Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Two things you should know: (1)There's a gate to the university labeled the "Gate of Peace." Ironically, this gate is never open, but instead padlocked. (2) Everywhere you walk in Beer Sheva, and most other places in Israel for that matter, the sidewalks are littered with broken glass.
Gate of Peace
Broken glass shards litter Israeli streets
Reflecting the faces of those walking above.
Ordinary sand destined to be great
Tested and tried, put into the furnace
Shaped by a Master’s hands into something useful yet delicate—
But pressure and carelessness undoes this exquisite work
Shards with sharp edges and hazy memories of what had been—
These are all that remain
Trampled by my foreign feet, rushing about my business
Caught up in my own “completeness” from the same Master’s touch
And forgetting the incredible beauty of mosaics—
diverse pieces of brokenness
united to reflect something bigger than themselves.
Will I risk the my own pain from their sharp edges
In order to pick up these pieces
To lay them before the Master Artist and maybe join in His work?
Or am I more content in the rubble
In front of the padlocked Gate of Peace.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
A little something from my note-taking today in biochem...right now it makes perfect sense, but I'm pretty sure that if I look at it again tomorrow I'll have NO idea what in the world it's talking about...
Method of action of glucagon
v Receptor on cell surface involving cAMP.
v Activates a cAMP dependent protein kinase. This causes the phosphorylation of phosphorylase kinase, which activates phosphorylase, phosphorylating the above-mentioned enzymes regulating the synthesis/breakdown of glycogen. Using this kinase increases the signal by several orders because each of the different enzymes activates a number of others further down the chain. 1 molecule of glucagon can activate 1000 phosphatase enzymes.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A few of us went up early, right after the test on Friday and stayed at the citadel youth hostel on the roof again--once again amazing! There was a little kid (I think that he was 8) staying there this time who I ended up playing with quite a bit, especially the first afternoon. This kid was crazy smart! Seriously, I felt like I was learning from him. Of course, by the end of the afternoon we had both morphed into superheroes; he had the power to touch someone and take all of their strength/kill them, but also to bring them back to life, and I had the power of tickling, which was both my defense and weapon. I lost all other identity for that kid for the rest of the weekend.
Saturday was spent mainly lounging around. We spent quite a bit of the morning at the hostel, eating the fresh mangos, bread, and cucumbers that we had bought at the shook (outdoor market) the day before. We eventually left and wandered around the Christian quarter looking for a cheap lunch, which we eventually found after quite a bit of walking (at least we know the area much better now). Then we walked outside of the Old City walls, laid down under the some trees in the shade, where Keiko and I feel asleep for a good 1.5-2 hours. I must have gone into hibernate mode or something with my heartrate slowing WAY down, because I woke up a couple of times absolutely freezing. It was a nice but very unexpected feeling after being in the stinking hot desert for so long.
Finally Paul, James and David (who had shown up some point during my nap) woke us up and we headed off to check out the Garden Tomb, one of the suggested, but highly disputed sites for Jesus' crucifixion and burial. There was so much to it that I'll talk about it in another post so that this one doesn't get too horribly long. Right before we left we met a really nice elderly couple who had been to Israel at least 13 times and who had had a son who had been a doctor before he had died from Hepatitis. He had received his medical education in South America and had worked in primarily rural settings in America. It was amazing to listen to their stories, advice, and excitement about what we're doing. After being here for about a month, it's easy to forget that this program is unique and that being in Israel isn't really commonplace for medical school. It was nice to be reminded of the blessing that we have been given with this opportunity, despite all of the problems that we have been having with scheduling and communication issues between faculty, administration, and students.
After leaving the Garden Tomb we practically ran through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City (which by the way was bustling like no other) in order to get back to meet up with a few other people in our group and head off to a worship service at Jill's church. For those of you who don't know, Jill is a friend of mine from back in Santa Barbara at Reailty Carp who is working at an international school as a 1st grade teacher in Jerusalem. The service was quite a bit different from their normal service because they were recording a worship CD, so instead of hearing a sermon, we sang in Hebrew the whole time. My favorite part was watching the truly joyous worship of some of the older people at the church. I've never seen people worship with such freedom and truly evident joy due to the goodness and mercy of God. I don't know how to describe it...it was really beautiful. Out of everything for the weekend, I wish that you all could have seen that.
