The loudspeakers just finished blaring the Muslim prayers at 5 pm. I know this is a sign of disrespect for Jews, but it is part of the character of this divided city. I am sitting in a coffee shop that borders a busy street and people are hurrying by on their way home from work. Two men are singing a hebrew-tinged version of "Volare" as I eat my soup and sandwich. Today is a day of blessing, but an unexpected bunch of them.
The beginning of the day I nearly caused an Arabian riot on Pickpocket Hill. Idea dead to buy an 'authentic' Arabian headdress to bring back for our Children's Pageant, and I mistakenly pitted two men against each other, which resulted in a shouting match that nearly caused violence to erupt. So just when you were wondering if I was safe, I nearly caused my own demise! Haggling is a good thing, but stick with just ONE vendor, ok? I did end up with the headscarf for half price, however.
We then walked down the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. Remember that most of these things are now housed in elaborate churches, as was the rock they believe He prayed on. The church is built to be purposely gloomy to reflect the somberness of the experience but as we walked in they were holding the service and the priests were chanting and it was astonishingly beautiful even though it was in fact gloomy.
The tour continued on as we headed towards the church of the holy sepulcher. However my day changed rather dramatically at that point. I was being a nosy body and I was watching what someone was doing on the street when I tripped over a concrete pillar or pylon or some short concrete object. Consequently I broke my wrist very severely, and have spent the rest of the day in the emergency room in Jerusalem.
But so many blessings! People who cared for me from the group, people from the tour organization who stayed with me and help translate for me; very short waiting times in each place that I had to go--from urgent care to hospital to imaging, etc...
They have stabilized the rest until I get back to the US in order to have surgery. But that is a blessing to! Because I didn't have to have surgery here. I also have medical travel insurance. Which will be a great help. So please excuse any spelling errors or grammatical errors that I've inserted in this blog entry. I'm trying to speak my entry into the computer and sometimes it gets things wrong. But again we're blessing! Imagine that I can simply talk and my words are recorded in order to transmit them so easily to all of you.
My name regret is that I am missing the final dinner with my team as I sit here by myself in the coffee shop. But I know I will need more time to pack tonight and get ready for my return trip home. I'm looking so forward to seeing all of you and to telling you about the miracles of this trip.
So forgive this entry if it's very short, because I need to go back and get myself ready to get on the plane tomorrow. I certainly would appreciate your prayers as I negotiate the many security checks baggage claims and other challenges that await me tomorrow. But I have never doubted in God's providence, and I don't doubt it now. This trip has been an extraordinary experience grace, love, Faith, and blessing. But I'm going to have to wait to tell the rest of the story until I heal a little bit more.
Please pray for me as I am praying for all of you. See you all soon!