The bags are more or less packed, but there is always something I have missed which I somehow have to squeeze in. Yesterday I even resorted to buying a bigger suitcase to give me more space (just hope that at 06.30 in the morning, the check-in person will not be awake to just how overweight my case is!). I have of course been in this situation so many times before, but I always seem to end up wearing 2 layers of clothes, whilst my fellow passengers travel wearing T-Shirts!
It really shouldn’t be like this, as the manse at Tiberias is apparently pretty well furnished, with plenty of furniture, bed linen, plates, glasses, etc. It is a far cry from Zambia, where ‘furnished accommodation’ in my first two ‘stations’ meant a steel bed frame and a couple of metal chairs with one piece of foam each to sit on. No wardrobe, so I would just hang my clothes on nails on the wall! No problems like that in Tiberias. In fact, the manse has a walk-in, re-enforced cupboard (a dressing-room, in fact), which doubles as my bomb shelter in case of emergency.
Over the last few weeks I have managed to meet up with a number of people with Tiberias or Israel/Palestine connections, which has been so valuable. Thus, I am filled with a tremendous sense of excitement and anticipation, as I enter this new phase of my life/ ministry, but also almost overwhelmed by the responsibility of it all. It will, of course, be good to return to a place where I was a volunteer 27 (!) years ago, but of course the place has changed and I have changed in the intervening years, whilst the issues of Israel/Palestine seem to have become even more complicated. However, I relish the challenge of being part of the church’s ministry in that troubled but fascinating area.
Your prayers, as always, will be much appreciated!