Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Prayers of the Church

Hey friends and family! سلام علىكم (peace be upon you).

Thank you so much for your thoughts, notes and prayers. I know many of you have been worried about me with the hard situation here in the Palestinian territories and now also with the death of my close friend. These last days I have really been able see the effects of your prayers. For a while I have felt very energy-less spiritually and haven't really had the strength to reach out to God through prayer or otherwise, but these last two days I have really seen God reach out to me and give me prayers and times of refreshment with him. I am really depending on him to "renew my soul" as Psalm 23 says. This Psalm has frequently been an encouragement to me as it throughout shows God's initiative in our lives: HE is the shepherd who leads and comforts and guides and renews us. Thanks be to God!

Life has started to become very routine and much of the novelty has begun to wear off. The grind of Arabic continues, but it is much harder to sense progress. Still, many times I am encouraged when I am able to have some basic, good conversations with people who I wouldn't be able to with otherwise. (I am also very proud of myself when I see people who have been a much longer time than I in the Middle East and yet speak much worse Arabic, or none at all!).

A new focus that I would like to begin these next weeks is to build some relationships with Jewish Israelis, a group that I have more or less not been exposed to at all, living in an all Palestinian area of the West Bank. I know that I need these relationships to get a balanced opinion as well as to avoid becoming prejudiced and villify the other side. Please pray for opportunities to do so.

I continue to need prayers for spiritual strength and for the ability to process all I am learning from a spiritual perspective.


(PS I added some new pictures to


Anonymous said...

Hey Jonathan! I just wanted to write you a quick note to say that I'm thinking of you and praying for you...
lots of love!
~Amy Dykstra

Anonymous said...

god bless your work