I could be speaking of many different things when I use those two words together. I could be describing Gold Bond, Heineken, Old Spice, Aquafina, Beaver Lake, the Phoenix Suns, or countless other items. In this instance, I am talking about the last week that Sarah and I spent in Eilat, which is in Southern Israel. We were there for only three days, but there are way too many stories to tell in just one post. So today, I want to describe some of the incredibly interesting people we met and give you an overview of the trip, but there will be more stories to come.
We stayed at a "Christian Youth Hostel" in Eilat that was called The Shelter. This hostel was the location of the first interesting person we met, a Dutch teenager named Tomas. He attempted to provide us with directions to The Shelter over the phone on three separate phone calls. Each time, he assured us it was "easy to find" and that we'd "walk right into it." However, he refused to use street names, addresses, or directions (left, right, north, south, etc). We spent at least an hour walking around Eilat trying to find the place. It was about 3 minutes away from the bus station. If we walked slowly.
Margareta: A 50 something woman who hailed from a small island in between Finland and Sweden. She has Finnish citizenship, but speaks Swedish. Also, she doesn't bathe or shave her legs or armpits.
Tom: A 60 year old man with a beard that would impress Moses. He was a Canadian who now lives as a farmer and missionary in Switzerland. I shared a room with Tom the first night. On more than one occasion, his snoring frightened me so badly that I sat up in bed, expecting that a bulldozer was coming for the hostel. I slept outside the other two nights.
Som: Another Dutchman, Som was traveling in Israel alone. He, Jesse and I went hiking in the Negev desert one morning. This dude was a hiking machine! I am very thankful that we decided on a short hike, 'cause this guy would have worn me ragged. We got to have a lot of neat conversations with Som during the time we were in Eilat and hopefully we will see him again in Bethlehem.
Ismael (not his real name): Ismael is an Arab Israeli Christian who lives in Eilat. He spends his days on an internet site sharing his faith with Arab Muslims who may or may not be able to talk to someone about Jesus in person. Jesse, Sarah, and I sat enraptured to his descriptions of Islam and Christianity, and his strategies for arguing people into the Kingdom (and I mean that in a good way, like how Paul used the scriptures to prove that Jesus was the messiah). Seriously, this man is doing some incredible work. If you have the thought, please pray for the work that this man is doing.
Allright, that's all I have time for today. In the next couple days I will post some other stuff, including my morning spent with Israeli soldiers, the party with the Ethiopian Jews, and playing games with my new Turkish friend.