31 October 2006

lAtEsT iN dA LanD...


It’s been more or less 2 weeks since we came to the land, but it seams so long already…It’s easy to lose the track of time here ☺…
We’ve been doing a lot of stuff already… we’ve been fixing the house so we get a bit more cozy…there were some things missing like some of the windows, some shelves and some blankets and carpets in the living room☺ …
at the same time we’ve been getting to know each other more and figure out how to live together and be a community☺… it’s challenging and God is using many things to stretch us… That’s one of the best things about living in community, but also one of the hardest…
I would ask for your prayers on this ☺


We are now in Regina’s parents land which has electricity, a small house and stables for their horses… so, not bad at all … The other land has still a lot to be done, but we didn’t get the time to think about that yet… It’s already a lot of work to get established on this one … But I do want to have more facilities to have more people over… We also need a big shelter, like a hang out place where it will not rain and it will be warm for the winter… That’s a step ahead I guess !!!


The first week was really nice and sunny, but we had a whole week with rain and we couldn’t do much besides little things inside the house…it was a good time to get to know each other better ☺ For others that was really frustrating and stressy… But God thought us how to give thanks and praise in every situation ☺

The sun came back again and now we are back on our T-shirts ☺…

We have a lot of harvests to make…apples, oranges and other fruits I don’t know the name in English…but the priority are the olives now…
we already collected some hundreds of kilos and we sold them in the village so we can get more food and other supplies we need… Now we can’t sell so much more coz Dominike’s van which we used got to much broken in our countryside roads ☹






… Regina is out in Belgium till the 5th of November so we have no other car… We really need one to work…
But we’ll save the rest of the olives to make Olive oil…and for this we only need to pick them in 2 or 3 weeks…

We’ve been having a lot of work, but also a lot of fun ☺ …

There’s a lot of other things we would like to have or do, but we need to be patient and wait…
We need some more money to invest in things like an oven to cook, a car to work (specially to carry things), material to build and maybe a water boiler to have hot showers (I’m thinking about a “rainbow style” sweat lodge, but that can’t be everyday coz it takes a lot of effort and wood)… So, I would appreciate your specific prayers for all these ☺

PEACE

P.S.- We still have no phone or internet, so I can’t write short and often…I’m sorry for you guys who read :-/… I haven’t been so inspired to write as well… Or I have too many other things in my mind , or I’m too tired, or I want to hang out with the others as we’re just getting to know each other ☺
CHECK THE TITLE FOR LINK WITH THE "MFG"...THEY MADE A NICE VIDEO...IN GERMAN THOUGH!!!

Here are some other pictures :

our fire place in the Kitchen

Preparing my "bath"...

...our bathroom...we do have one... with a toilet :-)

Simone in front of the house...on a hot sunny day !!!

Monike and Timmy !!!

Peter !!!

Dominike !!!

Frauke (Dominike's wife who's expecting a baby soon) and Simone, in front of our house ...

Raining day...playing games inside and smoking the "Sheesha" :-) (Arab water pipe for fruit tabac)

our parsley and coriander garden :-)

20 October 2006

nEw lIfE iN tHe cOunTrY sIdE...

hello all,

I'm just quickly wrinting to let you know I haven't been able to go on line for the last weeks...
I'm already in the land in the country side and we're still trying to figure out how to have internet... we got a deal already, but as good portuguese rythm we'll have it done in a couple of weeks...the best...
the buses from Germany arrived as well and we've been trying to figure out what to do first at this time... WE HAVE A LOOOOOT TO DO !!! BUT PRIORITIES ARE PICKING WOOD FOR THE WINTER, FIXING THE HOUSE FOR THE BABY WHO IS COMING IN THE BEGINNING OF DECEMBER :-), AND GETTING MORE SPACE FOR GUESTS TO COME :-)


We are 8 now in the land (the second one from Regina's parents which has a house and electricity)
We'll have Ulli from Germany here for a week... she's in need of Rest, so I hope we can provide that for her...

