Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bedtime with the Bedouins – Part Two

I’ve been putting off this blog because there is just no way for me to let you experience exactly what I did.  I wish I could teleport you here for a day so you could hear, feel, smell, taste, and touch what I do!

So where were we?  Oh yes, it’s late afternoon and I’m driving up to a Bedouin tent with my very new friend Margaret…

The women, and children came to greet us as we got out of our truck.  We held hands while kissing once to the left, three times to the right (although I’ve since learned that it can be four if you really like the person). :P 

While we were doing all the hand-holding and kissing, the men came home with the flocks and herded them into the pen.
The ladies helped with the stragglers. :P
Margaret and I were then ushered into the tent where an elderly woman came at us with cups of boiling coffee.  I say “came at us” because 1) it was late afternoon – hot – who wants a hot cup of anything at this time? and 2) although the smell is delightful, I don’t like the bitter taste of coffee, but am not about to turn down someone’s hospitality when they offer it.  To clarify: someone from another culture.  If I come to your American home I am turning down your coffee.  Ha ha!

That trial over, the men went into their area of the tent and then women and children came into ours and we talked until supper.  One lady wanted us to help her read the Qu’ran that she had, but when she brought it out to us we discovered that it was actually the book of Luke from the Bible, so we helped her understand the difference.

During our conversations, kittens pranced around the sitting area, flies were buzzing everywhere, and two sheep walked through the tent.

Supper was delightful.  This is a picture from another day of some Jordanian food.  I didn’t take any in their home because I didn’t want them to feel like they were a spectacle or anything, just wanted to build good relationships and show them we cared enough to spend time with them.

After supper a 7ish-year-old girl came up to me shyly and asked to brush my hair.  Now, I love people playing with my hair, but brushing it dry would make it a frizzy mess.  I decided it didn’t matter and let her brush and style my hair while her mom cuddled up beside me and petted my arm.  As they prepared the mat for sleeping, it appeared that the physical touch may not be over for the night because five of us ladies were to sleep on a mat in the middle of the floor (I was #2 of 5 in the sandwich, ha ha).

We waited till the men had settled into their area for the night before venturing outside to go to the bathroom. We went far enough away to where we had some privacy (no outhouses, lol), but not too far that the guard dogs thought we were intruders and mauled us.  Interesting balance.
Inside again, I settled into my area of the mat where I slept peacefully for most of the night.  I was awakened once by something biting at my back.  My first thought was that it was a rat so I reached down there to grab it and throw it against the burlap wall, but at the last minute I remembered the kittens.  Sure enough, it was a kitten, so instead of walloping it across the room I just brought it up to my pillow where it started purring and we both slept soundly till morning.  :)
Those are birdhouses on the poles.

On the way home we saw the ruins of Umm Jimal (“mother of camel”) which was a city from thousands of years ago and mentioned  in the Bible (I believe in the book of Jeremiah).  It’s pretty neat getting to see these ancient places that I’ve read about for years.

Anyway, thank you for your prayers.  Things at the hospital are going very well, and I’ve gotten to visit with some more refugees outside the hospital, as well.  God has been so faithful to draw me to Himself this past week.  I thank and praise Him for that because it’s so easy to get caught up in all this doing that I neglect the most important thing which the Westminster Catechism says is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” :)  Please continue to ask that I keep Him first in all things!

Also lift up the mental / emotional state of our patients.  Not only have a great number of them been through so much, sickness is a constant drain on not only your body but your mind, and some of the TB medications have depression as a side effect, as well.  Living in a hospital for months at a time can be very hard.  Pray that they would find encouragement, contentment, and joy in God.    

"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You" Psalm 5:11.

I love you all!

1 comment:

Nanette Ryan said...

You have a wonderful way of telling what was happening around you in a way that I could imagine it. Thanks for sharing the experience with us! You are in my prayers often.