Saturday….Golan Heights

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Finally I sleep. I caved and took a whole Benedryl even though they reportedly will give me Alzheimer’s and wake up only when the heater went on and off. I feel much better.

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We both are awake by 5 so we walk down to the Sea of Galilee and watch the magnificent sunrise. Today promises to be warm and sunny. The sky is clear and the view much better than yesterday. Here and there along the shore people are sitting on rocks or standing alone. Many of them are reading or praying. Just a few…it’s easy to find a quiet spot.

 

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At 6:30 we join the others in our group for a morning worship service out on the pier. It’s pretty cool in the early morning and Dwayne wonders how cold Jesus must have gotten when he went up into one of these mountains at night to pray.

Breakfast is the usual spread of many cheeses, fruits, salads, and eggs. This morning they also have a plates made up of hummus, some kind of white sauce, beans, spices and herbs. I add some saurcraut that is sitting nearby to mine and it is absolutely delicious.

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Golan Heights~ A 50 mile range of mountains which connect to Mt Hermon. Assume all of you know the history here and the strategic importance of this area. Lloyd tells us stories from his first trips to this country, when some of their guides had actually participated in the 6 day war. He shares accounts of miracles that happened….some very similar to old testament miracles, such as clouds suddenly blocking the enemies view.

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On the way up the mountains we see the snow capped peaks of majestic Mt. Hermon.  This mountain sits at the junction of Syria, Israel, and Lebanon and is highly valued as a source of water. I would have thought it was clouds if Nibeal hadn’t pointed it out to us.

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We all load up onto jeeps and go exploring!  I had no idea it was so beautiful on the Golan Heights this time of year. We see donkeys, cows, egrets, and even a partridge in a pear tree!

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Today is a day we hear more recent history and get an understanding of the springs up here that provide 38% of Israel’s water supply.

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We don’t stand on the Jordan River’s stormy banks but we do cross it a couple of times. 🙂

The highway leading to Damascus is within sight.   In ancient days, these Golan Heights were on the route from Damascus to the sea ports on the Mediterranean.  Paul would have journeyed here as he went from Damascus to Galilee.

Our jeep stops at a fort where the crusaders fought the muslims and we drive through an area that was part of Syria until 1973. The cows have cleared most of the land mines by now but there are still many warning signs.

After 2 hours, our jeep ride ends…we have a little mud on us but we don’t care. I mean, how often do you get a chance to get Golan Heights mud on you???

Back on the bus, we head north. We drive by an area where there are archeological finds from King Solomon’s day but we don’t stop. This part of Israel is very green right now and there is much agriculture. Buzzing past our windows are all manner of fruit and nut trees. There are palm trees and greenhouses, pine and eucalyptus trees. Such a variety. I’ve also noticed the songbirds. Beautiful and so many different ones.

Lunch is a quick stop and Dwayne and opt to skip it. We sit in the sun and rest.

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Ceaserea Philippi ~ By Jesus time, this was a Roman town and is one of the 3 water sources for the Jordan River. Here, they worshiped a God called Pan, the root of the word panic. This god was believed to be 1/2 goat and 1/2 man. We are 40 miles from the Sea of Galilee and it’s interesting to think that Jesus walked that far, to this pagan town, so that He could give His disciples a visual of what He was about to tell them.

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The Rock is enormous and the cave you see in the picture is where the people would throw an infant as a sacrifice to their god. If the water that ran red with blood, the sacrifice was not acceptable and they would have to do another.

 

Those poor, dear mamas…

 

The disciples had just seen some exciting events and Jesus wants to know…”Who do *you* say that I am?” Then He tells Peter…”upon this rock I will build  my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it”. It’s a powerful statement and interesting to think how Jesus courageously said this right here in what was very much Satan’s domain.

 

Tel Dan ~ This is 2nd source of Jordan.  Settled in 2000 BC, you can read of the city of Dan in Judges 18:1-2, Judges 8:27, and Joshua 19:47 ( I *think*) Also 1King 12:28-29…where Jereboham made the idol of golden calves. We see all kinds of remains here…the gates to the city, the city itself.

