We had a really fun time last weekend. We were able to meet Shane Claiborne and his fiancee Katy. (they are a part of http://thesimpleway.org/) Shane has written many books, including "Irresistible Revolution" and "Jesus For President". I have read both of his books and really like his different way of thinking and perspective on the world.
One of our mentors was meeting with him to hear about a trip he and a group of people took to Israel and Palestine. They were able to hear stories from both sides of the situation. It is a very sad situation....(that deserves our attention and concern).
I have to admit I was pretty nervous and a little star-struck at the thought of meeting Shane Claiborne, but it was a little anti-climatic for me. He was very friendly and laid back but also pretty busy, so as soon as we finished talking about their trip he had to leave.(we didn't even get a picture :) However, his fiancee Katy showed us around and she is so great, very down to earth and welcoming (she is from the south...I love hearing a good southern accent up here!)
That night we went to a gather of the simple way and some other organizations who work in Philadelphia with the homeless, refugees, immigrants, addicts, and the incarcerated. They shared all that is going on in their sphere's of influence. Different people in the organizations as well as people who they invited where present. It was so amazing. Everyone shared prayer requests, sang, shared the Lord's supper, and heard encouragement to keep working in these hard areas. Ryan and I both left feeling inspired to really be the hands and feet of Jesus among those who are hurting and who the rest of society often looks down on.
We were a part of a conference the rest of the weekend and felt extremely filled and encouraged. We had a house guest who was also staying with us for the conference(who we had never met.) It was so great to get to know him and his fiancee. I love having new people around, it is such a cool thing when you meet people and instantly connect. They hope to live overseas in the next few years, adopt, ect. So refreshing!!
On Saturday night we also were able to go to a Turkish coffee night just outside of Lancaster. There are many families from Turkey who organize this every month as a way to share their culture and get to know their neighbors. Our friend, Haidar(who is from Iraq) was invited to draw pictures of people and he invited us to go with him. They showed a video of Istanbul and had so much great food!
Our weekend was really full, but so life-giving for us! Here are some pictures:
After our convo with Shane, by the river in Philadelphia
posing for our drawing, i am not a good model i kept laughing
The finished product by our very good, talented friend Haidar
this is a painting by Haidar. it depicts the situation in the middle east right now. there is a struggle between two sides with an unsure outcome and the identity of who exactly is the man and who is the bull is also unsure. pray for the middle east!