Had I not previously been nine months pregnant seven times over, I would surely have thought that these were the longest two weeks of my existence. Granted, they were indeed fifteen of the l.o.n.g.e.s.t. days in quite some time, and we are a bit worse for the wear, but Mr. Visionary's trip to Israel has come and gone, and we have survived.
Mr. Visionary himself had a delightful time in the Land. He served and ministered to both Israelis and Arabs, and in my wifely opinion, several Americans as well. His harvesting grapes in the West Bank fulfilled prophecy in some measure, as the scriptures tell of a time when foreigners will be vinedressers for Israel.
He also worked hard using his construction skills to serve the Israeli farmer to whom they were ministering.
They had enough "down time" to allow for some visiting...networking and worshipping with other believers in the Land. To some extent, we in the States understand fellowshipping together and building relationships within the body. It is important to us here, but not like it has to be on the front lines. Having strong relationships with the other believers and a support system in place is absolutely crucial in the face of the persecution and at times, danger, of serving Jesus in the Middle East. I do not believe that asserting, 'life and death could depend on being tied in to the body there', would be overstating the matter.
The Harvest 2007 Team
Part of Mr. Visionary's trip was to serve, but another part was reconnaissance. We both prayed that Father would indeed reveal more of His will for our family during Phil's time in the Land. And it appears He has. My Visionary has returned more focused - sure that Father is calling our family to serve Him in Israel. Phil's message from his time in the Land is this, 'There is a great work that Father is doing there, and a multitude of places and ways to serve. There is no shortage of needs in Israel nor shortage of opportunities to bless Israel.'
Now, on to the question that has been flooding my Inbox: "What is next? What are we going to be doing now?"
We are still at a place of knowing for sure, only the very next step. That would be to sell our farm while continuing to downsize.
While Mr. Visionary was away, the children and I took off school, and intensively worked on the To-Do list of all those little things (and some big) that need to be done before we can put the house on the market. We painted and patched, shoveled mulch and gravel (60 tons of gravel), and painted some more. We had a Work Day, where twenty-five friends came out to the farm to help get things done. It was a complete surprise to Mr. Visionary...everything...the work by the kids and myself and the Work Day. Mr. Visionary came home to a completely different house.
Honestly, it was equally encouraging and discouraging to see how much we accomplished. I was thrilled to see how many folks came to help us, and what work we could produce if we really set our minds to it. I was discouraged, however, to see just how much is actually left on the list that needs to be done contrasted with how little time we have available. This I know: we will get this work completed on Father's time table, and neither the timing nor the To-Do list will take Him by surprise. I am recognizing that knowing a thing to be true and wrapping one's heart around it don't always have the same chronology. So we work, wait and trust.
Solomon was right...there's nothing new under the sun.