There are so many stories to tell…. I won’t bore you. I’ll pick only a few. We really only spent a short week in each place, so in reality, there is tons more going on than what we saw.
The first story comes from Door of Hope. A fella moved to Israel years back, and had a heart to serve the poor and street people who lived in the inner city of Tel Aviv. He would take coffee and tea to a local park and hand out hot cups of it to the prostitutes and drug addicts there. After a little, he bought an apartment nearby that park. But didn’t realize that it was directly in the middle of the red-light district there. So when strung out ladies would show up at his doorstep, he tried calling around to find a safe house for them to go to, even a program that would help house them, anything really. But there was nothing. NOTHING. No program to help women in prostitution. No ministry. Nothing government. No Jewish center to reach out. These women really had no one who cared about them. So that is how Door of Hope was begun. He now has a center where the women can come in off the streets during the daylight hours. They can receive a hot meal. They can wash up. There is even a salon where they can be pampered, and a closet of donated clothing for them to pick out new clothes. And beds so that they can rest. But most of all its a safe environment, where they aren’t taken advantage of, where they are LOVED. They see love extended to them when they come to Door of Hope. Its a beautiful answer to a need seen by one man. We had the opportunity to serve there a few times. It was beautiful. It was ugly. It was heart-wrenching. But these woman are given a glimpse of hope, and some have truly seen and received that hope. Those are the warm stories. Some have rejected it, or not survived the effects of their lifestyle. Those are the tough stories. But it was a honor to see this merciful extended hand of LOVE that now exists to help these ladies.
In the second country we were in we had some amazing things happen. I cannot be specific about the details, but we had open doors to do things you can’t normally do. Not to mention the one-on-one times that was spent with the locals, one time some of the staff had two locals over and they played “The Passion of the Christ” – it was really cool to see the reactions. So many great conversations with people about great things, it was a great trip and if you see us in person, please ask us about it.
Another story is, well, a conglomerate of many things…. we got to meet with each student while we were visiting them… and let me tell you… God is doing great things with each one of them. From the personal to the experiences, to the relational, to the outward, and the inward. We saw God move in them and through them. It was exciting. It was encouraging. They are on FIRE, so watch out! We know that God will be using them… in their hometowns, but also in the nations.