Tuesday, 10 August 2010

August update

A Wedding in Cana
Earlier this month I was privileged to be invited to the wedding of the daughter of Husni, one of the maintenance workers. Husni is from Cana and a Muslim (he was on the hajj to Mecca last year), so, unlike the wedding Jesus attended there, there was definitely no water into wine at this one. Interestingly the sexes were segregated, with the men sitting apart from the women in a separate hall – too bad, as the women seemed to have all the music and dancing. When the groom arrived he was hoisted on the shoulders of his friends and carried to the bride, and they danced together.

Disco on the Lake
I was visited by two friends recently, and for the first time in my 9 months here, I went out with them on a boat into the centre of the Sea of Galilee. We had rather expected a quiet spiritual experience, but we hadn’t reckoned with the arrival of a busload of acutely disabled children along with the young people looking after them. Suddenly the disco music started and the peace was shattered, but it was wonderfully touching to see the young helpers enthusiastically manoeuvre their friends in wheelchairs in the disco! And fascinating to hear the Birdie Dance in Hebrew!! (I am afraid we didn’t join in.)

Tiberias is sweltering in the August heat. We are into the 40s, but the ‘perceived temperature’ (taking into account humidity) is nearer 50. Even showers, turned to the coldest setting, are hot. I am surprised anyone comes to Tiberias at this time, but there are a lot of orthodox Jewish families around. We have also had a lovely group of about 30 young people from an Anglican church near the coast, who have been having seminars on prayer. It excites me that they are able to have access to the hotel and its facilities through the subsidy scheme (which comes out of the hotel profits). It also gladdens my heart to see such enthusiastic young people in the church.

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