have been able to teach the boys bible class (like Sunday School) twice, and also babysit one of the boys for a few days.
We have visited Jerusalem, Eilat, Yavne, and Petra. Every time we travel around here, it reminds us of the bigger picture of what’s going on in the nation, its unique spiritual atmosphere, and unique needs. We are still learning. Being here has been both underwhelming and overwhelming. All we know to do is worship, pray, and enjoy the people we meet. There are still so many unknowns, but we are learning to let go, laugh at the days to come, and press in. More time is needed in the quiet place at His feet!
We continue to pray that Father would open up our path before us as we seek Him. When we crossed the border from Petra and back, we were granted one month more of our tourist visa, meaning we will need to be out of the country by October 10th. We’re thankful for a direct answer, and are praying into whether we should travel any before heading back home.
Praise God for a beautiful introduction to the Middle East for the past 3.5 months – it’s only the beginning! Please pray that we would really dig deeper and finish strong in the coming weeks, and that the future would not be a worry or a distraction – just more trust and laughter!
- Please pray that we will continue to pour out into our relationships and give the Father’s love extravagantly.
- Please pray with us regarding plans after this trip
- Pray for our dear friends and volunteers at the guest house. Pray for unity over the administration and workers here, and a deeper understanding of the Father’s love, joy, and grace.
- Please pray for trust even when it’s difficult to see if there are any seeds taking root. We know that if we are faithful to plant, He is faithful to make it grow!
- Please pray for practical needs to be met above and beyond during our time home (place to live, work for our hands, time spent with family and community)
- Please pray for an outpouring of creative anointing! We’ve really been enjoying writing and worshipping in the past few months!
We love you and are so thankful for you!