 

Nabil shows me how to tell original stones from those which are reconstructed and I feel a bit better about all this archeological stuff. I am way too skeptical, I guess 🙂

 

On up above the remains of Dan, we climb up onto some stones and look across the valley into Lebanon. Pretty cool. I’ve almost been to Lebanon.

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Last stop ~ a few feet away they have discovered much older gates to an older Dan…the one mentioned in Genesis 14:14. These would be 5000 years old and from the time of Abraham.  This gate has survived to it’s full height.

Seeing the two time periods of Dan leads to interesting discussion. Obviously Gen 14 happened long before Jacob named his son Dan. So there are two possible explanations. One is that  the city of Abraham’s time happened to be named Dan and then….the man, Dan, came to live in it later after it was given him in the division of the land among the 12 tribes. OR. The Old Testament writers just used that name in Gen 14 as a way of describing the location Abram ran to, knowing we readers would understand.  Oh boy. Never mind. Too much to explain.

I like these places this afternoon because no huge church’s have been built around them. They are now set in nature preserves that are beautiful to walk through.

I’m trying to “feel this” but my brain is so busy thinking and my feet are so busy walking that I honestly don’t feel as much as I’d like. My quiet time down my the Sea this morning was good.I think maybe a trip like this needs a day in the middle for rest, reading and reflection.

Random pics….

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Galen has a super handy place to keep his Bible…

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Taken at Tel Dan. I think.

 

Friday….Galilee

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The day begins with a visit to Mt. Arbel.  Slopping upward on the seaward side, with cliffs and caves on the other, this mountain provided hiding places for the Jewish people in AD 66-70 as the Romans squelched the Jewish uprising. The only good picture I get of the mountain is from the Sea at sunset but we see the caves clearly from the base of the mountain in the morning.

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We also walk a little of the Jesus Trail…the path from Nazereth to Capernaum that I wrote about yesterday. Today we are the opposite end.

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Sea of Galilee ~ We spend the entire day around the Sea. A boat ride out onto the sea is beautiful and peaceful.

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Quiet time on the Mount of Beatitudes….the gentle slope where Jesus “opened His mouth and taught them saying” the teachings we have recorded in Matthew 5 and more.

I love learning about how Jesus’ parables and teachings tie in with the setting here.  When He said, “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid” , maybe Jesus gestured to the right and pointed up to Safed (or Zefat), a city that *is* on a hill and easily seen from where they sat. “See you guys”, Jesus might have said, “see those lights? That’s how MY light will shine through you. It can’t be hid!”  Did He look around at the listeners with hope in His eyes, praying they would understand?

IMG_0631The third time Jesus appears after his resurrection he calls out to the disciples “Come and dine” and fixes fish for them over a fire. At this spot, we can walk right into the water.

IMG_0634The beach here is not sand but rather, millions of tiny shells. I slip a handfull in my pocket and am so pleased I wore my water shoes today.

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And thankful my feet are planted on the Solid Rock!

IMG_0626This stone is supposedly the one upon which Jesus served the fish to his disciples.

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But I think it might have been this one <3

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We have St. Peter’s fish for lunch. Well, some of us do. Those of us who have seen St. Peter’s fish pictures over the years feel no need to suffer through the chore of de-boning our lunch. We opt for a delicious fillet.

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Capernaum ~ A busy port city on the Sea in Jesus’ day, this town was on the Via Maris and thus subject to many different influences. We see stones from the foundation of the synagogue which was here when Jesus taught here. Caperneum is considered to be the base of Jesus’ ministry while he was around the Sea of Galilee. Miracles happened in this town, several we have recorded and no doubt many more occured.

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“Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down the hell”.  Luke 10:13-15

We see ruins of the home where Peter’s mother-in-law was healed. I don’t know whether it’s because we have seen so many or if I’m just having an off day but some of these ruins look suspiciously not-old to me. Wyatt points out a children’s game carved on one of the floors and I feel a little better. This is all more meaningful if I think of the people who might have lived here.

So far, what I like the very best is the Sea of Galilee, the Jesus trail, and the skyline. These, I know, are genuine.

We are near the Golan Heights now. I’m not sure how I feel about being 10 miles from Syria. I must say….we have felt nothing but peace since arriving in Israel. It’s kind of hard to believe that the countries we read about in the news are…um….just over that hill.

