My dear friends, let me first start by saying thank you for your prayers during my time of travel – I arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon and sailed through passport control with no problems! Not only is it a sign that I am where God wants me to be, but also that your prayers are powerful and carried me through a time of anxiety. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I write this from the rooftop terrace of my favorite hostel in Al Quds (East Jerusalem) – nestled in behind the walls of the Old City in the Muslim Quarter. You may remember it from this post. I am here again, and find myself repeating the same simple mantra – I am here. I am here. I am HERE…. and I am filled with peace. I have forgotten so much about this place; the exact golden hue of the afternoon sunlight, the spiciness of the air in the souq, the taste of fresh coffee made with pepermint or sage, and the haunting beauty of the Adhan (call to prayer) as it fills the pink and violet evening sky with an unearthly kind of magic. Yet, it has all come back to me and I am intoxicated, bewitched by Palestine once again as if she is some lover that has gotten under my skin and obstinantly refuses to dislodge, no matter how hard I try (admittedly, I don’t try). My only wish is that I may wander in the desert, lie down on the rocky soil and allow God to consume me, wholly. That I might melt into the earth, so that I can become part of Palestine forever.
Today I spent with a friend, someone whose soul is so incredibly beautiful that I find myself thanking God for their friendship. Tomorrow I make my way to Al-Khalil (Hebron) to be join my team for the next 30 days. I look forward to meeting my new team mates as well as my team manager who, through the contact that I have had with her thus far, seems to be an incredible person. I also look forward to visiting with some old friends I have in the city and following up with them on how their lives have been these last years since I have been here.
I am filled to the brim with joy, with gratitude that I am here, with humility that CPT believes in me enough to allow me to serve with them. I plan on writing while I am still here on the ground – mainly because I cannot risk bringing a hand written journal back through to the States. I will do my best to balance both quanity and the quality that you have come to expect from me – but I fear some pieces will not be as polished because I will not have the benefit of distance, time and retrospective relfection.
It is now 1 am Palestine time, and I need to bring myself to bed so that I can sleep before my journey tomorrow.
Bright blessings to you all!