Back in Haifa
Dear family and friends
I've been so overwhelmed by your lovely cards and letters, I don't know where to begin. I can't tell you how much your care and concern means to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
As it happened, it was early on a Saturday morning when I learned that my dad had had a brain hemorrhage. Rod was just going out the door to participate in the National Israeli Road Bike Championship. He'd been training for this for quite some time so I didn't have the heart to tell him the news until later in the day after he'd taken second place (!) in his age bracket:-) This victory gives Rod some kudos among his teammates - his goal is to share the gospel with each of them. Still, it was a bittersweet day for both of us.
I'm so thankful that I was able to be in the States for my father's memorial service on July 3rd. Our daughter, Chris, met me in Philadelphia and together we flew to Charleston. The Lovelands are very rarely all together so - in spite of the reason - we were glad to see one another.
Thank you, too, for your concern for our safety here in Israel. As you know, hostilities between Israel and Hamas have escalated after the killing of three Israeli and one Palestinian teenager. It seems likely now that a ground invasion into Gaza is about to take place. We don't feel like we're in any real danger. In fact, we'll be providing shelter for a friend from the South who's nearer to the action. But our hearts and prayers go out to those on both sides of the conflict who've lost family, friends, and property and whose lives are being disrupted.
In happier news, we're so enjoying working with our newest team member, Sveta. As you may remember, she's been a part of our little community from the start and she's become a very dear friend and ministry partner. Just last night, we had S'mores on our deck (thank you very much, Terri Schell!) and she shared the gospel with our neighbor. Sveta has a real gift for personal ministry and our work has become a lot more fun with her in the picture!
With lots and lots of love and appreciation from Rod and me