After church and catching up a little bit with Jill, we wandered around outside of the old city again, --you guessed it--looking for food. Finally we found a place that was open and wasn't too expensive (and thankfully wasn't falafel), ate and headed back to the hostel. A few more of our friends met us up there after driving up to the city earlier that night, we all went to bed, and got up early the next morning to meet up with the rest of our class for a tour of Jerusalem.
The tour was pretty interesting and informative. We hit most of the tourist sites, starting off overlooking the city from Mount Scopus, traveling back down to the Old City where we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Kotel (Western Wall), and back out of the Old City and right up next to the wall separating the West Bank and Israeli territory, ending at a bus stop that had been transformed into a memorial for a number of people who had been killed there in a suicide bombing a few years ago. It was a great time of bonding with my class, and it was awesome how many deeper philosophical and religious conversations came up out of a genuine desire to understand eachother as a result of these visits.
So, yeah, our first day of class was a field trip...looks like I'm at the right school!! I'll write about more of it later, with some more of the "deeper" things that it brought up for me. But for now I need to study a little more histology, microbiology, and immunology before bed. Love you and miss you all!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
En Gedi is a beautiful place, in a desert kind of way. At first glace, you would never believe that there could be running water along the trail we started hiking up, but after about .5 miles or so little bits of standing water started popping up in the river bed we were following and folliage started to poke it's way through the tan rocks. About half way up the trail, the creek was acually big enough to splash around in and just enjoy cool water. It took a little convincing to get those of us who stopped there to climb out to continue on the trail, but with the promise of a waterfall at the end, we continued on our way. When we did reach the end, we were met with a small but beautiful waterfall and a decent sized pool of water to relax in with most of the people in our class.
After hiking back down, we loaded back on the bus and drove to the Dead Sea (once again, I slept for the entire drive). Now I didn't do too much at the Dead Sea other than relax under some shade and nap a little trying to cool off. I woke up just in time to hop in the water, float around for a few minutes, climb back out, rinse off, and get back on the bus to head back to Be'er Sheva. Floating in the Dead Sea was a weird feeling. Because of the salt content (something like 33% while the Mediterranean Sea is only 3%) you just float. Even guys made of pretty much solid muscle who usually sink like a rock in water could stay up without any effort whatsoever.
Here's a few pictures from the trip
At the start of the hike none of us actually believed that there could be enough water ahead of us to create a waterfall, a few pools, and a stream that was actually a decent size.
So the first signs of water weren't the most promising...
This is what the majority of the trail looked like.
Parts of the trail even looked like SaddleRock in Santa Barbara. The little taste of home was nice.
The waterfall at the end of the hike.
The waterfall and the pool below. The water was actually cold enough to give us goosebumps--something I had nearly forgotten existed.
Keiko and I floating in the Dead Sea
Thursday, August 13, 2009
A view of our hostel in the Old City. It was called the Citadel.
Some of the markets along the streets in the Old City. You can find just about anything from food, to clothes, to little figurines, to incense, to fine jewelry. You name it, they have it. You just have to be willing to barter for a while and you can talk the price down by at least 50-75%.
Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is one of the possible locations for Jesus' tomb.
Walking along the Via Dolorosa, the path that Jesus supposedly took to Golgotha. We were led by some priests, and stopped at each of the Stations of the Cross along the way.
A view of the City of David looking through on of the holes in the wall of the Old City.
Keiko along the wall of the Old City. It was a bit toasty.
The Western Wall (also called the Kotel). I had to wait stinking forever for the wind to pick up so that you could see the flag, but it finally did. The area of the wall is divided for men and women, so I have no idea what it's like on the men's side, but to see the earnestness of the women praying was heart-wrenching.
Keiko, David, and Paul at the Dome of the Rock. The Western Wall is in front of the dome.
Paul and James leading the way through one part of the Jewish sector Friday morning.
The rooftop in the morning. A little crowded, but overall an amazing experience. I never want to sleep in an actual room in the Old City now.
The view at night from our beds on the roof of a hostel in the Old City. This is the Dome of the Rock.
That's right! Coffee Bean in Israel! This is in Jerusalem, but they also have one in Tel Aviv. Who knew?!