Last stop is Krusi, the land of Gadarenes, where the evil spirits were cast into the swine and the pigs all ran into sea. The bible says they ran violently down a steep place…not necessarily over a cliff the way our children’s bible story books show it. 😉  Nabeal points out that the men who owned these pigs would not have been Jews…. that means Jesus was up here walking about in a pagan community of Romans and non-Jewish folks when this miracle took place.  We can easily see clusters of caves in the mountainside….maybe we are looking at the same cave the possessed man lived in before being set free by Jesus.

Our cottages are back at the Kibbutz and we return here for another delicious buffet. Dwayne and I have time to walk down to the Sea of Galilee and watch the sunset. From here, we can see the present day city of Tiberius and many other landmarks around the sea. Today was a little cloudy and rainy…hoping for sunshine tomorrow.

Written on the run….

Thursday…. Nazereth and More

 

Brad and Molly with the Shepherd

Brad and Molly with the Shepherd

Up and at’em! First Stop ~Nazereth Village ~  a little town a bit like Conner Prairie in Indianapolis, only the setting is Nazereth as it would have been in Jesus’ Day.

It’s hard to look around modern day Nazereth, a city of 80,000, and imagine it being a small village. The spring that likely supplied the town with water is here…we went to see it yesterday…but it’s now encased in a huge Catholic edifice, as are most historic sites here.

Nazereth is 70% Muslim and 30% Christian. Just  a few years ago, our guide tells us, that percentage was reversed. Muslims have moved in and many Christians have fled the city in search of a better education and life than they can obtain here.

So seeing the little Nazereth Village really helps. In Jesus time, Nazereth was set in the hills with roads just wide enough for a loaded donkey to pass. Houses were built of stone so for Joseph, being a carpenter likely meant working as a stone mason as well as woodworker.

At her feet, you can see the groove where the wine would have run into a holding place after being pressed by bare feet.

At her feet, you can see the groove where the wine would have run into a holding place after being pressed by bare feet.

We see a wine press that has been uncovered near what would have been the center of the village in Jesus day. Possibly Jesus sat there as he told his disciples the parable recorded in Matt 21:33 “There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dogged a winpress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to a husband, and went into a far country…..”. Within a few feet of the winpress we are standing on is  a vineyard, a wall, a tower.

Synagogue..full sized... as it would have looked in Jesus Day.

Synagogue..full sized… as it would have looked in Jesus Day.

Inside the replica of the village synagogue, we move into position, men on one side and women on the other just as they would have when Jesus opened the scroll and read from Isaiah. The synagogue is full sized and I am astonished at how small it is. We sit down on the stone benches carved on the side of the wall and try to imagine it full of Jesus’s relatives and childhood friends.

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Dwayne picks a few almonds

 

Olive Press

Olive Press

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There are more buildings here….a woman weaving wool, a tool maker and a kitchen…too much to tell.  Our guide is a Christian and does really well at explaing how many of the parables Jesus told tie in with the landscape and setting of the day.

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Everywhere...stones

Everywhere…stones

 

David and Anita on Mount Precipice

David and Anita on Mount Precipice

On the edge...

On the edge…

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Mount of Precipice ~ where they wanted to throw Jesus over the edge after he read in his hometown synagogue. Up on this mount, we have a view of not only the rocky cliff but we can see Mt Tabor, a high mountain near Nazereth and possible site of the transfiguration. The Jezreel Valley lies below us.

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I was excited to see the Jesus Walk on our itinerary. A rocky, dusty path from Nazereth to Capernaum, this is a 38 mile trail Jesus would almost certainly have walked. The plan was to hike 7 miles of it but for some reason that has ben cancelled. Lack of time, maybe?

Our guide says we are trying to do in 1.5 days what many groups do in 4. He tells us, “You are running where Jesus walked!”  As I’m standing, looking wistfully down the path, Wyatt and Gail take off on a sprint, calling back that at least they will cover a few feet. We follow and suddenly we *are* running  where Jesus walked. 🙂

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The bus takes us through Mashhad, the traditional birth place of Jonah as we head to Cana, where Jesus turned water to wine. Why am I shocked to see the vessels that held the wine were made of stone? I have always pictured them as pottery but I’m finding a lot of things I’ve always pictured are being edited.

