Dear Lubbock Church Family:

We buried my mother. God helped
With finding tickets, arriving, getting
the paper work needed for burial,
making arrangements with the various
entities for the place at the cemetery,
get a casket, find, prepare, dress and
transport her body. There are no funeral homes and
directors in Israel like we have in the States.

God miraculously provided the vehicle, the helpers, all
exactly as we know she would have wanted. The Israel
church family was present as was a channel of divine love
and blessings in helping towards practical arrangements in
the services at the church and at the burial. We found
and ate the last special foods that my mother had
prepared. We also had the last fruits (pomegranates and
apples) that she had bought. We buried my mother.

Now, after days of intense activity preparing and realizing
this major project, we are experiencing a mini-resurrection
and a few moments of rest by celebrating the life and
birthday of our baby daughter, our Mother’s granddaughter,
Melissa. The theme of this celebration is provided by a
special trip starting at the three headwaters of the Jordan
River up in Northern Galilee. Thirty-three years ago,
Connie and I got engaged in the snows of Mount Hermon
from which the three springs of the Jordan flow. We’ll
follow the River down through the upper lakes of the
Hula, the Sea of Galilee, the Valley. On Saturday, we’ll
stop for the Sabbath services at the church in Jerusalem
and we’ll enjoy the wonderful Filipino food potluck there.
The last full day that Connie and the two girls are in
Israel before they return to their various locations in the
States, we’ll soak up in the Dead Sea where the Jordan

My mother went to sleep in Jesus in the last month of
the Jewish year, the month of Elul, a month of serious
spiritual preparation. She was ready and was telling us to
be ready. The services and our present birthday celebration
focusing on new life are taking place in the context
of the Jewish New Year – serious joy, apples with honey.
We’re looking forward to the full realization of the third
Fall festival, the Great Thanksgiving, when after our
pilgrimage is over, we will rejoice and be reunited as
God’s family “Tabernacling” together with God, with
Jesus and in God’s Spirit, in the Heavenly abodes, and in
the Earth and Heaven made new, by the Tree and the
River of Life.

With love and blessings,
Pastor Sam and Family