Our beautiful Shahad was discharged today to return to Gaza. As we waited for Colin to arrive with the vehicle that would drive us all to the border, she recounted the names of all of the women at the Jerusalem Guest House where she stayed between her first and second hospital admission, and got very sad whenever she spoke about having to leave them. She was so excited to see Colin, and our coworker Ruth also video chatted with her. Shahad is so loved, and I think she leaves knowing that. I pray that she knows she experienced something special yet real here. The love we have for her comes from having been loved first by God, as it says in 1 John.
It struck me that everyone would feel the absence of her at Shevet; I remember when I first met her how quiet she was when, but then to juxtapose that with today when I entered the hospital and she ran up and flung herself into my arms! Although her demeanor has changed throughout her time here, her intelligence, maturity, and vibrancy have remained constant. The more of her we got to know, the more beautiful our days became.
There is excitement in her departure, because we know these relationships will continue. Shahad will return again to Sheba in six weeks for a check-up. Please continue to pray that the love she experienced here will point her to Love Himself. We love you beautiful Shahad!