Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mission Training...

Well... we have been in Stoney Point, NY for 3 weeks now... training and taking classes to prepare us for mission!

One more day to go and then we will attend the UM General Board of Global Ministries board meetings on Monday and Tuesday!

Tuesday evening after a very long journey to become a missionary, I will finally be commissioned as a missionary! 7 p.m. at the FUMC in Flushing, NY!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Give us courage to invest in peace...

On Sunday, I worshipped at St. Andrew's Church of Scotland in Jerusalem.

One of the songs they san was a new hymn by Ian D. Cunningham who is a minister for the Church of Scotland in Carluke, Scotland.

I would like to share the words with you, as they are so poignant.

Give Us Courage to Invest in Peace

Lord Jesus, you wept for Jerusalem -
city that failed to live up to its name
you longed to hold its children in your arms
they turned their backs on all that makes for peace.

And still the walls of hate and fear divide
suspicion and mistrust on either side
so that both hope and justice are denied.
Lord, give us courage to invest in peace.

In love you chose to take the uphill way
confronting bitter hate and enmity
to draw together those once far away
till through your cross you paid the price of peace.

When we are tempted by the careless way
of hasty prejudice and bigotry,
awaken us from all complacency
and give us courage to invest in peace.

Open our eyes lord, to see thee more clearly, and to love you more dearly.
Help us to have eyes to see the reality.
May we have the courage to stand up for peace, justice and reconciliation!

Monday, July 11, 2011

In Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born...
Today, Bethlehem is located in Occupied Territory of Palestine...
What does it take for a person to visit the place of Jesus' birth?
In order to travel the 6 miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem can take up to an hour...
The other week, a group of women staying at the Augusta Victoria Lutheran guest house wanted to go to Bethlehem. I agreed to travel with them.
We took a bus into the Old City of Jerusalem, then changed busses in order to travel the 6 miles... only we went past Bethlehem to Beit Jala in order to by-pass the Bethlehem checkpoint. Beit Jala is one of three primarily Christian communities in the area. Almost one hour later we were in Bethlehem and walked through the souk on our way to Manger Square and the Nativity Church.
It was a hot Saturday... and when 10 women walked through the souk, market place, it was a long journey! One stopped here... another there... now where did she go? Some purchases were made along the way! All is good!

In the Church of the Nativity, as there were many groups, wanting to go into the cave and see the place where Jesus was born, we too joined the line. At long last, our time arrived and we descended into the cave. For me, I had been here several times, I feel the sacredness of the place, for others there was a moment of awe and amazement as they were finally standing in the cave and place of Jesus' birth. It is a pilgrimage of faith to arrive at this place.

After some ice lemonade with mint, and something to cool down, we took the return journey back to Jerusalem. On the bus, going back through Beit Jala, at the checkpoint, all local people had to leave the bus to have their passports checked... we were allowed to stay on the bus... 15 minutes later, they rejoined the bus and we were able to continue the journey.

In writing this, I am challenged, next time, I will get off the bus as well... if one is checked, all should be checked!

This week, people were detained at the airport and not permitted into entering Israel... not permitted into the country, means they were not permitted to go to Bethlehem and visit the place where Jesus was born... and sooooo much more.

Why is a place where the prince of peace was born is there so much unrest?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It was a Wendesday night the other week...

I was invited to go on a night safari at the Jerusalem bird observatory to watch the birds, the eclipse and for hot chocolate!

I went with Erica, a ministry student from Scotland, who is an avid birder... 3 of us went from the guest house! It was an experience I will not soon forget!

On this safari we heard frogs, Rhona actually saw one, saw an owl in a tree of a grave yard, saw some ants, and the solidified projectile of an owl! The hot chocolate was not that great! But the best part was watching the eclipse.

It was a red eclipse because of the ash in the atmosphere caused by the eruption of the volcano! I was able to take some good pictures of the progression of the lunar eclipse! Although I have not really had a chance to look more clearly at my pictures!

One never knows what experiences they will have in a given day. The people of Palestine and Israel were given a treat that night in watching the lunar eclipse!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In Jerusalem...

Thanks for your prayers... I am now in Jerusalem for a couple of weeks now!

I have been learning many things... including how to log into my bolgspot in Hebrew!!! So I should be keeping you posted more frequently from now on!

I am staying at the Lutheran guest house on the top of the Mount of Olives... each day on my way to the office, I pass this way and am able to look over the Old City of Jerusalem. It is a good reminder for me to pray for peace and justice in the world!

We have had 2 OK VIM teams visit since I have been here... and that is always great for me to see some familiar faces and hear some familiar voices!

I am continuing to learn and meet people.

In the coming days, I will take some time to post pictures and share about the experiences I have had so far.

May God continue to bless you!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Journey continues...

Well, we have passed through Lent, Holy Week, and have celebrated Easter!!

Christ is risen!!! Christ is risen indeed!

March was filled with speaking and preaching engagements in Oklahoma, Missionary training in NYC, and a wonderful gathering of clergy women of the South Central Jurisdiction in New Orleans! I have made many wonderful contacts.

April has been filled with preaching engagements in Oklahoma, traveling to see friends and family around the country.

Many miles have been driven in my little car! I will pass a mile stone sometime tomorrow as I drive back to Oklahoma... I will have driven more than 100,000 miles!

May will prove to be busy as well I am make final preparations and head for Jerusalem in June!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday Blessings...

Ash Wednesday Blessings...
As the seasons change... so do our relationships...
Always we are in God's hands.

I am preparing to go to NYC for missionary training next week!
I hope to have more answers and a greater understanding for the days, weeks, months, and years ahead for me.

It has been a blessing to be home and close to my family as I prepare for the next stage of my life.

It has been a blessing to travel to churches across the Oklahoma Conference meeting people and growing the support base of God's mission!

Thanks for your prayers and support,