As we traveled all around Israel this week, we had lots of opportunities to get to know the others in our group. One young couple, whose names I cannot share because of the young man they are housing, has been married for three years. Both are in ministry and the young man’s dad is a retired General for the Marines who now works with the division of Samaritan’s Purse that mentors and counsels army vets. No surprise that his son is now in ministry.
This couple sat across the aisle from us on our extensive bus travels in Israel, not to mention we migrated toward them for several nights in a row for dinner…small table, just five of us–Bill and myself, the couple and Bear. :o)
The first night at dinner Bear shared his passion for establishing medical clinics in Uganda and in Nicaragua next. The next night we delved into the young couple’s story. Many facets to their story, but the one that “captured my heart” and “my full attention” was the story of young man I will call “John” [I don’t want to use his real name].
John came to live with them last summer after the Gauntlet that New Spring Church has for youth in the summers. John attended and this is where the young couple met him. John is 20 and is deaf. After the Gauntlet, he was either going to be homeless or forced to go back and live in a “terrible situation” where drugs were involved. John is a drug baby which is the reason why he is in need of a kidney transplant at age 20. He currently performs dialysis on himself every four hours.
Can you imagine? The hearts of this young couple are as big as “Israel”. I was amazed at hearing them describe the joy and struggles of living with a deaf person. The biggest complaint is that he is loud and they hear him but he obviously can’t hear himself. They talked of how kind he was, and grateful too. Currently this young couple is trying to help him to be able to buy a car.
I absolutely loved Israel and learned much more Bible and had the Bible to come alive in fresh ways. But, I continue to see the scripture come alive the “MOST” through the stories of those strangers I met on the trip. Strangers who we are now so fortunate to call our “friends!”
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace…” (Philippians 1:3-7).