Crossing the Jordan River


Today Karim and Kale started their journey to Israel. We were blessed with perfect weather and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Jordan valley as we made our way down from Amman. Thankfully the one and a half hour drive went by quickly, and before we knew it we were at the border. After getting our exit stamp on the Jordan side, we sat on the benches waiting for the bus to carry us over to Israel. Kale's and Karim's mothers were very hopeful for their children's surgery, yet nervous about what lay ahead in the coming days and weeks. I continued to reassure them that God was with them and would carry them through a successful surgery and recovery. Pray that the Lord would fill them with his peace. Once we were in Israel, the time came for me to say good-bye and let Alex take them the rest of the way. Even though they were disappointed that I wouldn't be traveling the entire way with them, they were content to know that I'd be waiting for their return

Alex Pettett picks up the story:

Karim's mother sat quietly waiting for me to show. Today, Shevet's staff did a family swap. We said goodbye to two Iraqi families who successfully came through the heart program in Rambam hospital in Haifa and we brought two more Iraqi families into Israel for surgeries in Haifa. The transition happened at the Beit Shean border which stands between Israel and Jordan. Though I do not believe the border staffs read the blogs, I would like to especially give thanks to today's duty manager. I will omit his real name and call him Yosi (one of the most common names in Israel). Though you do not see him featured in any pictures, he is the artist who snapped the shot above of the new families and myself in this blog. So, a big thanks to Yosi who constantly helps us cut through the red tape and also offered soft words of assurance to these new families today, "It's ok, we'll take care of you in Israel."

Fourteen-year-old Karim was dressed ready for a wedding. Though he and his mother do not speak any Arabic (or English) they both have a soft, encouraging smile. Karim sat next to me as we ascended from the Jordan valley and made our way to the coastal city of Haifa. As we passed new sites, sounds, and smells Karim kept his face plastered to the window trying to take it all in. Though quieted by being in such a new place, you could still tell he felt he was on holiday.
We arrived in Haifa at 6:30 PM and began unloading their light belongings. Within minutes we were unpacked. Now they await the arrival of pizza to give them some strength for the long journey ahead. Initial tests begin tomorrow morning at 8AM.

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