Monday, July 16, 2012


Following a great “practice for heaven” time of worshipping together with brothers and sisters at a church in Arabic on Sunday morning, our remaining team of Myles and Sarah, Tim, Trevor, and myself, the Bouchers, and about 20 of Ruth’s family members caravanned to the Bekka Valley for a wedding celebration with Brent’s Bedouin relatives. Our honking horns were welcomed by curious children lining the streets and live music outside of the family’s homes. Participating in this convergence of families—city folk from Beirut and the nomadic Bedouins of the Bekka—was a blast.
            The family slaughtered two sheep for the celebration, and we ate them with rice, wheat, yogurt, and vegetables. Several of us even tried brain and tongue scraped straight from the skull. Hey, you’re only in the Bekka once, right? It was fun to watch Ruth’s relatives, who were just as out of place as we were, and feel some company in the experience of “foreigner.” Throughout and following the meal, we participated in the traditional deptki dance (their version of a line dance), enjoyed coffee and dessert, and watched Thad kiss a girl for the first time.
            It was an incredible experience. Just miles from the Syrian border, and area you’ve likely heard little to nothing positive about, I received genuine hospitality and love from strangers who quickly made me feel like family. These day-to-day joys and celebrations show the true spirit of Lebanon and the Middle East. These are a people of love, hospitality, and joy. The Bedouins know how to party, and I felt joy at the knowledge that these people are receiving love from friends and family who want them to know the love of Jesus. Please pray, for the harvest is waiting.
~Hannah Abernathy

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