BROOKIE UPDATE FOR FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013
First of all, I want to thank several very special people who helped enormously with the whole huge process of the Homegoing Celebration.
Gary did all the preparations for the event at the gravesite. He had many people helping, and I don't even know who they all were. It was a huge effort.
The Leonard family were all very much involved. Gil arranged for and set up the sound system at the gravesite, including a generator (he and Dave Foquette actually got swideswiped by a bus on the way!). David Leonard ran the soundboard. Mayaan took charge of the incredibly delicate task of identifying the body, dressing Brookie, getting her to the gravesite exactly on time, and wrapping her in the incredibly beautiful linen painting Rochelle did just for that purpose. There was much opposition all along the way. Rachel helped in many ways, including preparing a power point of Brookie's life which was shown at the reception. Tehila was also involved in many aspects.
Sara did most of the work on the program itself, and it was beautiful. It was in preparation for days, including many corrections the day of the Homegoing. She was at the printer just hours before the service, getting the programs printed and she got them to the gravesite just a few minutes before people started to arrive!
Karen Davis led the worship team at the gravesite and David Davis gave a great keynote message.
Sharona and Brookie's nurse friend Marcie stayed with Brookie night and day for more than a week before she left this earth. Sharona hosted all the visitors and organized the visits, and Marcie provided around the clock professional nursing care, all in Brookie's house, where she wanted to be.
Teresa organized the reception at the Poriya Illit Community Center, feeding over 150 people and then re-organizing the space for worship, the slide show and testimonials until almost 10:00 PM. Of course there was much set-up, takedown, cleaning, etc. She too had many wonderful helpers.
All in all it was an incredible cooperative effort by the community of believers in the area (including Kehilat Poriya and Peniel congregations), as well as others from Haifa and Jerusalem. The "Body of Messiah" functioned beautifully! It was all anointed and orchestrated by the Lord, who was glorified in everything. THANK YOU, LORD!!!!
WEBSITE FOR POSTING AND YOUTUBE OF THE SLIDE SHOW
Rachel has set up a Memorial website for Brookie. Here are her instructions:
I've created a memorial website on which you may write your condolences/tributes of Brooke ("Brookie") or just light a candle (short msg. in her memory): http://brooke-escott.memory-of.com/About.aspx. My tribute (or memoir) titled "In loving Memory of Brookie" is posted as an example. Please feel free to make yours in a different manner than mine. The site will be operational for at least two more weeks.
Rachel also posted the slide show of Brookie's life on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lc7FBYO6s-4&feature=youtu.be
God willing, we will be posting a video of the Homegoing Celebration when it is ready.
TERRI'S REPORT ON THE HOMEGOING
Brookie’s departure from this earth was the 29th of April, it happened at ll:23 PM, I had just returned from picking up my oldest and closest friend from America at the airport.
Brookie’s life had ebbed away slowly, and it had been almost a week since the doctors had predicted her immanent passing, so all of us were quite uncertain of that moment when she would draw her last breath.
My friend’s arrival on the day of Brookie’s departure was very significant to me.
The Lord, Whom I serve with all of my heart, showed me His body, as I have never seen it before.
So many people rallied around Eric and I offering to help in any way they could, words can never describe in this update how meaningful this was to me, personally.
My friend’s arrival on the day of Brookie’s departure could only mean one thing for me, she would see our lives in Israel in a unique way. I have waited 30 years for her to visit me in the land of my inheritance. She is the person God used to give me my first Bible and that gift eventually led to my salvation.
The body here helped in every way imaginable, getting the burial ground ready, making the graduation program, arranging for the food, music, speeches, order of service, arranging for the burial, plus the inspection of the body before burial.
The service was so beautiful, so reverent, so lovely in every way. There was a video made of the entire service, and soon a DVD will be available. God willing, we will be able to send it to those of you who could not come, but want to see the service. Also, it will be posted in some form, which we will let you know about in a future update.
When I read what Cindy Bayer wrote in her Jerusalem Journal, I realized that even in this God was meeting me completely, as we just brought our friend to the airport on Wednesday night, and I wanted to express my gratitude to the body here, and to express my thoughts on the Homecoming, only to see that my God had already inspired Cindy, who is an excellent writer, to accomplish what needed to be said.