I just got some e.mails of other people who want to come, so we really need to make a nice and cozy place to host our guests...

ANOTHER PRIORITY AT THIS SEASON ARE THE OLIVES :-) ... They are ripe for the first harvest... in 2 weeks they will be ready for the second harvest to make Olive Oil out of it :-) Yammy !!!
We also got an opportunity to pick olives from 200 trees, nearby Lisbon, in Vila Franca de Xira... So, guys from Lisbon surroundings, if you wanna volunteer for help, we'll appreciate :-)... this will be more or less in 2 weeks, but I'll write you an e.mail...

BUT WE URGENTLY NEED A WORKING CAR... the Buses are for living, so they don't have space and mobility to "work"... so we're thinking and praying about getting a second hand working car...

ANY KIND OF HELP IS MORE THAN WELCOME :-) !!!!

O.K, I don't have much time now... and sorry , but no pictures this time :-/ I hope I'll soon have a better opportunity to blog and e.mail ...

MUCH LOVE
PEACE

11 October 2006

gOiNg tO tHe LaNd ...


tomorrow I will be moving definitely to the land in the country side of Portugal...
so I'll not post so often again :-/ ... sorry, but I'm not an "every day" blogger...
I already shared about it in my blog but let me give you the background of it all coz you’ll realize how God is in all this from the beginning☺ ...well, it's more how God got us all involved in this :-) ...
Yves and Regina are a couple from Belgium who came to Portugal for few times visiting her brother who married with a Portuguese woman. Yves always thought he could never live in Portugal. But one day they went to visit her sister in law’s family in the country side and they saw this piece of land to sell… While there, Yves heard from God he was going to buy the land…
And so he did, totally out of obedience… Of course they got excited about it and started already to dream of what God might wanted to do in that land… They went back to Belgium, sold they business (a good business of fried chips) and went to Portugal with all their luggage to buy the land…
Wow, how about that as a background story !!!
Yves and Regina were city people, they knew nothing about working in the land, but they were willing to learn and they started to clean the land that was abandoned for years… Yves knows about horses coz his father does that in Belgium, so he also wanted to focus on that (they started with one, now there are 4 already☺)…They also picked up the olives (main product of the land) and got some nice olive oil ☺

This was last summer (2005), and as they moved they were looking for some Christians who were more into an organic and simple way of being church… so somehow they found my blog and got in touch with me☺. We set up a meeting at my house in Lisbon and I really liked them and the whole story and vision of the land…
Yves and Regina started to share about the land so they could have people coming over to join and help, and also to have some donations coming in coz they had no longer their business to support themselves and the land… They rented a house in the nearby village (the land has no house to live in yet) and had an upper flat for guests and volunteers to come…
Around 6 months later they were starting to feel discouraged coz there was no one coming to help and no finances coming in as well… they even started to doubt if it was God’s idea at all… But deep inside they knew God still had a plan for that land…


I went there in May and we dedicated the land to God with Olive oil and wine… something they were already feeling to do since they got it… At the same time I was also in a turning point in my life… I was feeling my time to live in Lisbon was over and I was considering the idea of moving into the land… I always had this dream, to live in a community in the country side and grow together in faith with other believers…an open place where others could come in and also find the Love of God… but I never thought it could be that early and I thought God wanted me in the city for longer time…
I shared with them about my dream and also about other “Jesus Freaks” I met on my trip last year who would also love to live in community like that… On that time Yves said “well, it seams that you guys have vision but don’t have land, and we have the land but somehow we feel without vision now”…
we were starting to put 1 + 1 ☺… And I believe they didn’t loose the vision, they were just discouraged at that time with all the struggles and doubts…

