Despite the typical rain Jerusalem usually receives this time of year, the past several weeks have been beautiful. I know back home many of you are experiencing the winter wonderland of the Midwest already so it’s difficult to say that here the sun is shining and it’s currently 74 degrees! That has been pretty typical lately and it’s been great. This morning did feel a bit like fall though with a cool, crisp breeze. We definitely missed the beautiful colors of fall and we will miss seeing the land blanketed white, but we are enjoying this break from the harsh cold and winter for a season.
To take advantage of this beautiful weather, Denyon and I have been getting outside a lot. Brad spent four days in Jordan recently so we had to keep busy. One of Brad’s classmates, Larry, has an amazing wife (Erica) and daughter (Lylah) who we love to get together with when the guys are gone. Lylah is one month younger than Denyon, although much bigger, and she and Denyon just love playing together. During Brad’s time in Jordan, we had lunch at a couple different parks, dinner at our house, walked and shopped in the old city, played in a fountain in the new city, and enjoyed Shabbat meal together. The time passes much quicker when we all get together and play. Another friend, Winona, and her two children Samuel (3) and Elyanah (1) join us often for play as well. Her husband attends Hebrew University—another university here located on Mt. Scopus.
Awhile back, when the guys were in Galilee, we spent the day at the zoo and the kids loved it. Jerusalem has a great zoo with elephants, lions, tigers, camels, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, bears, rhinoceros, and many other animals. They even have a petting zoo for kids and one exhibit with kangaroos where you can literally walk right next to them in the yard where the frolic. It’s great. Denyon especially loved the penguins. It was one of the exhibits where you could see above and below the water. Denyon loved standing right along the glass to watch the penguins swim by and do tricks and flips. It reminded me of how much I used to love the otters when I was a kid for the very same reason! We got a membership to the zoo so we’ll be going many more times.
Brad only has two more weeks of school left for the semester so it’s rapidly coming to an end. He is busy finishing up papers and studying for exams. The beauty of this semester though is that he is loving everything that he is learning and benefitting so much from all of the assignments. I have tremendously enjoyed my two classes as well and because I’m auditing the classes I don’t have the pressure of final exams and papers. After the semester ends we have six weeks before semester two. During that time we plan on traveling to Greece for one week to do a Biblical study tour of that land. We are also hoping to visit Galilee again, Eliat—located on the southern tip of Israel and the Red Sea, the zoo, and the old city. Brad will spend four days with an Israeli guide (one of the best in the country) and friend that will personally show him places and sites he will need to know about for his future of leading trips here in Israel. And finally, Brad’s family is planning to visit in January so I’m sure we’ll be heading to many great sites to give them the grand tour! It will be amazing having six weeks together to travel, rest, explore, and enjoy being together as a family.
The sad part about our semester ending is that our great friends Erica, Larry, and Lylah will be heading back home to continue their education. We will miss them so much and it won’t be the same without them. They will be living in Chicago so they won’t be too far when we get back home. They have really made a difference in our time here and we’ve developed a lasting friendship with them in only a few months. What a blessing they have been to us!
There are some things to be praying for as well. We have some friends who recently miscarried twins so please think of them. Also, a friend’s dad is battling cancer. Denyon has been a little under the weather this week as well so please pray for his recovery. Otherwise, we have felt very safe, healthy, and well taken care of during our time here. Thank you for your continued prayer and support. Until next time!