Q: Where and when did you and John meet?
A: We met here in Israel hitch-hiking outside of Bethlehem on Christmas day, 1973. John had recently started to believe in Jesus and I was getting interested. Six months later we met again at a Bible study in Jerusalem and that’s when our relationship began to develop.
Q: Why did you start a hostel?
A: Since we married, we’ve always been involved in hospitality; we love sharing our home and lives with others. We began in a tent in the Sinai, had an open home in Key West, Florida, and in Eilat always had people staying with us. We decided we needed a hostel in order to accommodate all our guests. And with four children, we weren’t able to travel as we did when we were younger, so having a hostel allowed us to continue to meet people from all over the world.
Q: Did you ever feel like giving up on the hostel work?
A: This is our life and we can’t imagine living anywhere else or doing anything else. However, when the municipality was battling us with license problems, John was sometimes discouraged.
Q: You organized the book according to waves of people groups. Do you have any idea what will be the next group?
A: We had no idea about the previous groups – Russians, Romanians, Chinese, and Sudanese – until they appeared, so we can’t imagine what the future will bring.
Q: In December 2014 the Shelter celebrated its 30th anniversary. Do you think it will still be around in another 30 years?
A: We obviously won’t be here at that time, but we are still enjoying the Shelter and have no plans to retire. On the other hand, we are praying and looking for the right person to continue the work.