Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

Today is a travel Day. It is an exciting day.

We took a little time for ourselves this morning. Our driver has been so very good to us. He did not mind leaving a little later in the morning even though that means he would be getting home late. Having a good driver can make all the difference in a travel adventure. Achmod has been terrific.

Before leaving Nazareth, we stopped off at Nazareth Village. This place was designed to give visitors a taste of what life might have looked like at the time of Jesus. There is a small museum, a gift shop, and a walking tour where you can see various points of interests such as a sheep herder, a weaver, a vineyard, and a synagogue. It is thought provoking and reasonably worth the time and effort to experience it.

We grab some lunch, run a few errands, and begin our journey through the Jezreel Valley. I am finding that the agricultural developments are continuing to shape up and include many more crops that were not present even just four years ago. In our short drive from Nazareth to Megiddo I saw an orange grove, corn field, green beans, wheat, cherry trees, olive trees, strawberries, bananas, and pomegranates. I have noticed in our meals there has been a greater variety of meats and much more leafy greens than I have ever had offered before.

We make our way to Megiddo. This strong sits between the major valley corridors. It has been proven to demonstrate through excavation a place that’s been inhabited for centuries. There are at least eleven layers of civilization found. There are two major gateways to enter stemming from significantly different eras.  Some of the reconstructed amenities are very impressive. There are large storage areas, a palace, a stable, remnants of a place of worship with a sacrificial altar. Probably one of the most significant attributes is the large water source and storage. There is a very large circular well. In standard stairways, it is 180 steps down to the bottom of the well. At the bottom you reach a tunnel of which you find at the end an underground spring. The city or fortress or whatever you might want to call it for its own time could survive undeterred for great periods of time simply because it had a hidden water source that an enemy would have no knowledge of when coming to attack an assumed weary people.

Finally, we put all that aside and make the last leg of our journey for now. We arrived at the Aboud Elementary School. The school is a Christian based elementary school located in the village of Aboud. It has a rich history of providing a solid education to the children of the area. It offers all the basics for a well-rounded education. It also includes Biblical teaches and promotes a life of love, grace and compassion among all sisters and brothers no matter their ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Aboud has various sources of support that have allowed it to continue to grow and develop into a well-respected institution. Still, it relies on the help of others to maintain the buildings and grounds. Money is always tight and any supplies that can be donated are greatly appreciated. This is one of the main tasks of our trip. We’ve come here to spend time with the staff and community. We have brought supplies. We will be spending the next four days working around the school to help in any way we are directed to do so. We will offer a one-day vacation bible school to the children. We anticipate around fifty children. We will offer an evening Youth Rally for youth and young adults. Experience tells us to expect around thirty participants. The VBS and Youth Rally are highlight events for me. I love spending time with the children and their families. I thoroughly enjoy the way the VIM volunteers work along-side the school staff to pull together a great program.

I look with great anticipation for all this to happen. We have already been given a list of work projects. We’ve been told to do as much as we want and can before our time is over. We will spend time with new acquaintances and meet up with some very dear friends. This is not the only reason I have come on this journey. It is certainly one of the deciding factors. I am ready to dive in.

I probably will not be writing much for the next couple of days. I want to focus on the work and developing my relationships with our team members, the school staff and those of the community. Tomorrow is a workday. The VBS is on Thursday and Youth Rally is on Friday. We will continue to work on projects around these major events. Family and friends have been invited for Tea during the days to allow us time in visit those living and working in the area. Please, keep us in your prayers. Your love and support have already made a difference and will continue to motivate us. Maybe someday, you might join a VIM and experience this for yourself. I cannot think of anything I would rather be doing than this.

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