This is the Negev Brigade. I was not expecting there to be such a big monument of modern art in Be'er Sheva, but this is defintely that. Everything has some sort of symbolic purpose. I don't remember most of them now, but it was really cool to listen to all of them at the time. This is my place to get away from everything else late at night. The dome on the left is awesome! The echo in there is amazing and when you get a bunch of people singing it is one of the most beautiful things in the world
This is one of the most common sights in Be'er Sheva. Cats are everywhere! Apparently they used to have a really bad rat/mouse problem, and in order to deal with that they just introduced cats and let them overrun the city. Their favorite hang out is in the dumpsters.
The Beach at Hurtzlea (the town North of Tel Aviv). Body surfing was amazing and the beach was COVERED in shells. I mean piles of shells that were so big that you couldn't even see the sand underneath them. I highly recommend going there if you're ever in the area :)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Hello everyone! Sorry for the lack of posting. It seems like there's not enough time in the day to do simple things like grocery shopping or finding a bike to make getting around town easier let alone get on the internet for any extended period of time. Things have gotten a lot better since my last post...well, situations haven't really changed too much, but I am a lot more at peace about being here.
Be'er Sheva is an...intersting (?) city. I think that the best way to describe it would be the Bakersfield of Israel. It's huge, but there's really not that much to it. To remedy that, most of the students in my program have been getting out of town as much as possible on the weekends. Two weekends ago, most of us ended up jumping on the last train out of Be'er Sheva and headed up to Tel Aviv. One of the girls in my class has a family vacation home in a town a little north of the main city, which made for the perfect place to escape to. I actually can't think of that many highlights from the weekend, other than spending a lot of time on the beach, sleeping a ton, and just relaxing in general. Don't get me wrong, Tel Aviv is a crazy city, full of stuff to do at all hours of the day and night, but most of them not really my "scene" or idea of fun.
One interesting thing from the weekend though was my first experience in a kosher house. I had never realized all of the rules that go into keeping a place kosher. For those of you who don't know that much about it (which was me as of a week ago), one of the main things about keeping a place kosher is keeping dairy and meat products completely separated. That means you can't use the same utensil for meat and dairy EVER. There were specific forks, knives, cutting boards, seives, etc that were only to be used for one or the other. If something designated "dairy" was accidently used for something meat, then it would have to be thrown away (certain things could be cleaned according to a certain ritual, but we didn't really go into that). There were even separate sinks and dish washers for meat and dairy utensils!! I don't think that I had ever realized just how strict the law of the Old Testament as practiced by the Jews could be. I have a new understanding of just how "radical" the freedom of Christ is, and how amazing it is that the Lord desires a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17) above sacrifice or tradition. Eating a real Shabbot dinner though, was a beautiful thing, and a great time of building community. There were 7 of us from all different backgrounds, but the ease and humor of our conversations made it seem as if we had all known each other for most of our lives. After Shabbot had ended Saturday, we loaded into Lara's car (it was her family's house and they had left a car there for her to use while in school) and headed back down to Be'er Sheva (only getting lost a couple of time along the way).
The next week was spent in Hebrew and Emergency medicine classes. A typical day includes Hebrew from 8:30-12 (with a break around 10), followed by lunch until 1:15. Most of the time, I either bring my lunch from home or stop by one of the cafes on the Ben Gurion University (BGU) campus across the street. Earlier this week I actually found another cafe that I love! It's a little place that has sandwiches, frozen yogurt, soups, and a pretty extensive salad bar. The best part is that a large salad is the perfect size for 2 meals and only 18 shekels (4 shekels = 1 dollar US), which means that I only need to get food every other day and then leave the leftovers in the fridge for the next day.
Last Thursday, a part of our fellowship loaded up our backpacks, grabbed our sleeping bags, and jumped on the bus to Jerusalem for a weekend of rest, relaxation, and exploration. The bus was packed, leaving us with only standing room for most of the trip, which was totally fine with me because, frankly, bus surfing is so much more fun than riding responsibly. Now, a word about the buses in Israel: many soldiers ride the buses home for the weekend, and all of the soldiers ALWAYS carry their guns. So, here we are on this bus with no less than 40 armed people, riding for about 1 and a half hours across the Israeli countryside. (Just a note for those of you who aer a little concerned about that--no one keeps the clip in their gun while they're off duty, so there's not really a chance of accidental gunshots.)