In June I went there again with Juran (Jesus Freaks Austria) who is in Portugal already since last January, and we were already excited with what God might want to do in this land… I also took all my things from Lisbon and I was definitely moving in…
Both Yves and Regina’s parents were in the land as well and got so excited that they want to buy another land themselves as they will retire in a couple of years…
This one has a house, a toilet :-), electricity, water in pipes, a stable for the horses and grass for them to eat…

So it didn’t need much to get people excited about coming… The “Mobile Freak Church”, a group of German “Jesus Freaks” who decided to live in buses and be literally a church On The Way, were looking for a warmer place to spend the winter…Dominique,Frauke, Monika and Timy, 2 couples, and 3 singles, Simone, Julian and Peter, are coming in mid October… Dominique and Frauke, are going to have a baby around November ☺, so, one more member to join the Family ☺
There are also 3 carpenters coming, Jo, Edi and Miri (not sure yet) who will come to help with the constructions we’ll need ☺ … There are few others who might come later but is not sure yet …
To start we are already 14…we’ll have 4 buses and a caravan which will be helpful in the beginning as we don’t have any house yet… We might work in both lands at the same time… Dominike and Frauke need a more cozy place to stay with the baby, so they might stay in the second land where the house with electricity is…it’s close by the other too, so we’ll not be apart ☺

THE VISION

First of all, TO BE A FAMILY, like the early followers of Jesus were, having all things in common, learning with each other, supporting each other, praying and be available for God to use us in the community around us…

We want to seek God first and listen about His vision… Maybe we’ll not have a clear vision from the beginning, and maybe we’ll never have a clear vision, but we want to be praying, listening and obeying step by step…

I Personally feel that is going to be a RESTING PLACE for many who will come in and out… a Home for the nomadic church to come back and forth and be refreshed and restored… A place of Love and Grace for people to come as they are and feel accepted… A place where “iron sharpens iron”, where we will all grow to be more like Christ…
Well, I’m speaking a lot about a “place” but it’s actually all about PEOPLE ☺…

As for the Land, we want to practice PERMACULTURE organic farming, which is about people helping the land and the land helping people☺… it’s about planting many diverse cultures in a way that it doesn’t take much effort to take care of them…
We might learn a lot from that on how to be an Organic Community of people as well ☺, playing our own roles, exercising our personal gifts and let God work the best out of us ☺

NEEDS:

• PRAYER will always be welcomed… Above all we want to be a spiritual community...
• We’ll need some FINANCES to start, for construction materials, pipes for water, food for all, communication expenses and transportation (I have no idea about numbers)… We need to pray about ways to make some money to support the community, maybe a small business in the town nearby… I was thinking about a café place where we could also build relationships with the youth there… or maybe making some kind of occasional parties in the land… but these are just ideas we need to pray about and speak together…We’d need some money to start that as well… As I said, we want to have all things in common, so we’ll have a communal account if you’d like to contribute and invest in this community…and don’t think what you have is little☺... get in touch if you want to send any donation !!!
• VOLUNTEERS will be always welcome… anyone who have skills in construction or farming are needed
• We’ll also be glad with all sorts of MATERIAL DONATIONS, like wood, water pipes, blankets, carpets, kitchen stuff, tents (tipis or other kinds) and whatever you think it could be useful and practical to send to us…

BE IN TOUCH IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT US… SHARE WITH OTHERS !!!
BE BLESSED…


05 October 2006

sAyInG gOoD bYe... mEeTinG dA fAmiLY iN lUeNeNbUrG @ dA "wAgEnBuRg":-)

I spent my last night in Beit Jala at Ashraf and Sabreen’s… “Teta” (means grandma in Arabic) was still trying to finish the things Emma ordered from her for me to take…What a beautiful work, but it was so much for her…she went to bed after 3am and got up really early… I told her it would be better for her to finish with more time and send it by mail to Emma, and she got convinced…I'm sure Emma would tell her the same... It was too much still to finish and her back was hurting already… they know someone who have permission to go to Jerusalem so they can send it by mail…

It was a bit sad to leave them… “Sido” ( means dad in Arabic) said the house would be empty now we’re all gone… and he really meant it… But I’m sure Christian will not give much chance for the house to feel empty ☺ He’s a hyper kid, never runs out of battery ☺
I can't really explain why, but for two times on the bus I felt like crying while observing those people...
JUSTICE... it was the prayer that was coming to my heart...
Bring Your Justice to this place God !!!
Bring Your Freedom and Your Peace !!!



