One of the interesting things about our STINT Briefing conference last week was that we shared the conference center with a group of Hasidic Jews. Actually it was a Kosher vacation so a lot of Jewish people of different levels of orthodoxy were there because it was the only one of two options for a Kosher vacation outside of Jerusalem. (At least that's what I was told but I bet I could find another on a google search.)
One night I met Simon. Actually he must of asked who was in charge and someone told him I was and he approached me. I wasn't in charge but gladly spoke with him. He was a little upset by the circumstances. I think he was caught in the middle because he had organized this vacation along with his brother and this was the 5th year they used Copper Mountain resorts. He was not expecting to share with a Christian group much less one named Campus Crusade for Christ. It was hard on his most Orthodox clients who do not have much contact with anyone outside of their community. So they complained to him and he was seeing if we could work out a compromise.
We had a good talk. I really couldn't do much but refer him to Matt who organized a meeting with Copper officals. I don't know if it really was solved to his satification but I felt like Matt and I were able to listen to him and demonstare love and mercy as best we could. Copper did do a few things like throw us a free party so we would be out of the lobby one night.
I have been reading two books lately that I feel like the Lord had me read to be prepared to approach Simon and the other Jewish people with understanding. One is A History of Jews and the other is Night.
I would give you a sumamry but sadly I haven't finished either. I started reading Night earlier this summer and since it is so short I alsmot read it in one night. But it got neglected in all the moving around - housing sitting, going to Fort Collins for a week and then moving back into our townhome that still hasn't sold. I think I saw it the other day. I was about 1/2 way through A History of the Jews when I went to Copper for this conference. Just couldn't read when in the middle of one of those and I had ESPN in my room to watch late at night. But I did read enough of both to be taken to a greater level of compassion for Jewish people. I was overwhlemed by the degree of persecution throughout history that is record in A History.
I did find myself being moved by compassion a lot especially as I saw young children and wonderign if they would ever know of the Messiah who has come.