Once we arrived in Jerusalem, we wandered around some of the main touristy areas, looking for a Korean restaurant that Paul had heard about and that we had looked up online before leaving Be'er Sheva. When we finally found it, we thought it was closed (which later proved to be wrong because it's actually upstairs from another restaurant that had shut down), so we ended up walking around for another few hours looking for other places to eat. While wandering, we came across a group of Mormon students from America who were finishing up their studies in Israel, a more orthodox Jewish rap group dancing in the streets and on top of their van, an elderly man playing classical violin, and a group from YWAM singing praises to the Lord on the streets. Finding members of the body of Christ in a foreign land is such a blessing. To be able to just sit down with fellow believers that I've never met before and just worship the living and true God before we're even introduced is one of my favorite experiences here thus far. I have to say, that was probably the turning point for my emotions in being here. The Lord gave me a peace that I feel like I had been missig before...it is so great to meet with the Lord in such and intimate and powerful way. The grace and love of God is amazing! That He would choose to meet with me, with any of us, is so far above what we deserve, but He does it anyway. Hmmm. It's beautiful.
Late that night, we ended up stopping by a falafel and schwarma stand, and got some food before heading off to our hostel in the Old City. Ended up one of the guys got food poisoning (we think) from the schwarma and had to go home the next morning, but the falafel that I had was great!
Our hostel was absolutely amazing. We slept up on the roof, where we could see the entire city. The weather was perfect at night, and the other people up there were quiet and respectful when anyone was trying to sleep. The only downfall that I saw was that every morning at 5 or so, the Muslim call to prayer echoes through the city, and without walls to block out the noise, most people wake up. Thanks you mom and dad for raising me in the back of the jewerly store with the doorbell going off all the time, because I only woke up for about 10 seconds the first morning, and then fell soundly back asleep for another couple of hours.
On Friday, we spent most of the day wandering the Old City, going through the shooks (markets) in the different quarters of the city, talking with a Jewish man who is working to build bridges and open up discussions between Jews and people of other faiths, walking along the Via Dolorosa (the path that Jesus supposedly took to the Cross), visiting the Western Wall, and climbing along the City Wall. We had a ton of fun bartering for some clothes, leather sandals, incense, and food, and realized that it is not difficult at all to talk down the price by at least 75%.
One thing that stood out to me was talking to the Jewish man about his views of Christianity. Sadly, so many of his points were true. One thing that he pointed out was that Jesus told us that we can know the tree by its fruit, and frankly, the Church has produced some pretty bad fruit in Jewish history. He also pointed out that although Christians preach unconditional love, they are horrible at even coming close to showing that to people outside of the Christian faith. Yes, we say we love, and we even do love to some degree, but to many people it seems that loving fully is conditional, and that condition is conversion. I know that we are not capable of giving unconditional love on our own, but with Christ all things are possible, and that anyone who has faith in Him can doing what Jesus did, and even greater things because He has gone to the Father (John 14:12). So what's our excuse? I'm preaching to myself here, but Christians, why don't we love? Why don't we seek the Lord and search for a greater understanding of His love so that we can better share that with others? Why do we give into our fleshly emotions so quickly instead of letting the Holy Spirit dwell in us? Lord, help your children.
Saturday was spent mostly relaxing. We went to a church in the morning that Paul had found about from someone else, then had lunch at a Moroccan place with a family from the church. They actually had heard of Westmont and knew people who had gone there, which was a very exciting thing for me! Then we found a coffee shop that was open even though it was Shabbat and spent most of the rest of the day practicing Hebrew and working on homework.We waited for Shabbat to end so that the buses would start running again, hopped on one, and headed back to Be'er Sheva, making it home just before midnight. Great weekend, and one that I hope to repeat many times while here.
So now here we are, back in classes, looking for apartments, exploring the town, figuring out more public transportation, and getting to know eachother as a class.
Things that could use prayer:
-Housing: we still don't have a place. One of the girls that I am living with right now, Keiko, and I are going to be housing together, but we don't know if we will be with a couple others because finding apartments or houses with 4 bedrooms is a little difficult. Please pray that we take the apartment or house that the Lord has set aside for us and not just one that looks like a great deal. I really want to be invested in the community around me, and I know that Keiko does as well, so finding that community that the Lord has for us is essential.
