Returning Home

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Jerusalem students of Hebrew in ID

2007 Jerusalem Journal

2008 Jerusalem Journal

The first of three 'Returning Home' journeys began with the couple from the Master's College Israel Extension ...
Randy & Phyllis had made their home in Israel for some 15 years, having lived in South America in ministry for many years before. As life changes suddenly or subtly, so it did in the lives and ministry of this couple ~ from college professor to church pastor. A church, in the area where they had come from and where their families live, invited Randy to participate in their church as a prospective pastor. After due course and deliberation on both sides, they offered him the pastorate and he accepted. The couple began moving preparations in the spring, traveled back and forth during break, then packed at the end of semester for the final journey of returning home. A best friend of Michael's grandma, Marge, had heard about the experiences of her friend's grandson during his sojourn in Israel. Since Marge was a member of the church that was seeking a new pastor, she told her friend, who told her daughter, Michael's mom, who they had chosen and when the induction service was to be ~ the day after Michael's return! So between the 3 ladies another thread was seen being woven!

The second of three 'Returning Home' journeys continued with a graduate of studies at the Hebrew University ...
A dear friend of Michael's mom, Devera, had retired and moved to a rural Idaho community near the Payette & Snake Rivers along the Oregon border. She had met a family in the 3rd house from hers who celebrated the Jewish Passover in the Spring Feasts of Israel. The neighborly household was joined by Michael's mom, grandma, and their friend, along with many others to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of the LORD. During the evening, they learned from the hostess that a young man of the area, Jeremy, was also at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studying the language for his degree. Exchanging email addresses resulted in Jeremy's newsletter being received and forwarded to Michael with a 'why don't you contact him? question, to which he replied, 'Do you know him?' His mom responded, 'No.' Michael's email, 'I already have enough contacts and friends' ended the conversation. Once the Spring Semester was finished and upon completing his four-year degree, Jeremy made the journey of returning home.

The third of three 'Returning Home' journeys was completed by Michael himself, with 3 celebrations of his 20th year ...
As he journeyed to the Promised Land beginning the 19th year of his life, so Michael completed his sojourn in celebration of his 20th year ~ his friends and suitemates gave him a 'bon voyage' and birthday party, followed by final exams, packing, and saying goodbye. He traveled from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv for the last time, and boarded a non-stop flight for New York. Having sent several emails and left phone messages with no response from his 1st year university friend, Peter, whose parents had graciously escorted him through New York and between airports on the journey to Jerusalem, he thought his best recourse would be to sleep in the NY terminal. On the last call before he left Israel, he tried one more time ~ success at the last minute! Bless their hearts, the folks met him from his late flight and returned him for the next day early flight. On to Atlanta GA for a long over-due visit with his Grandmother, as with his Great Aunt, they had not seen each other in 10 years. His dad's sister and family hosted him for a two-day stay, gave him a tour of the aquarium, and celebrated his 20th year with his 2nd birthday party. Michael's departure flight from Israel on July 30th and arrival in Idaho on Aug 2nd reunited him with his family. He enjoyed a 3rd birthday party and celebration of his returning home!

Weaving the threads of 3 journeys together in the amazing patterns of life ...
The Master is not finished weaving His beautiful tapestry ~ we see the threads being interwoven, we see the tapestry from underneath, while He sees the pattern He is weaving into a perfect Work of Art that will be completed at the end of History. The threads were woven again in Idaho, beginning the day after Michael's return. The church in the valley presented their new pastor to the congregation in a 'home coming' induction on Sunday Aug 3rd, with friends and family (with the parents of the couple) present ~ including Michael (with 3 generations of his family), who had enjoyed their hospitality and benefited from the teaching tours while they were in Israel. The generations of the families who met through interwoven friendships shared in the beginning of new journeys in life.

Another thread was being woven on Michael's journey home, as a second email from the Hebrew graduate was passed along the way. In surprise, Michael replied, 'Is this who you wanted me to contact? ~ I know him!!!' While taking classes, being on and around campus, the two young men from Idaho had occasionally talked with each other. Once temporarily settled at home, Michael contacted him and planned a visit. The next weekend, Michael, his mom, and grandma visited their 'retired' friend in rural Idaho and the Hebrew graduate was able to come by to see them. The 3 ladies were treated to a conversation in Hebrew between the young men; the 4-year student was pleased with the progress of the 1st year student and each shared the applications of their learning and aspirations for their futures. Jeremy had offered to teach beginner Hebrew lessons at the neighbor's home, so Devera let him know she was interested in learning and signed up to join his class. The lessons commenced and were completed before Jeremy returned to Jerusalem for the Fall Semester, his students having learned the Hebrew alephbet to begin their new journeys. The perfect patterns of the LORD, in how He sent Randy & Phyllis, Jeremy, and Michael, from their homes in the same area of Idaho to Jerusalem in His Promised Land, were amazingly completed when He wove their paths together to meet again ~ after 'returning home'.

folks in New York
Peter's parents in NY
Grandmother in GA
Grandmother in GA
Mother & Daughter in ID
Nancy & Phyllis ~ Mother & Daughter

post: 2008Oct19Sun