December 30, 2004
A New Assignment --
[Bergton, Virginia] Since my last
update, I've been given a new place of assignment -- Tonga. I
don't know much about it yet, but I'm excited about serving the
community in the South Pacific. I'll continue to update this site
with frequent information about life in Tonga.
Despite all of the good news I've
heard from the US media, my friends in Palestine tell me that
life there for the typical Palestinian is still the same. Israeli
settlements continue to grab more and more Palestinian land, Bethlehem
continues to shrink, the separation wall is still being built,
checkpoints and roadblocks are still stopping Palestinians from
going from one side of their villages to the other, and Israeli
military invasions are still common. We'll
see how things develop. As a reminder,
you can get information on eyewitness accounts from internationals
in Palestine. The
ISM posts a lot of inside material from people in the area. You
can read their reports and join their mailing list:
good websites, I'll continue to refer you to my links
page. There is accurate information from Bethlehem
Media Net and the International
Middle East Media Center.
hope your Christmas was fantastic! It was my first Christmas home
in three years, and it was so great to spend it with my family.
I especially liked opening gifts with my niece and nephews. I'm
not sure if Casey (age 4) or I had the most fun.
to America, I've met some folks. One of the most interesting exchanges
took place just a week ago in a Virginia shopping mall. A young
woman approached me to sell some beauty products. (Listen, I need
all the help I can get.) She looked a little familiar, so I asked
her where she was from. She told me she had just finished her
Israeli military service. I told her she looked like she might
be one of the soldiers stationed in Ramallah, and she replied
that she was. So we talked for a half-hour or so. Removed from
the situation with both our defenses dropped, the conversation
was free and easy and sometimes actually sort of fun. I don't
think either of us changed our minds about much, but I continue
to think that dialogue is important.
person that I met recently is Lori from CrossingMusic.com.
She runs a nice website for contemporary Christian music. She
offered some suggestions and introduced me to some really great
music. I picked up four CDs, and I'll be back for more. If you're
ever interested in buying gifts for missionaries, I haven't met
one yet who didn't like music.
My good friend
JZ got married. I was honored to be his best man. Mabruk, buddy!
Janina by the Rhine River.
wedding, I returned to Palestine for a week to see some friends.
Here was my nice welcome back to Bethlehem:.
Security Wall in Bethlehem (Jerusalem side)
Security Wall in Bethlehem (Bethlehem side)