To God be the glory for the things He has done.
Jerusalem Journal #175 (excerpts)
Written May 6, 2013 by Cindy Bayer
Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?
Tellers of time: The Bible, ancient pottery shards,
a wristwatch, and a cell phone
Look closely at the photo of my watch and cell phone. The upper watch face reflects East Coast time in the U.S. so I can keep current with my daughters and grandchildren, while the lower face is set for Israeli time. Meanwhile, segments of the Palestinian Authority refuse to change to Daylight Savings Time when Israelis move their clocks forward one hour, so my cell phone (with a data package purchased from a Muslim Quarter vendor) shows one hour earlier than my watch while we are in the Muslim Quarter and other parts of East Jerusalem, then automatically switches ahead one hour when we move into other areas of the city. Checking the phone settings it shows my time zone is Hebron. Does anybody really know what time it is?
Our friend and one-time housemate, Brookie, operated in two different time zones. Although her body was being robbed by cancer’s final ravages and the sands of time ran more quickly through her hourglass, her spirit operated in the eternal zone; however, a recent stroke paralyzed her frail frame and cancelled her ability to speak encouraging words from the Bible---a Brookie signature.
Gary and Brookie share laughter at The Cottage in 2006
Rochelle, our artist friend, was working on a "Tree of Life" painting at The Place of Stories last week when she shared with me that she had had a vision of Brookie in a stunning pink and orange dress, crowded on either side by a multitude of angel wings as they were escorting her to meet her Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, whose name was constantly on her fiery red lips.
"You must sketch it out, Rochelle," I urged her. "I don't know how I could ever paint heaven," she sighed. With news from Brookie's doctor that only hours of life might remain,
Rochelle asked if I had an old white bed sheet. "Better than a bed sheet," I responded, "I have three yards of fine white linen intended to line curtains one day, but the linen is for today."
Out of the storage box and into service, we spread the linen fabric across a sofa bed Brookie had slept on for the nine months she called our tiny bunker-esque concrete rental house home. During that time we learned to value the importance of relationship over privacy and comfort, endearingly dubbing our living arrangement as The season of the cottage. It was there, in the nitty-gritty of living together, the sincerity of her life was demonstrated.
As we held the linen selvages, my thoughts drifted to Brookie’s days in the Hollywood entertainment business, when flamboyant speech, gestures, and attire clothed the outer Brookie, but after meeting Yeshua at age forty...extravagant prayer, praise, and an obedient spirit clothed her irresistible flamboyance with a new zest for life. It was a transformation she was compelled to share with everyone she met.
Our dining room table quickly converted into an easel for the linen to become a piece of art that would be both a shroud for her body and a testimony to her spirit. Five hours later, as the painting was nearing completion, Rochelle whispered, "I really hope Brookie is able to see this before it is too late." I snapped a photo of it on my phone, then Gary and I raced over to Brookie’s house where a prayer/praise vigil was on-going.
Artist Rochelle Malherbe lavishes color on her gift of love
Entering the darkened bedroom, Gary sat beside her stroking her hand while I crawled up in bed beside her and massaged her paralyzed shoulder. I thought of Rochelle’s painting and didn’t want death to steal Brookie’s opportunity to see the beautiful dress and the crowding of angel wings before it was completed. "I want you to see the vision Rochelle had of you," I breathed softly in her ear as I clicked on my phone’s camera and held it above Brookie’s head. Sunken eyes then shuttered suddenly bolted open. She grabbed my phone, holding it for herself, absorbing the image, before slipping into a morphine slumber and soon a coma.
Firstfruits barley was harvested in Yavneel Valley
prior to Passover
The memorial service brough together over three hundred of Brookie's local friends who came to grieve and to honor a mighty woman of God. She was lowered into the soil of her beloved Israel, covered only with the shroud which became her final earthly gown. She had seeded a springtime harvest of lives that filled the train of a garment even Hollywood couldn't conceive.
In both life and in death, Brookie reminded us to keep our eyes on the heavenly clock and not let our hectic lives enslave us to an earthly schedule. Does anybody really know what time it is? Choose wisely the keeper of your time.
Enjoying the walk home,