-Classes: Hebrew is HARD! I feel like I've learned a lot, but not nearly enough to communicate effectively with people. It is also hard finding time to study and motivation when there's so many other things that need to be done. Please pray that I would be diligent in my Hebrew studies and that the Lord would give me favor in learning the language, pronunciation, etc. I would love to work with a native Hebrew speaker in learning it, so if that is what the Lord would have me do, please pray that I am directed to the right person for that. I am also taking an emergency medicine class that is a lot of fun and a lot of review from 1st aid/CPR. Please pray that I still put a lot of effort into the class even though it isn't as challenging and that I would really remember what I learn instead of just knowing it for the exam and then pushing it somewhere to the absolute back of my mind.
-Relationships: Please pray that the Lord continues to guide me in forming relationships here, that I would love the people in my program unconditionally, and that personality differences that are very evident in some of my classmates wouldn't cause unbearable drama. I know that a few of the people here are having a really hard time adjusting, with one in particular having a lot of trouble knowing why in the world the Lord has put her here. Pray that the Lord encourages her and shows others of us how to best minister to her and gives us words of hope and encouragement for her.
-Rest: Surprise surprise, I'm already sleep deprived. Please pray that the Lord gives me the strength to make it through the days that seem to drag on indefinitely and wisdom for when to work, when to play, and when to just rest.
Most importantly, please pray that I, and the other believers here, become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit at all times and in all things. It's so easy to get distracted here with so many other things, while He should be at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. O that we would know Him more!
Well, that's all for now. Ani ohevet col atem (I love you all!) Shalom, vey l'vroot! (Peace and blessings to you)
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Above the city, everything seems so small. Apartment buildings that tower above the shops and houses look like little lego blocks with lights to warn helicopters of their location and roads that usually seem to wind in endless mazes become separate and trackable pathways from one area of town to the others. Even though most of the buildings are still nameless masses in my mind, when I'm up there I'm no longer lost in the midst of them.
The question that I think I get the most is "How do you like Be'er Sheva?" or at least something along those lines. Honestly, I'm not sure. It's frustrating in a way; I feel like I'm in this little bubble of separation from the world around me that I've never experienced before. I want to know what's going on around me, but even more, I want to be able to build relationships with the people around me. I mean, the people in my class are great. There are definitely people from a variety of backgrounds with just about every personality type that you can imagine, and they're all interesting and complex people united by this drive for international medicine. But still, I feel a strong urge to get to know people outside of my program, especially the marginalized or minority populations here. I don't really know how to describe it. My heart aches for something; I just can't quite put my finger on it.
It's hard for me to not really know "why" I'm here in Be'er Sheva. I guess it's one way to stop me from "doing" things for the Lord and instead just dwell in His presence and care. The Lord is so good. He knows every my every thought and feeling, even thoes that I can't put my finger on. He knows my present frustration. Today during a break I ended up outside on a lawn at the hospital praying for His direction and it was so sweet to hear Him say "each of these people was made in My image. Look for Me in them, where I am moving and working in their life and how I've equipped them to show you something about who I am. Love them, and in doing so, love Me." But what does "love" look like from my position in relation to those around me?
Above the city, it's much easier to love this place and its people. I can understand it and escape from the suffocating foreignness. And even though I would love to just set up a shack and live up there, I always end up walking back home because ultimately my purpose isn't necessarily to escape that foreignness. It's to embrace it, bridge it, love in the midst of it. I'm only having to bridge differences of language and culture. Praise the Lord that Jesus left his place of ultimate understanding and peacefulness in order to dwell in a world of sin that was utterly foreign to the perfection of heaven.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I don't really know where to start...One of the biggest blessings here has been how the Lord orchestrated my living situation for this first month or so. It turns out that my 2 housemates are both believers, and we ended up living in the "Christian" house, where 4 Christian girls live during the year and which serves as the meeting place for fellowship, praise and worship, and Bible studies. I can't describe the comfort I felt walking into a room with Bible verses scattered around and clearly belonged to a girl who desires the nations to know the Lord.
