Janey's Sabbatical - Part Deux
In her second blog post, Janey shares about her recent ‘almost’ visit to Rosh Pina - One of the oldest moshavot (rural village) in Israel, as she continues her sabbatical …
So our trip to Rosh Pina turned into a trip to Katzrin! It’s roughly about the same distance from where we are and I know Katzrin a little - my daughter Leah lived in an apartment there while working for the Israel National Parks at Gamla and I remembered there was a library - maybe they’d like a few extra books for their collection?! It was pretty much deserted - a bit eerie actually - apart from when we were trying to do a u turn in a dead end and a great big lorry turned up just in time to block me in - ironic! An entirely empty town and we encounter the only traffic hold up!
Unfortunately the library was closed - but I remembered there was a brewery with a visitor centre so we decided to go for a drink (Orange juice - I was driving!). I had a Hebrew Bible in my bag and was just waiting for a natural opportunity to offer it - but I don’t like to try and engineer conversations, it doesn’t feel natural to me. We chatted a while with the staff then left as we’d been invited out for a meal later that night and needed to be back in time.
Women reading this will identify with the need to visit the loo before a longish drive, so I popped in to the ‘Sherutim’. I couldn’t help but notice, as I washed my hands, how immaculate and beautiful the loos were. Shiny marble tops, glittering mirrors & taps, complete with an prettily-painted, empty beer bottle containing some fresh flowers. And then there she was! The cleaning lady! I thanked her for keeping it beautiful and felt instinctively I should offer her the Bible. She accepted my gift with a great big smile and said, "Baruch HaShem Toda! (Blessed be God, thank you!)"
So, this was the first ‘gift’ I gave out. I chuckled to myself, on our way home, that this occurred in a brewery!
The next day I was taken ill with a bad stomach and so was pretty much useless for the next three days. This was very frustrating as I like to be ‘doing’! The stomach bug had been doing its rounds in the town and I was it’s current victim!
During my time laid up in bed I did manage to send a few emails and phone contacts to whom we could offer our gifts of Bibles. I received several positive responses, so we set about planning our routes and the days we would travel. Two of the email replies said that our contacting them had been a direct answer from God after they had been asking Him for Bibles!
Our first deliveries were in Tiberias, Jerusalem and Ashdod.
In Jerusalem we sat on a bench waiting for our contacts to turn up, when the sound of sirens began filling the air and literally dozens of emergency vehicles hurtled past us: motorbikes, ambulances and police. We knew something terrible had happened - we’d already heard about the growing number of attacks occurring across Jerusalem, as a "day of rage" had been declared against the Jewish people of Israel. This type of "day of rage" had been proclaimed before and, sometimes, nothing comes of it. But this particular day there had been a horrific car ramming and several stabbings.
I sat with adrenaline rushing through my body, praying fervently for God to intervene.
Eventually our friends arrived and we gave them our ‘gifts’. We decided to go to a coffee shop as we’d heard that all routes out of town had been temporarily blocked off, in order to catch the terrorists. We tried to make conversation, but our minds were so troubled by what was going on - and anyway, for a while we couldn’t leave the coffee shop because the police had cordoned off the area. At all times despite the situation going on I felt a personal peace - you know the one - it passes all human understanding!
It hit me how important it was that these Bibles are being given out - the words within them contain life and salvation, and bring peace to the soul! Some of you will know of Kay Wilson - she’s the survivor of a vicious stabbing attack in Jerusalem who was a guide with CMJ Israel. In her book about the attack, Kay asks how one human being could do that to another? She comes to the conclusion that it was because the attackers had lost - or never understood in the first place - how we are all made in the image of God, and are therefore sacred. The word of God contained in these Bibles can change this lack of knowledge about humanity!
Back in 1981, after Paul and I were married, we both had a strong desire to help distribute Bibles into Russia. So we applied to an organisation to join their work. We received a very polite letter turning us down because were too young! How wonderful it is to me, that 30 + years later, God has me doing that very job in a country I adore, among a people I want to see enlightened about their Messiah!
To date we’ve distributed almost 600 bibles - please pray they will be read and that the Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of people holding them.