Friday, February 2

Questions and Answers

We have received tons of e-mails, comments, and messages since we started talking about relocation to the Bethlehem area. There are three questions that keep coming up that I want to take the time to answer all together, so that Sarah and I do not type the same thing over and over to answer all the e-mails. Not that we are anything but incredibly grateful to be receiving all the communication, well you understand I'm sure.

Without further ado, I'd like to present the top three questions asked of the Pollacks over the last week!!

#3: How long are you staying?
In short, we don't know. We have committed to staying Aug/September of 2008, but that is really not going to enough time to really get the Paidia operation up and going or to implement our church planting/growth ideas. In all likelihood, we will be here for 1.5-3 more years, but we really don't know at this point.

We're also not really trying to figure it out yet, we are just moving here. If we avoid setting a return date, we are more free psychologically and emotionally to really make ourselves at home and put down roots here; which will necessary both for our sanity and for us to have an meaningful witness to the community.

#2:Was it hard to decide?
Yes, absolutely. As soon as the deal was done, and I had agreed in principle to work for Paidia, buyer's remorse starting setting in. Neither of us was expecting it to hit so hard, so when we found ourselves awake a 1:30 in the morning, talking about all manner of things that we will miss about living in the US.

However, the way that God has been clearing out the barriers that we have erected by the truckload, and the way that he has filled us both with love and excitement for this place, clearly displays that He is pointing us in this direction. Plus, when it gets down to it. We have some pretty amazing opportunities if we stay here, and while we have cool opportunities in the US, we're the only ones available to do it. Thank God.

#1 Will you be raising support again?
Short answer. Yes, we will be raising support again. Paidia is a very new, very small organization, and so it cannot afford to pay me as much as it would cost to live here. As far as the details, we don't know yet. We are researching what our costs are going to be, finding out how much Paidia will pay us, and then establish a monthly support goal. After that, we'll start hittin' you up, don't you worry.

P.S. If you haven't visited the Paidia website yet, check it out. Also watch the video. It really illustrates why this kind of program is so needed in this community.

Thursday, February 1

it's a beautiful day...

today was such a great day. i've been kind of tired, cranky, and overwhelmed the last few days. i think a combination of no day off for a week and a half and making a new life decisions took it's toll on me. but today was great. some highlights:

-spending the night with erich and candice last night and waking up to ellie (their two-year-old) sweetly saying "hi jason" instead of kids and workers screaming.
-eating a real omelet for breakfast
-checkers for lunch! they just opened in bethlehem and it's not quite as good as in the states, but the burgers weren't bad and the fries were great.
-finding FOX-the israeli equivalent of gap, american eagle, and abercrombie all thrown together- about five minutes from house of hope.
-finding that fox is having a 1-1 sale (buy one, get one free). so i did. i got a red sweater and a really cute pair of capri pants that are dressy. i'm excited.
-taking a nap on the roof in the sun when it was about 60* outside. it was glorious.
-not working. i love the kids and all, but man, i needed this day.

it's kinda funny how excited i was to find fox and checkers. both look very western. we could easily find places like that in jerusalem, but to have them here in bethlehem is very comforting to me. sometimes i feel like that makes me really materialistic, but jason tries to remind me that i'm not. i'm living in a weird, foreign country so familiar things are so comforting, whether it's a store, a cheeseburger, a park, the weather, whatever. it was good to see them today. i've felt overwhelmed by the sudden reality of our decision to stay here, but it seems more manageable now. it still sounds stupid to me, but i know it's not and i know also that they are not the most important things keeping me here. i won't even go to them often. but i can if i want, which is nice to know.