Middle East, Episode II

I knew I’d go back – or, at least, I hoped that I’d go back, trusted that God wouldn’t give me such a desire in vain.
In June I’m going back to the Middle East (though not Israel proper), if God wills.  We’ll be doing a medical clinic and an eyeglass clinic, though I probably won’t be much help in either of those.  We’ll also be serving Palestinian refugees.
My heart has been breaking on a regular basis for Palestinians.
I wrote a (terrible excuse for a) paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last week, and while the paper itself is just plain heinous, the research I did for it opened my eyes to a greater understanding of what exactly is going on over there.  Honestly, when I went to Israel I had next to no idea what all the conflict was about, or who did what, or why – I just thought, “So you guys don’t like these guys, and those guys don’t like you….right?”  Now that I at least have a basic sketch of its recent history (by no means do I fully understand it), I just itch to go back all the more.  I’m not sure why I care so much, but I do, and I think that since I don’t know where this love for Palestine and the Middle East in general came from, it must not have come from me, but from God.

I’m exploring options for spending more time over there, but right now my official plans are for a 10-day trip in June.  I’ve never liked the idea of asking people to help out financially on mission trips, but a large part of that is my pride and my dislike of depending on anyone other than myself.  It’s definitely more than I can afford, and asking for money has required me to swallow a lot of pride (I have a lot of it to swallow) and lean on God’s greater understanding.  If you want to help me go, and part of the trip expenses will support the churches we will work with and pay for food distribution and other materials, let me know via comment or e-mail or any other way you have to get in touch with me.  Also, and probably more importantly, I fervently desire your prayers for this trip and the people we’ll be going to serve.

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