Sindyanna ~ Their business is making olive oil but their real mission is offering jobs like basket weaving and oil packaging to older Arab and Jewish women in an attmept to fight fears and racism. Their hope is that these women will become friends and that these friendships will trickle out into their communities. No pictures of this stop.

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Bathroom from a home. Upper right..the hole is the toilet, the trough is the "pipe".

Bathroom from a home. Upper right..the hole is the toilet, the trough is the “pipe”.

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Zippori ~ The remains of an ancient Roman city that was built during the years when Jesus  grew  up in nearby Nazereth.  Maybe he and his father, Joseph, helped to build it.  Our guide says we have 30 minutes to be back on the bus or else we will have to camp here over nigt so we race up the hill to see the foundations and mosaic floors that remain from an ancient Roman home. I ask Dwayne if I can please have a mosaic floor in my house. Jogging back down the hill, we have time to walk on original stone making up the main road through the city. This road is called the Cardio..the name for the main artery through any Roman city of that day. Cardio…the same word heart comes from…the road was the heart of the city. Notice the chariot ruts in the picture.

There are many interesting ruins here to see and this is actually how I like to see things…quickly. Pictures of ruins I have seen in the past have always looked a little boring and all the same but I admit it is fascinating to see ruts in the stone road and think about the fact that these rocks I am touching are over 2000 years old and authentic.

Wait. Every rock iin the world is authentic. So it’s not the fact that they’re rocks or even that they’re old… it’s really about the people. It’s about WHO walked on them. Jesus. These are the stones he walked on, the rocks he may have tripped over as a boy, the pebbles he played with. And not only Jesus, but hundreds and thousands of men, women and children who have lived among these stones, shuffled them around and used them for their purposes. I think about the women who lived and served here and all the stories these rocks have heard.

Jesus said that if men will not worship him, the stones willl cry out and do so.

 

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This is a modern day house we pass by in Nazereth. This mostly Arab city resembles a 2nd world country in some ways.

 

Another random home in modern day Nazereth. I think the guy was watching out the window to see if our bus was going to hit anything as we parallel parked!

Another random home in modern day Nazereth. I think the guy was watching out the window to see if our bus was going to hit anything as we parallel parked!

 

 

 

 

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My lunch. I’m sorry for the food pics…I can’t help it. Someone please teach me to cook this way!

 

 

Please have mercy on my misspellings, incorrect grammar and even wrong labels! I am too tired to proofread…Dwayne is already asleeep and we have to be up and on the bus at 7:30 tomorrow. Eeek. Goodnight.

 

Day One. Or Something….

The itinerary says this is Day 3 but it’s Day One of coherency for me so I’m calling it Day One.

Hello, my long lost friend. Let's. not separate like that again.

Hello, my long lost friend. Let’s not separate like that again.

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Ceaserea

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Lloyd and Opal sitting on stones which would have been there in Jesus’ time.

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Theater built at Ceaserea by King Herod

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Wayne and Carolyn at Mt. Carmel

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Ignore D & S weirdly in the mirror but check out our delicious lunch. All this and more to put on our yummy Falefel and Pita Bread.

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Ditto. At least this time I hid a little.

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Megiddo. Okay you guys. These stones in the green circle are part of an actual wall built during King Solomon’s reign. Is that cool or what?

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Looking out over the Valley of Armageddon

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This was super interesting to see….the shaft leading down to the tunnel used to get water into the city of Megiddo during siege.

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Steps leading to the spring that fed the tunnel.

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Just Wow. Arab section of town.

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Afternoon snack of pomegranate juice.

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Many countries have donated mosaic artwork to the Church of Enunciation. Of course China’s is my very favorite. It’s a picture of Mary and Baby Jesus depicted as Asian. It really was one of the sweetest… some are very strange and seem inappropriate.

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The place where the Catholics believe the Angel Gabriel met Mary.

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A woman worshiping at one of the Catholic Churches we visited.

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Man in blue is our guide. I need to figure out how to spell his name.

