After a lengthy questioning at my boarding gate as to why I am going to Israel, and being sent to the dungeons of Bangkok airport to be examined and have my bags X-rayed, I arrived in Israel to find it is a wonderful country!
I feel like God has totally blessed me here in Nazareth! The food is so delicious; Shwarma, Hummus, Breads, Gelati (I think that’s a Western influence), and random pastries that appear at various events! I have to walk a lot in response!
I have been extremely welcomed by all people: the people at the College I am working with who are lovely, my neighbors – all of whom are extended family (a whole apartment block full), people at the hospital where I am volunteering doing chaplaincy 2 days a week, my housemate (Becky from USA, answer to prayer!), my friend from Australia, the man at my local spice-shop who calls me in when I walk past… and the list goes on! Arab culture (Nazareth is an Arab Village) is great! It is sooooo hospitable and welcoming, and the extended family is close. It’s very refreshing after the individualized culture of the West. I don’t think people are as lonely here as in Australia.
I titled this “God gives more than bread at Midnight.’ In this passage Jesus tells the story of a person who goes to his friend at midnight and asks for bread. The friend with the bread doesn’t want to get up and climb all over his children (they all slept in the same room) to give bread to his friend. However, he does get up due to the audacity of the friend asking for bread. The proceeding verses tell us that as we ask God gives very generously. I suppose I titled this blog in this way because I feel so blessed with all the kindness that God is giving me here, my words can’t convey this! There are so many answered prayers and blessings! I know what its like to be overseas and be lonely, & I am aware of the struggles I could face here, but God has greatly blessed me in this season and met my needs and more.
(Of course, within trial and struggle there is blessing to, God always blesses us and cares through us, even within suffering He is the giver and the sustainer….we deserve nothing, but He is always giving to us in some shape or form).
It is also so weird to be in the country that Jesus was in, living in His town, seeing various land marks that point to His life, going to the sea of Galilee where He walked on water….. amazing and strange. It makes what we call ‘Christianity’ so much more real. More authentic, but I also feel challenged by the objectivity of the person of Jesus: is my faith really in Him as the man who was God? It is, but that is slightly crazy, and yet I feel like my feet are so firmly planted in this truth, on the rock that is Jesus.
I feel like without a connection to Israel and the Jewishness & objectivity of Jesus; Christianity in the West can so often be just a way of life, a community, a list of doctrines, self help, or something spiritual. But in being here, I see the objectiveness of faith in Christ. He was a real man, He did real and historical things, He was the Jewish Messiah and yet most of them didn’t see Him this way. I suppose for me and for everybody the crux of it is our answer to the question He asked His disciples in Luke 9:20; “Who do you say I am?”
If the answer really is ‘Lord,’ (it is for me), then all of life is profoundly impacted and changed, words cannot convey this is the slightest. I usually have many words, but in this case, silence prevails. unusual for me.
Mabpsuta, Nushka Alla – means I am happy, thanks be to God!
See Facebook for photos!!
 Note, community and doctrines are good, just not if that’s all that marks ones Christianity.