I was ready to get on the road and go to the airport… I was going with DYHAN (the Israeli guy from "All Nations Cafe") coz Maren gave him her return ticket as she went with the Caravan back to Germany… I couldn’t wait to see them too… we were going to meet them in LUENENBURG at the “WAGENBURG” for Jonathan and Lyna’s birthday… Also a gathering for all of us who met in Israel (except Emma who couldn’t come ☹)…


I was a bit curious about the airport coz I knew they would ask a bunch of questions and I could have had problems if they had any suspicion I was in Palestine… I even heard there was people who missed the flight because they interrogated them for more then 3 hours (and of course they didn’t pay them another flight)…
If they suspect of anything they can take us to a room to get undressed, look all our things, etc…
So I was just praying that they would not want to search my things…even though I tried not to have anything they could find… I even took all my pictures from my laptop and put them on disks…
But Thank God it was ok… being with Dyhan helped a lot coz he’s Israeli and we were interrogated together… They still searched my bags with funny machines and put all this security tickets everywhere, but they didn’t open anything, not even my laptop as I saw them doing to another guy…

pfiu !!! Thank you God ☺


Finally, going back… but not yet to Portugal !!!
We arrived in Dusseldorf and felt really welcomed by Mathias (Maren’s brother), Jo and Sven… There was also a Brazilian guy, Rodrigo, who came from Portugal to buy a van … Really nice welcoming… We went to Mathias house and next day we started to hitch-hike to Luenenburg…


It was hard to get out of Dusseldorf, but we got nice rides till we were 80Km from their place (we were about 400Km away)… it was dark and people were not going that direction anymore…But thank God Pale went to pick us up ☺

As we get there we got awake ☺ !!! It was so nice to meet everyone again… Even Bastian, the volunteer we met in the Land was there (it was weird to be together in germany though)…
The place was just amazing and the atmosphere was perfect !!!














The 4 ones who made the trip back with the "miracle" van ... a hand of aplause to these guys :-)...

















Thank you God ☺ … What a trip !!! What a journey !!!
Thanks to all those who made it possible !!! Those who gave rides, those who gave money, those who host us in their houses, those who shared their stories, those who fed us, those who prayed for us , those who made us laugh, those who advised or encouraged us, those who loved us, etc… Thank you all !!!

aLL nAtIoNs cAfE...


On Tuesday night I went with Frede and Ulli to a “ALL NATIONS CAFÉ ” gathering (check the web site on the title)… Dyhan is an Israeli guy who is behind this gatherings … He basically have contacts with all sorts of people, Israelis, Palestinians, Jewish, Muslims, Christians, rainbows, etc, and he just sets this kind of gatherings where they all seat around the fire, singing together in all languages, eating together, speaking to each other, etc… Peace happening in simple ways ☺ !

