Sunday, December 4, 2016

To The USA And Back In Ten Days

At the time of writing this is had been only three days since I returned from my trip to the USA. I'm sitting on the red carpet in my living room; it's 2:00 am hoping I'll be sleepy soon to put this jet-lag behind me, so I hope. I'm trying to process my trip while I still can, after all if was the busiest ten-day-trip of my life. Good busy!

After a 12 hour flight I arrived state-side, and few more to get me to the airport in Indianapolis, it was night, and I was ready to call it a night, or day, whatever time-zone my body was responding to at the time. I hopped with John Wayne in the car and drove off. He told me that plans had changed and I won't be staying at his home. I said, "that's fine, a bridge to sleep under would suffice." That was the YWAMer in me. From that point on a "bridge" was the term we used for the next location I was to call home-for-the-night. Altogether, I ended up staying under six "bridges." There I met some of the most wonderful people in my life. More about that in a different article.

I had no time to whine about jet-lag, how little sleep I had or how long the flight was; we had a lot of work to get done before going to ICOM in Lexington, Kentucky. I loved being in the CHLF offices. To me it felt like what I called "my context." I think my job is a bit interesting because I have office work and field work, so to speak. Being in the office with John and Deb created a "context" into which I'll be working with them in the future once I'm back in the "field." It was a stressful time, but we pulled through and got everything ready for next week.

Two days before heading to Lexington we made a trip to The Ark Ministries camp. Bruce Cameron, the executive director of the minister and who I had met earlier in August in Israel, was there along with other people from different churches in the area. This was my first experience officially presenting what the CHLF does in Israel and what my role is as director of communications. John Wayne did most of the explaining, and I'm looking forward to learning more about "presenting." Bruce showed us around after the presentation. The wheels in my head started turning about potential ministry opportunities. We also met with three volunteers that will be making their way to Israel in September of 2017 to do ministry within churches pastored by CHLF team members. These three were my mischievous compadres during the ICOM.

The ICOM was a very good experience for me. However, my previous experience of such conferences in the past, more specifically in the tourism field, was competitive. I had to adjust my thinking to the fast that the booths surrounding ours, including the ones I never got to see, are representing ministries that are working for the same "company" we we do: "God's Kingdom!" I don't think I can call a single thing a highlight as there were many! For example, I loved meeting with the board, getting to know them better face to face and spend time with them. Also, I met several people from different background who were very interested in hearing about the Christians Arabs in Israel. And the trivia game we put together was a hit. Even I and my compadres were excited about playing it over and over again.

Before I knew it, the conference was over and we were making our way back to Indiana. Somehow time went by so quickly but at the same time it was very slow. I guess it went by quickly because of the busy nature of the trip; we had a lot to get done in so little time. At the same time, I had been away from my family for ten days, at the point I'm wondering if my 16 month old son still remembers me. Just as I was over the jet-lag I hopped on a plane making my way home.

I'm home, have been for about two weeks. Yes, it's taken me way longer than I thought to write this blog post. But there is so much to process, and I am still processing. There are so many good things to write about. In fact, that is one of the reasons it's taken me so long to write this post. At the same time of writing this post I'm writing another about the people I met, it should be out soon, I hope. How do you choose what to talk about when you could write a novel about it?! If there is one thing that positively shocked me and that I learned fro my trip is that there are many people on the USA who love me, a Christian Arab, and who are praying for me and supporting me. I pray, as the Director of Communications, that I'll be able to communicate this love to the locals here in the Galilee.

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