Time of tears for Nahariya
All good things come to an end, and this week we farewelled Prof Tim, who has been teaching us for the last 15 months, and his wife Bernice and their three children. We had a wonderful final meeting, but their departure has left us like orphans. Two of our South Americans came in last night to bring me up some heavy drinking water bottles, and sat recounting all that his being with us has meant to them, and how they feel it has helped them to commit themselves more fully to the work in Nahariya. They had made Tim a wonderful barbecue the night before, but now they were really sad. We are all at a loss to explain how we feel.
To add to all else, our beloved Maarten. our teacher from Holland, has been away some weeks, and his own father is dying, so that he also cannot come back to us as scheduled. He has to stay now in Holland, and see this thing through, so he also needs our prayers for him at this sad time for him and his family.
We have been in this situation before, and so this is not new to us, but we are sad. We know how God blessed us when we were bereft after Albert's death, so we look forward to see what God will do now.
Another difficult situation is the severe illness of our 96 year old Frederika. I went to see her, and she is so weak, and not yet a believer. It is hard to see her also in this condition after she has been with us so faithfully. Shoshana, the Polish Jewess to whom I have been so close for 38 years, also left finally for the States, as she can no longer live alone, but has returned to her daughter. I can't believe that she has gone!
On the ledger side
Tim has gone, but Michael was formally given a send off by the Haifa Brethren the Saturday before last, and received into our fellowship at the same time as we farewelled Tim. In fact, we had two cakes, one that said Goodbye Tim and Family, and one that said Welcome, Michael and Family. Michael is till very young, but he will be preaching next week. He, too needs our prayers. He is still looking for an apartment in Nahariya.
We are also expecting that a few more young couples will join us. We cannot say too much at the moment, but God is working in our midst. One of our problems is that we may soon have to look for larger premises! This is also due to the fact that we have a growing number of children in the congregation, and the meetings and singing are now accompanied by the patter of little feet and baby chatter! Some of our younger people are taking it in turn to teach the little ones. They are often competing with the translations into Hebrew/English and Spanish, and sometimes Arabic! A happy confusion!
For those who pray for Pastor Najeeb and Elisabeth, their son Tino went off work to help the family income. On his first day as a water, the second waiter demanded all his tips, smashed his nose and knocked out his three front teeth. He ended up in hospital and the whole family went into shock. The matter is now in police hands, but they need your prayers. Tino is only 18, and he needs three tooth implants. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. This boy and an uncle were both blown up by terrorists: Tino at the age of seven was covered with terrorist body parts with the head of the terrorist between his legs, and now this! He needs our prayers.
Now that Tim has gone, we hope to start a weekly visitation programme, with Avi, Esther and I visiting both members of the congregation who need our presence, or people from other places who would also like to see us. Naomi, who is also our musician/ translator, will also join us when she is able.
On a personal note, I continue with my learning of Arabic and have just finished my life story, which I do hope to publish! While I was waiting for my Angiogram, I thought, "Help, I haven't finished yet!" My heart stopped in the operating theatre, but God spared my life. So I am happy to have finished the project!
I hope to see ABDM shortly and revisit Bethlehem, now that I am feeling so much better. More about that next time.
Greetings from Avi, Esther, Naomi and the team at Nahariya,
God bless you all in Yeshua,