IMG_4851IMG_4855IMG_4854Ceaserea ~ build under the direction of King Herod, this port city is mentioned several times in the book of Acts. We know that Peter’s first gentile convert lived here, Paul was imprisoned here when he appealed to Ceaser, and, according to history, Pilate lived here before moving to Jerusalem.  We see ruins from Herods palace which he built right on the edge of the  Mediterranean Sea, using Sea water for his pool in the center of his home. Remains of the harbor can be seen, along with an amphitheater and a place where they raced horses and chariots (I can’t remember the name and don’t have the energy to look up 😉 ). The  port is the most interesting thing to me. Seeing how they built it and were able to check each ship before it was let into the harbor.

Mt Carmel ~ It’s foggy today so our view of Elijah’s sprint tracks down the mountain isn’t good but we see enough to understand a few things. He wouldn’t have had to go searching for his 12 stones…stones are everywhere! In fact, I’m beginning to think this entire country is built of stone. I’ve never seen so many in one place. How easy it would have been to stone someone and no wonder Jesus often referred to stones in his teachings. We look out and see the Mediterranean Sea, over which Elijan’s servant saw the cloud. It’s not hard to imagine 400 prophets of Baal up here along with “all Israel ” who were gathered by King Arab to watch what turned out to be a mighty display of God’s power. It’s a big place…plenty of room up here for all. On a clear day, one can see the Jezreel Valley, the hills of Nazareth in the distance. To the west is the Sea, to the north is Lebanon. As a side note, Lloyd tells us that the last time Lebanon shot a rocket into Israel, Israel destroyed their launcher in 32 seconds.

Megiddo ~ Ahhh…too much to write. 3500 years old with 26-27 layers of civilization, this tell has visible stones that date back to King Solomon’s day. King David built the 16th layer and in the 4th century BC, Megiddo was abandoned and never rebuilt. According to our guide, excavators sometimes find coins which help them date the layers as they uncover them. Definitely tops at this place is the amazing tunnel which runs under the city wall. It leads to a hidden spring outside the city and was used to supply water to the people when Megiddo was under siege. We walk down several fights of stairs, through the tunnel and arrive at the spring. I wonder how in the world men chip-chopped away at this rock with hand tools. Carolyn accidentally drops her notebook into the spring and Brad heroically rescues it by climbing under the barricade, hanging by his toes on the rock wall and risking his life reaching down into the fridgid water. Okay, I made that part up. But he *did* climb under the barricade and reach. 🙂

Nazareth ~  Catholic Churches…enormous, ornate, interesting, and thought provoking. One thing which seems authentic and is worth noting are the caves beneath one of the churches. These probably date back to Jesus’ day and would have been houses where families lived. We will see more of Nazareth tomorrow.

We arrive at our motel at 4:30 and welcome a long evening. Supper is….I don’t even have enough words for the food here. I had heard it would be “lots of salad and bread” but  it’s way more than that. Both nights have been a buffet of 10 or 20 various salads along with yummy meat, desserts, and breads. Caviar for breakfast. And best of all, NO dairy for lunch or supper. Dwayne is on a dairy free diet right now and this food is a dream. I quizzed a Jewish guest in the motel tonight because I didn’t trust the cook. All those creamy desserts? How could they be non-dairy? The lady assured me they were and said the Rabbi comes to check the hotel kitchen regularly. No dairy may be served in the same meal as meat because “you shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk” Deut 14:21.  So no meat for breakfast, no dairy for lunch and dinner. Molly went to the lobby after dinner tonight to get coffee and they wouldn’t let her bring it back to the dining room because she had put cream in it. I’ve got to get their recipes for dairy free flan, cream puffs, and cheesecake. It’s all scrumptious!

So much more could be said…the aquaduct, the Via Maris, Mt Tabor.  So many of the happenings in the Bible, both Old Testament and New, occured right here in this tiny little country. There’s way too much to write and I’m beginning to see why most visitors want to come more than once. Although so far, I haven’t had that “this could be my home” feeling that I’ve heard others talk about. Maybe in Jerusalem.

Goodnight!

We’re Here!

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We’re safely here!  Thank you, Jesus!  When we went to bed at 10:30 last night, my body felt like it was snuggling down for a nice afternoon nap and obediently awoke a few hours later. The joys of jet lag.

