Sowing seeds of joy, hope, truth, happiness and LOVE.
Reaping a harvest of happy, healthy, educated children.
Melanie Price and Thelma Lynch in Jerusalem, Isreal
The Sunflower Trust, giving words of hope and a hand of friendship to the Domari People of Old Jerusalem.
The Lord Blessed me with a chance to visit that Holy City Jerusalem, once again. I'd been there 13 years ago for one day. I thought I might get super powered by The Holy Spirit, or have an encounter with my Jesus. Well, I didn't, and once again found that Jesus lives within me, and He will never leave me or forsake me, no matter what country I'm in.
Jerusalem is far from being peaceful at the moment. I understand full well, when Jesus tells us to Pray for Jerusalem, and pray for its peace. The warring factions are ever evident, and as the Arabs won t go to the Jewish quarter, similarly the Jews won t go to the Muslim quarter, and the Christian quarter tries to keep low profile on everything, so as not to disturb... the peace!!!!!!!!!!! Jerusalem is not at peace. The air is full of trouble, and stress is felt on every corner. The people are waiting for something to happen, waiting for an eruption, waiting for help, waiting for war, waiting for their Messiah....................
Amoun Sleem s home, is a tiny room in the wall of Jerusalem. Hugging every wall is a bed. 6 people live in this little room. This is the bedroom, and the living room, changing room and lounge. You quickly learn to get on with your brothers and sisters here, or else your out in the cold.
The Lions Gate is famous for its view overlooking the Garden of Gethsemane. This is the area where the Domari people have been living for years. The walls of old Jerusalem holds lots of mystery and secrets, and treasures, the Domari people are one.
I rung Amoun immediately, when I arrived in that Holy City. We met the next day, at The Domari Society Centre, situated just outside the city, on the East bank. Amoun is not a Christian,and is singularly handed, running this little centre, for poor women and children, who live in, and around the old city of Jerusalem.
Most of the women are one-parent families. The children are taught how to read and write, that goes for some of the older women and children as well, who never had the opportunity, or the money, to get an education.
I asked Amoun what I should bring, so I could Bless Israel, and she told me that they were starting to do a hairdressing course for the girls. Could I bring some hairbrushes, and combs, creams and hairdryers, etc, etc. We provided their need, and they were so thankful when they received the things they had requested.
The centre is quite resourceful, but everything relies on things being donated. They have a nice little library, where a lot of the books are in English, donated by a mission friend from England. . I was quite surprised when the children were retorting, Hello, how are you, Hello are you...over and over again. Amoun explained that she is teaching them English, and see s it as a way forward for the girls to get jobs in the future in Hotels or shops. I met some of the mums who spend their time begging in the gates of the old city, very demeaning for them, but jobs for single mum's, are not readily available, and many times they were beaten by the elders of the communities. Poverty is looked down on, and orphans are not seen as humans of any worth. The Domari people have lived in and around Israel for many centuries, originally being nomads and Bedouins. They were very warm and welcoming towards me, and i felt at home with them straight away. Teaching about Jesus has to be done very subtle, as it could be seen as promoting the centre in a religious or political way, and at this moment in time, to rock the boats of the Pharisee s can proof very dangerous and unwise. Jesus is shown in love, and care, praying
The outcome of my visit, is yet to be seen. I have put Amoun in touch with several other similar groups, who live and work in Jerusalem. My friend Chrissy is going to introduce her to the King of Kings Church, and The Jerusalem School, in Shekut, have promised to help with educational ideas, and programmes. They will see what they can do to set up some kind of programme to develop awareness and friendship. The Domari Society also make little handicrafts, to try and help support the centre, but not enough is ever sold to actually keep the centre in rent. They have been supported by small business s and Church groups, but money is quickly being absorbed by the utility bills and rent. Amoun, has dedicated her life to this work. We took out some hand made necklaces, that might be sold to help pay for the rent. Amoun is to much admired for her tenacity, and persistence. She doesn't earn money because of the work, and the love for her people, so she lives very frugally. We left some money for the work, and clothes for the women and the children. Little fleeces were given to the young ones, as it was very cold at night, and many people had a very bad cough, including me.
The wind blew fiercely through the old and winding narrow streets of old Jerusalem, but the wind of change has come, as for Amoun and her work, in trying to empower her people, and to try and give them a chance to succeed, she already is a winner, because of Jesus in her life. I have invited her to come to the Summer Conference here in UK, where she will meet other women in similar situations. She told me her life was hard, but it would be harder if she didn't t have a cause worth fighting for.
I took out some Cadburys chocolates
, they went down big time., and in exchange, I got a ride on a camel.
We will keep our eyes
on this work and help at every opportunity that we can. Please
pray for them, and for the peace of Jerusalem.
God wasn't in the wind, nor was He found in the earthquake, bit He is found in the small, still voice ..........