Living in America, I am thankful that God has not called me to live in Israel! I don’t think I could survive the heat. So when I meet the families who live in the Jordan Valley I am amazed at their tenacity. They choose to live in one of the hottest places in Israel. They don’t choose to live there because it is convenient, the weather is fantastic and the scenery is spectacular. They choose to live here because it is part of their God-given inheritance. They also know that their presence on the eastern edge of Israel ensures a peaceful border with Jordan, maintaining the safety and territorial integrity of the entire country.
When you choose to live a life based on principles and values, sometimes you have to sacrifice some conveniences. Living in the Jordan Valley means living far from the big cities with all the conveniences that they have to offer. Usually, living a life based on principle means that you are living in the very center of God’s will. And living in the center of God’s will makes it worthwhile to forgo a few conveniences– you get used to the weather and the barren scenery is transformed in your eyes to the most beautiful place on earth. At least that is what I’ve found to be true for the people I’ve met who live in the Jordan Valley.
But living in that heat and keeping Israel’s front line secure doesn’t mean that the children should have to suffer. One thing that is essential for all Jordan Valley communities is an indoor play area. This is a space that is air-conditioned! Here the children have toys and games, an indoor sand box and Gymboree equipment to climb, jump, crawl and slide through. In the Jordan Valley these play areas are not frivolous or extravagant. They are vital.
When it is over 100 degrees outside, you can’t send kids to go play in the backyard or meet up with their friends at the neighborhood park. This is especially true for small toddlers and babies who would end up with 3rd degree burns just by crawling through a sandbox baking in the sun. The solution is an indoor play area. Here they can meet up with their friends and neighbors, inside where it is safe to run and play without getting heat-stroke or sunburn.
For years, the community of Gitit in the Jordan Valley, was an aging community. The original families are still there but their children had long grown up and moved away. But in the past few years, miraculously, there has been an influx of new young families and this is such a blessing for the entire community. But the result is dozens of babies and toddlers who do not have an indoor play area. The community knows this is an urgent need for their growing families and that is why they are turning to you, their Christian friends, asking you to help them set up an indoor play area. They took an old building and renovated it but it is empty. All they need is your help so they can equip a room for the toddlers and babies.
With your help they can purchase toys and games and install a large indoor sand-box. This space will be used every day! All of the babies and toddlers will be so excited to have a safe place to play as they are growing up in the heat of the Jordan Valley. And their parents will enjoy the air-conditioned fellowship as they come together to watch their children. Imagine the smiles of delight, and the squeals of joy as the children safely run and play.
You can make this dream come true in Gitit. The moms and dads will be so grateful that you chose to stand with them as they follow their heart and make the desert bloom. Please give a donation today to bless a child in Gitit with the gift of laughter and play.