How grateful we were to approach the Jordan River crossing tonight with our van full of Iraqis and Syrians, and watch the barriers come down one by one as our neighbors were brought near to the people of Israel:
Mohammed from Syria, greeted with balloons and chips by the Israeli security supervisor Limor. Hours earlier he left his tearful mother behind in Jordan, as he heads toward a high-risk heart surgery escorted by his father.
Also along was 12-year-old Dalya from Kurdistan, northern Iraq, an irresistible joy written on her face as he called her papa to tell him about the start of the greatest adventure of her young life:
And our little friend Yousif is back for his second surgery, winning hearts all over again, including those of our new coworkers Elizabeth and Ryan as this video shows:
It's a joy for all of us to see Prophets Street filling up again. The whole happy community was waiting outside as we pulled into the parking lot tonight:
Once inside our sole Kurdish guests over the past few weeks, Laila and Hazhar, leapt for joy when the newcomers pulled out out some real looseleaf Kurdish tea, and drank it in appropriate Kurdish fashion (from the saucer, not the cup).
Again this week we found our Father had a purpose for our empty beds in Jerusalem. A church in Italy sent to us 51-year-old Giovanni, confined to a wheelchair these past four years by a progressive neurological condition.
Professor Shimon Slavin, who treated the first Shevet child 19 years ago, met with Giovanni but didn't see a clear medical path to help him. But both Giovanni and his son, who haven't yet personally embraced God's grace in Messiah, said they'd never felt such warmth and love as they found here in Jerusalem.
"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity" (Psalm 133).