"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
It’s official. I’ve committed and the only thing that will turn me back is the tide of war or an act of God. Yesterday I signed up for a humanitarian aid trip to Israel. Back to the Holy Land – the birthplace of 3 major religions.
Taking place in October of this year, this will be my second trip to Israel – the first time was in May of 2009. I’m with a team that so far consists of all women. This could be a difficulty when we interact with the male-dominant Muslim culture but it could also serve our purposes as we serve our target people groups.
We will be working with an organization in Tel Aviv that runs a safe house for prostitutes in the red light district. The house is a place for the women to go for a night of peaceful rest where they won’t be harassed, a reprieve from life on the streets. We will spend our evenings with these women, working at the house in a practical capacity by changing sheets, cleaning, and bringing much-needed support and supplies. It’s not my first encounter with such a harsh life, but just the same I know it won’t be easy.
During the day, we will be on the streets of Tel Aviv working among the homeless and drug addicts. Again, I’m grateful to have some experience with this in the past, but it’s never an easy undertaking. The key to making a difference in all the lives we encounter is to be that person that treats them with respect, love, and care. To see the individual among a sea of faces, to single them out when the world they live in ignores them – that’s what it is to be a force for hope.
My heart belongs to the Middle East. I look forward to the return; to once again look on Lake Tiberias, to wander through the bazaars in the old city of Jerusalem, and to once again stand overlooking the hills of Bethlehem, to meet people with amazing stories and experiences so foreign to my own and find good company. It’s strange to be considered of lesser value by some because I’m a woman, to see plain-clothes police officers carrying automatic rifles on their backs, and view the rift between religions while cultures converge. But I look forward to the trip, anxiously awaiting the chance to change the world.