It was another adventure to get there coz we went after 5pm to Beit Jala and still had to wait for Al to get his transport back to Jerusalem… We waited till around 8pm in Beit Jala and still didn’t know where the gathering was taking place…we had some directions, but not so clear… We found out we were pretty far to walk (more then 5Km), but thank God we got a ride from a Jewish settler from Efrata… The place was nice even though we couldn’t see well in the night… there was a small pool which was coming from a spring and there were also some houses which were abandoned by Palestinians after 1968… I guess that is still Palestine, because we didn’t pass the check point, but still, is not so safe for Palestinians…
We were not many, but we had fun… There was 2 Palestinian teachers from Jerusalem who work in a Centre for handicap people in the only refugee camp in Jerusalem… I spoke with them for a while about the situation and they told me that in maybe 2 years that camp will be surrounded and isolated with the wall ☹… I was going to visit that camp the next day, but no time… maybe next visit ☺
There was also a Norwegian guy we met before in the “Sulha” gathering… another Israeli girl, Dafna, who sang beautifully in all sorts of languages…even Portuguese ☺…
and another Palestinian guy with his kid came later… A really funny guy, always dancing and playing as many instruments he could get at the same time…
he was from Nahalin (the village near the Land), so we had our trip back guaranteed ☺… an adventure though !!!
One more time, Peace was happening in a simple way, around the fire, singing, having fun, smoking the “Nakhila” (water-pipe for fruit tobacco) and speaking…

jEwIsH nEw yEaR & rAmAdAn


After leaving Emma in Tel Aviv I went to Jerusalem to spend some time with Al, Tina (rainbow pop and mom ☺ ) and Frede (J.F. Berlin)… Al and Tina rented an apartment in the city and invited me to stay with them… It was such a blessing for me… Thank you guys !!!
It was the perfect place, on the perfect time, with the perfect people :-)
I just had place and time to rest and be with God alone, update my writings and spend good times listening and speaking with them…
That weekend was also the JEWISH NEW YEAR , but I didn’t even want to go anywhere… anyway, they were always coming back saying there was not much going on in the city… I think the jewish are pretty reserved in their own traditions... so so inclusive in my opinion

On Monday I went to the land of the “Tent of Nations” but a bit late, almost 7pm…I was going to get my bus at Damascus gate (Muslim Quarter), when I realized it was too quiet for its normal “activity”… Then I remembered that the RAMADAN SEASON had started for the Muslims… and that means that after 5pm, we can hardly see anyone in the streets because they all “run” home to eat as much as they can… They spend the day without eating or drinking till the sun sets… because of that there were not many buses going to Beit Jala so I had to wait more then one hour in the bus station at Damascus Gate, and then I had to get a taxi on the last stop to get close to the land and pay a bit more then usual… I arrived after 9.30pm at the Tent of Nations and the gate was closed… I shouted and shouted but no one answered, so I had to kinda snick in through the gate ☺ … It was nice to be back and see Daher, Ulli and Chris again… they didn’t hear me because of the generator ☺
In the middle of the night I woke up with the rain droping… One more time the rain made me feel joyful ☺
and I felt thankful as I know that land needs so much rain ☺ …

gOiNg wItH eMmA tO tEl aViV...


here I am typing my last experiences in Palestine/Israel...
sorry for not writing often and usually writing too long... I hope many of you didn't get tired of reading my blog:-)... maybe that's why I'm getting less and less coments :-)...
Well, I hope you enjoyed sharing this trip with me :-)... I enjoyed sharing it with you !!!

The Convoy had left, Judith and Emma were leaving as well...I went with Emma to Tel Aviv and had a wonderful night at a really nice place…a “rainbow”/Indian restaurant called “ “something” Milega” (I forgot the first name, sorry)… we spent the night chatting with different friends of Emma who wanted to see her before she went back to Ireland… it was hard for her to leave as her heart is so much in this part of the world ☺…
It was a real blessing for me to spend all this time with Emma here… One more real sister for me...This trip would be totally different without her… I wouldn’t meet most of the people I met, and I wouldn’t go most of the places I went… And I really appreciated getting to know her better, share stuff with her, listening to her and praying many times for one another and other things…And I learned a lot just by observing the way she relates to people, the way she gives of herself, the way she prays and feels compassions for others…God showed me a lot of His heart through her…Thanks Emma !!!☺…

Now I was the only one left from the group that came almost 8 weeks ago... As I was walking in the streets of Tel Aviv the rain started to fall... the first time during all the trip... a sign that a New season was about to begin...