Sunday, June 24, 2007

The fabulous first week

June 19 – 24, 2007. The fabulous first week
Grace and peace to you from the Holy Land where troubles abound and so does God’s love.

John: John is busy at the hospital teaching the Surgical Residents and observing operations. He had two consults for patients with thoracic (chest) surgical problems. One of them is going to have lung biopsy on Monday. They have a very dedicated Medical Staff- both Christian and Muslim- surgeon, internist, Oncologist and nephrologist. This Hospital has a CT scanner and ultrasound, a good lab but no ER. They do not have surgeries on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Friday is a Holy Day for the Muslims, Saturday for Jewish people and Sunday for Christians. Most patients, nurses and residents come from the “West Bank” with permission from the Government of Israel. The hospital has arranged for a special bus to transport the staff and patients and yet they have to wait long at the checkpoints. So there is delay and frustration.

John in frront of the main gate of the hospital.

John with Rev. Mark Brown

Esther visited the 100 years old stone Church of Ascension on the campus and met with the German Pastor Mike Wohlrab whose grandfather was the first missionary to Tanzania. She is organizing a small group fellowship/ worship service on Friday evenings. Let us pray that it takes off. She went on an ICAHD tour, (Israeli Coalition Against Home Demolition) and learnt about Palestinians losing their homes unfairly. She also enjoyed volley ball/ food and fellowship with (mostly youth) 15-member group from the Southeastern Michigan Synod. On Wednesday, we treated ourselves to Okra - Minced meat Palestinian dinner at the campus café prepared by the volunteers, the proceeds to be used for charity. Esther has been asked to cook Indian food by two different groups. That should be fun. All the spices are available here.

Esther with Rev. Mark Brown, his wife Susanna and another friend Kristian from Germany

Rev Mark Brown, Director of Lutheran World Relief operations for this area is originally from Streator, IL and is a good friend of David and Claudia Nelson of our church. He and his Danish wife Susanna welcomed us and made us feel at home. On June 22nd we celebrated the summer Solstice with the typical Scandinavian dish ”Sushi”! prepared by all of us. John used his surgical skills to carve out the flesh of avocados and Esther expertly spread the rice on the seaweed. We met many dedicated people working for LWF, United Nations, World vision etc.

Esther helping prepare Sushi.

The sushi party

Our sightseeing included a visit to Ein Karem (home of Elizabeth and Zachariah) the Old city of David, the famous street - Via Dolorosa, one-day tour of the Northern areas- Nazareth, Capernaum, Togbah (where Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand) and finally, the Jordan River. We dipped our feet but did not get baptized! Our guide pointed out the Golan heights, the border between Israel and Syria and the Jordan river which forms the boundary between Israel and the country of Jordan, the Mount of Transfiguration, Mount of Beatitudes, Cana, Jericho and the valley of Armageddon. We tasted fig honey and fresh dates. We met four Indian catholic priests from Rome! And we tasted the famous "Peter Fish".

A wonderful week indeed.
We met wonderful people and also seen some sad sights like the wall around Jerusalem and demolished homes. But God’s word provides hope and motivation not to be weary of well doing. God’s people are busy spreading hope here. We did something ‘naughty’ on Sunday. We will tell you about it in the next blog. We wish you well.
So long. Love
John/Prabhu and Esther/Kamali

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In the beginning

Dearest family and friends,
Here we are in the promised land - in the Lutheran world Federation guest house, watching National geographic special iin the TV in the living room along with friends we met from Australin and Japan! Thanks be to God for bringing us safely here with no problems whatsover with air or land travel. Augusta Victorial Hospital sent us Michael the driver (reminded us of Arch angel Michael ) to meet us in the Volkswagon van. There are 20 guests from all over the world in the LWF guest house and we have met half of them already. At the Hospital cafeteria, we met several doctors, mostly residents and spent 2 hours drinking tea and walking around the beautiful hospital grounds. Life will defintly will be slower pace here.
This marble and stone building used to be King Kaiser of Germany's palace 100 years ago. As we stepped outside the hospital grounds we ran into a camel and his driver in blue jeans and sneakers. We saw West banks on one side and the old walled city of Jerusalem on the other side. What a privilege God has given us to live in such historical, Biblilical land for five weeks. John starts work at 8: 30 AM tomorrow. I have started net working already and will go down to grocery store etc. tomorrow. WE wish you a happy week. Love, Esther Kamali & John Prabhu

In Jerusalem

A hearty welcome

John at the entrance of the Hospital.

Esther at the sign inside the hospital which shows several agencies in the campus including World Vision.

Dr Mohammad Issa brother of Walid who is the guest of our good friend Kate Peer in Minneapolis. He and another surgical resident, Dr Aref gave us a tour of the Hospital grounds.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

June 17, 2007
We have put on the armor of God. We finished packing by 11: 15 PM and are ready to go. We had a busy week hosting ELCA missionaries Oyebades from Nigeria. On Friday during the Synod Assembly of the Northern Illinois Synod of the ELCA, Bishop Wollershiem commisioned us as E.L.C.A. Medical Missionaries and blessed us. All the people assembled promised to pray for us. On Saturday we attended the dance recital of our grand daughters, Hannah, Sophie and Lily. They all performed well, had smiles on their faces and appeared confident and competent. It was a delight to watch them dance.
On Sunday we met Sandhya's Dad Philji and had dinner at India House Restaurant in Rockford. Many members of our family attended and we bid them fond farewell and they wished us bon voyage. So off we go to Jerusalem. Shalom

June 17, 2007

Our dog Lucy bids us farewell.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

June 10, 2007: Commissioned by God and God’s people

On Sunday June 10th, John and Esther Prabhakar were commissioned as medical missionaries to Jerusalem by Faith Lutheran Church in Rochelle, their home congregation. Pastor Steven Dow conducted the ceremony during the morning worship service. He placed his hands over their heads, prayed and blessed them and the members of the congregation vowed their prayer support to them also. Appropriately, John sang a solo, the refrain being, “Master Thou callest, this I reply. Ready and willing, Lord, Here am I.” There was a potluck following the service when the celebration continued.