We arrived in Nethanya about 8pm last evening, ate supper, then walked down to dip our feet in the Mediterranean Sea. Beautiful 70 * evening! We are about an hour north of Tel Aviv, right along the Sea.

If last night is a good indication, the food here is going to be scrumptious!

This is the first time Wyatt’s have had a Christian guide for an Israel tour. He is a Coptic Christian from Egypt. He told us more about himself and the area but I was so foggy brained from the bone-aching night on the plane that I don’t remember much of what he said.

I do remember he said to be on the bus at 8am and that we will have a full day touring Caesarea, Haifa, Megiddo, and Nazareth. Here we go!

Coffee first 🙂

Group pic above L to R: Wayne and Carolyn Landes, my handsome husband and I, Lloyd and Opal Fullmer, David and Anita Boyd, Kendall and Debbie Eichman, Galen and Vicki Bowman. Heather and Megan Fullmer are on either side of Opal. (Grant and Leanne’s girls…Lloyd’s grandchildren and Gail’s nieces) Front row: Wyatt and Gail Pegg, Brad and Molly Lavy.

World Travelers…

And we’re off! Still in the car so, theoretically, I *could* swing into a Walmart still. Sitting here agonizing over what I might have forgotten to pack.

We hop on a plane in Indy, another in NY, then across the pond to ISRAEL! The last time we flew across the ocean we went the other way…over the Pacific and into Beijing, China. Sweet, sweet memories and, if I could, I would do it all again. I would fly across the ocean 1.000 times to bring Zeke home with me.

No I wouldn’t. Yes I would.

And that’s how my heart goes…..beyond thankful Zeke is safe at Home in Heaven but wanting him back every day with every fiber of my being.

But wait….I didn’t open this page to reminisce. I’m using the blog to update family and friends as we travel to Israel. If you happen to be notified by email of this post and you don’t want that, please unsubscribe. I was going to unsubscribe everyone but I can’t figure out how to do it.

Dwayne has dreamed of going to the land where Jesus walked ever since I’ve known him. He used to talk about taking our kids when the older 4 were all teenagers but then the weddings began and, well, we’ve been busy.

This past summer the last of our chickadees moved out. When we received an invitation from Wyatt and Gail Pegg, asking us to join them for 14 days in the Holy Land, we looked at each other and said Yes.

I’ll try to post updates and pictures on here…not sure how much time or wi-if we will have.

 

Letting Zeke’s Love Go On….

It was in his pocket when he died…he couldn’t wear it with his helmet on…and even in my shock and grief, sitting beside Zeke on the pavement that day as the first responders did their best to help him, I slipped my fingers in his pocket, took the BAHA carefully into my hand and gave it to Dwayne, who put it in his own pocket for safe-keeping.

Yes, it’s just a tiny thing. A replaceable thing. But to Zeke, his hearing aide was a most treasured gift…an opportunity to experience love and life and relationships in a whole new way. And so it was precious to us.

Two weeks ago we handed Zeke’s BAHA to our friends who safely transported it to China. Silly as it may seem, this was a hard thing for us to do. We loved that little black box with the clear string and clip attached and we love the memories attached to it.

But!

I smile through tears as I look at this picture we received a few days ago.

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Sweet Talley! Zeke would be so happy that his BAHA went to his beloved China.  (“I am China, you know!”, he would so often tell us. Oh yes, buddy, we know. How can we look at those beautiful eyes and ever forget? ) I think he would also be happy that a baby gets to wear it…and to see the world of sound is opening for her like it did for him.

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Our nephew, Will, interacting with one of the babies at New Day

Talley lives at New Day Foster Home. These children still belong (for lack of a better word)  to SWI’s, or state run orphanages but Ch*na does allow foster homes and this one *just happens* to be run by Christians and is able to keep many children at one time.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the needs of all the orphans and hurting children in the world.  I have felt that way often since Zeke’s death. We know of impoverishment we can’t touch, places we can’t reach, children with whom we can’t communicate. Some are an ocean away and some are right here in our community. Sometimes the doors are simply closed.

But sometimes…they are open.

