Blair and Yoni

"I felt showered with the love of God because someone chose to love my family like their own family."

"If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us." (1 John 4:12)

"A Date Night? Just the two of us? How are we going to manage THIS right now?"

I'm sure these questions sound familiar to most couples, especially those with young children. When my husband and I moved to Israel years ago (independently), we anticipated certain challenges like learning a new language, taking on new cultural norms and cultivating new friendships; however, we did not think through the challenges of starting a family in a country so far from our own relatives. Now, with a toddler and baby in hand, we sometimes catch ourselves comparing our difficulties to those with the support of grandparents and other extended family members so locally at their disposable. I admit, it's really hard sometimes, but this is where the power of God's love has shined through our local community to exemplify the meaning of "loving your neighbor as yourself".

A few weeks ago, the leadership of our congregation arranged a beautiful evening for young married couples, which included an exquisite Ethiopian dinner, popcorn and a movie plus a divine dessert of strawberries with chocolate dipping sauce. Moreover, they transformed our local congregational coffee shop into an intimate movie theatre with flowers and candles at each table for the couples to enjoy. Romantic background music set the mood, and each of the young couples were beaming from ear to ear. For me, well, I felt like a queen, but there's more to the story ...

Days before the event, my husband and I were at a loss about how we could attend due to the usual babysitting issue. Who can we ask? Our girls' grandparents live thousands of miles away and everyone else's parents are already watching their own biological grandchildren. What can we do? Then I received a call from one of the leaders who was organizing the event. She suggested that her own mother along with her teenage daughters, watch our children. I was floored. On top of everything, it was this couple who organized the entire event and served us wholeheartedly throughout the entire evening. I was in shock and felt humbled in the best kind of way. I felt showered with the love of God because someone chose to love my family like their own family. My husband and I were encouraged, refreshed and renewed. For some, this may seem small - a date night with your spouse. But for us, it was the date where we felt honored by the power of genuine, God-centered, community love.

By Blair and Yoni
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08:52 25Mar16 CWA -
We have been involved in church planting, so we were always away from family too. People shied away from offering to care for our children due to the one with special needs. We watched throughout our days, the avoidance. I wonder if it would have been different in Israel ... I have noticed there's a tendency to "run to" rather than "run from" when there's a challenge ...

20:01 26Mar16 Myrtle Wickham -
Good message. I pray God will send you more foster-grandparents.

Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: Desparately Seeking
Eitan Shishkoff: Breathe & Believe
Guy Cohen: The Flow
Ephraim Kalish: Choosing to Answer His Call
Asher Intrater: The Ruth & Esther Keys