I'm also living in a very unique neighborhood. There are quite a few college students, Ethiopian families, Bedouin families, Israeli Jews with different levels of observance, and a few other American students--some from my program and others participating in other programs at Ben-Gurion University. It's amazing to be surrounded by such diversity, but at the same time very frustrating because I don't feel as if I am able to communicate with most of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. Surprisingly, I would say that 80% of the people outside of my program that I run into throughout the day speak very little to no English. It is definitely a lesson in humility. The first few days here I didn't know how to get anywhere, buy anything, pronounce street names or ask for help. It didn't help that I lost my phone and thus had no way to get ahold of anyone. But, after getting lost a couple of times and learning a little bit of Hebrew, I'm doing a lot better and can at least amuse people with my attempts at communicating.
The first Friday here (a little over a week ago), I was able to go and have Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner with a family on the other side of Be'er Sheva. The father was a doctor at Soroka Hospital (where our campus is located and our main base here in Be'er Sheva) and had also taught immunology in previous years. His wife was also there, along with his 3 children and father-in-law. They were not observant Jews, which made for a different Shabbat experience than many of the other students had, but it was still very enjoyable. The food was absolutely amazing...a little bit of everything I love. There was cauliflower, mushroom pie, salmon, chicken breast, and an amazing potato pasta. Definitely made up for the airplane food. After dinner we all just hung out, watching TV, with David (another student) and me guessing what product the commercials were trying to sell and the two younger children practicing their English and quizzing us in math and Israeli history.
One of the things that stood out the most to me was the intimacy between Jewish fathers and their children. To hear these kids calling out "Abba!" with absolute certainty that their little voices would catch his attention and that he would respond with irrevocable love was beautiful. It was one of those relevatory moments...that's just a hazy picture of the relationship that God is offering us...that we can call Him "Abba," we can be His little children with full confidence in His love, His presence, His goodness.
Well, it's getting really late here and I have class in just a little over 6 hours, so I will have to finish updating you all on my first week here at another time (hopefully tomorrow). I guess here's a few quick notes/prayer points:
1) I've been majorly blessed to have been able to build some really solid relationships with other believers in my program. Please pray that those relationships would continue to grow and that we would truly exhibit the body of Christ in all that we say and do, and that we would treat each other in such a way that the world would know that we are His disciples by our love for one another. I can see how a few personalities could clash without too much provocation, so please pray for grace in relationships as well.
2) Living situation: So far, I'm set for the next 3-4 weeks living in the house I'm subletting from some upperclassmen. I am also looking at moving into another house (MUCH closer to school) with 3 other people. The price is good, the neighborhood is essentially the same as the one that I'm in now, just about a 20 minutes' walk close to school, and it will be completely refurbished by the time we move in. It also has a large yard (by Israeli standards) and an outdoor storage shed. There's been a little confusion about exactly who all is in our group for housing, which has caused one of the girls a lot of stress. We still need guidance on housing, if this is the right decision, and then in the negotiation of the contract if it is the right house.
3) Why I'm here: I know that the Lord told me to come here, but He didn't give much direction as to exactly why here and why now. Right now I'm in that period of waiting on Him for that direction. Please pray that the Lord gives me vision of my purpose here, in His timing of course, and that in the mean time I would be patient and attentive to His voice.
4) Relationships: I have been able to get to know a few of the Jewish students in my program really well in a very short period of time, with discussions about God, Judiasm, Chrisitainity, and general life issues all coming up much more frequently than I expected. Please pray that I would speak what the Lord would have me to say and not in my own wisdom. Also, please pray that I would be able to continue to cultivate those relationships even as classes start to pick up a little bit (as of this week we started our 10 hour days in class...ugh)
5) Language: Learning Hebrew is, to put it simply, difficult. I feel like 1st grader when it comes to reading ability, and probably a 1 year old with vocabulary. We're in a pretty accelerated language learning program, with 4 hours of Hebrew a day, 5 days a week. My brain feels like it's going to explode most of the time. Please pray that I would be diligent in my Hebrew studies even when I feel like just being done with it for the day and that I would do so with a joyful heart, as well as for general favor in learning the language.
Well, I really should get going now. I love you all and miss you!
Shalom im ahava! (Goodbye with love!)