I’ve always answered those who ask me..”how can I help?”…this way:  Don’t get overwhelmed…just help ONE child. Pray. God will show you the way. Now I find myself struggling with the same questions others so often asked me. How can I help when I am so helpless? How can I serve when I am so needy? How can I give when I feel so empty?

But I believe with all my heart that the answer is still the same.

Pray.

And help ONE.

New Day Foster Home is a beautiful place. If any of you feel prompted to sponsor an orphan, this is a wonderful, personal way to do it. The cost is $35/ month, you can prayerfully choose the child you wish to sponsor, and you will receive updates from New Day. 

AND….If you are ever blessed to travel to Ch*na, you can even visit these homes! (There are two..one in Beijing and one only 30 minutes from Zhuhai, which was Zeke’s town)  I can put you in touch with our friends who just visited and delivered Zeke’s BAHA. There are a ton of ways to help…check out their web site here. To sponsor a child, go here and hold your cursor over the hands. 

Opportunities…

Sorry to be a pest but I have to pass on this picture and info.

This is a two month hosting program…you take a child into your home, you love on them, have fun with them, teach them a little English, show them how a family lives, and most importantly, you tell them about JESUS.

God does the rest. He will take care of finding a family for them OR He will take care of them as they live in China. Either way, HE will care for them and you will have tucked His name in a heart half way ’round the world….

Note attached to his file: C403 Guo: $1500 GRANT!! AGING OUT at the end of this year when he turns 14. He NEEDS to come this summer so we can advocate for him.  Cannot run because of his club foot, but likes sports and really likes ping pong and chess. He said he has many friends and they would describe him as “happy every day.” Loves rice and says he doesn’t like snacks. He enjoyed saying the English word YES to our yes/no questions. Fun kid, 5th Grader and an average student. 13 years old.

 

Note attached to his file: C109 Pang: $1500 GRANT!!! Happy little guy who said he has lots of friends. He plays outside a lot and likes the Tom and Jerry cartoon. His perfect day would be running and playing. He says he’s afraid of cats. He’s been to the zoo and liked the tigers best.  If he could buy anything at the store, it would be ice cream. Laughed as he described the meaning of his name, which is chubby, but pointed out that he is not. Fun little guy. He is a 2nd grader. 12 years old.

Both of these guys have grants to help with the hosting cost.

Sign up for this hosting program ends April 25th and there are 9 Ch*nese boys left.

https://picasaweb.google.com/104702944908241089116/AP143SUMMER2014PhotolistingLIVE?authkey=Gv1sRgCIL3tZnByPirOA

I love to tell the story…..

Has anyone out there ever figured out how one can lay in bed and feel wide-awake, yet be completely bleary-eyed sleepy when finally arising?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to recognize night time awakenings as a nudge from God. Last night I received an email that won’t leave my mind and then, of all the songs in the world, the one that keeps rolling through my mind is I Love To Tell The Story.

I’m up, God. I’m up. And here’s what’s on my heart~

Sweet friends of ours who have adopted 3 Asian children asked me to share this hosting program on my blog.

http://www.projectonefortythree.org/host/host-program/

project143.org

I hesitated for weeks and even now I’m typing/deleting/typing/deleting because there is so much I don’t know about these programs. A huge discussion could be had regarding the way hosting impacts a child’s future. Rather than have that discussion here, let me just say this..

God knows these children and their needs…all the way through to the deepest recesses of their souls. God knows you…your needs, your heart, and what you have to offer. 

Read through the FAQ page if you are interested…it answered a lot of questions for me. I do believe this is a good program and for those of you who have asked me over the years, “What can we do if we’re not called to adopt”, here is an opportunity for a beautiful mission trip that requires no passport and no time off work. There are no age limitations and your children get to participate.  🙂

If you have questions, I can put you in touch with families we personally know who have experienced hosting. Below is another link to a different hosting program, also used by friends of ours.

http://www.newhorizonsforchildren.org

Enrollment for summer closes in a few days. Time is short.  But isn’t that invariably the case? Time is always short…yet, for some reason, it is often the resource we are most willing to waste.

Redeem the time. And watch for the breaking clouds…Jesus is coming soon!