Greetings from Lebanon! I'm writing this from Dar El Awlad under a nice shade tree. The journey to Lebanon was long, but God gave us the endurance and patience that we desperately needed. We had one 15 hour flight followed by a 3 hour layover in Dubai and then a 3 1/2 hour flight to Beirut. Elijah was better than expected, especially since he only had a 3 hour nap during the first flight. It helps that he had a seat to himself and was able to stand up and jump around. Also, Emirates was a great airliners with good service and lots of entertainment for everyone. Not only did we have access to movies, tv, and news, but the screens behind each headrest had access to two cameras on the outside of the plane. One pointed directly in fron the of the plane and the other was directly underneath. I can't imagine how the flight attendants managed to look joyful and in good spirits despite the 15-hour flight. After 12 or so hours I was beginning to feel fatigue, definitely so once we left from Dubai, but I'm grateful that God gave us the energy to keep on.
Yesterday we toured the market at Biblos and saw some castle ruins. We walked the cobbled streets in search of Lebanon gifts and souvenirs. The market is one of the oldest in the world. It's great to think that Jesus' followers would have likely stepped foot in these same places.
Today we went to Resurrection Church in downtown Beirut. The service was entirely in Arabaic but we were able to hear a translation into English through headsets. It was almost a copy-and-paste of American contemporary churches. There was a band with a lead singer and guitar accompanied by two female singers and drums. The pastor explained five ways we can tell if the voice we are hearing is from God. I have to admit that I was entirely uncomfortable during the singing because I am so used to participating in church. It's weird to be doing nothing, and even then, I was not able to understand the lyrics. I didn't know until the very end that even the songs were translated through my headset. Yet, it's marvelous to see how Jesus is praised throughout all the world, even in the Middle East. And it was especially wonderful to hear how this church took in Iraqi and Syrian refugees.
Goodbye for now. It's been great being here. Elijah is doing well and we have lots of photos to share. The food has been delicious. I hope that Sheila 😉 can teach us how to make some of the dishes. I love the Mediterranean influence. My favorite so far has been the eggplant. It looks similar to hummus but tastes even better. Pray for us as tomorrow we start our Bible curriculum with the children. Upcoming we reveal the shoes to the kids (Tuesday) and then take a trip to the river on Wednesday.