October 23, 2017
As we began our final touring day so many admitted they can’t believe that our trip is almost complete. Where has the time gone? I heard many at breakfast discuss what their favorite location was.
This morning Pastor Steve shared devotions. He read from 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 “We walk by faith, not by sight.” He said that our eyes can deceive us and he reminded us of the great hope that we all have. We have all the fullness of God. What a blessing!
October 22, 2017
For us, our Lord’s Day began quite differently than usual. We all received our wake up calls at 6 AM. Then after a wonderful breakfast set before us by the chefs and staff of our Israeli hosts, here at the Dan Panorama Hotel we prepared our hearts and minds for the exciting day ahead. Richard is out of the hospital, for which we all praise the Lord, and the missing luggage has finally caught up Katalin so, at the moment, everything seems to be running smoothly.
I am excited about today’s agenda which begins at Israel’s Knesset. The Knesset is Israel’s Parliament. We will also be visiting the Herzl Museum and Yad Vashem.
October 21, 2017
The hymn writer summed up my heart today with these wonderful words “When morning guilds the sky my heart awaking cries, may Jesus Christ be praised.”
On our way to the Mount of Olives, Miriam pointed out some Muslim children heading off to school. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children all go to school separately. Jewish children are off from school today, for the Sabbath (Saturday). This way of life goes back to the British mandate period. Children study numerous subjects including religion. Miriam pointed out that this forces the children to live apart from each group, according to religion, so they really never spend time together.
October 20, 2017
Our day began with a Mediterranean Breakfast of fish and salads along with traditional North American cereal, yogurt, fruit and eggs. Today we will be visiting Masada, Qumran, swimming in the Dead Sea and ending our night bringing in the Sabbath at the Western Wall.
We are continuing to pray for Richard as he is still in the hospital and for Katalin who’s luggage is also touring, but not with her.
October 19, 2017
We prayed for Richard Lundgren who was admitted to the hospital with what they believe to be pneumonia. His son David stayed with him at the hospital. Jim Showers led us in prayer for him and for the Lord to restore him to full health. Please continue praying for him. He’s in very good hands!
On our way to the Jordan River, Miriam pointed out to us the location of the Gadarenes where Jesus healed the demon-possessed man. The demons were permitted to enter a herd of swine and they ran off a cliff into the Sea of Galilee. When we arrived at the Jordan River location we learned that this was not actually near the site where Jesus was baptized. John actually conducted his ministry in the Judean Wilderness, near the Dead Sea. The location that we used was adopted because of the struggles with the country of Jordan. As our time of baptism began we sang the Doxology and I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. Pastor shared a wonderful devotion on the baptism of Jesus and it’s direct relation to the Hebrew Scriptures.
October 18, 2017
Miriam gave The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry’s Up to Jerusalem tour a wonderful compliment this morning. She said that our tour has a thoughtful sensitivity to the Jewish people. She then explained the different sects of Judaism. The Ultra Orthodox Jewish men often wear black coats and peyas (side curls). Wearing a Kippah or a yarmulke can identify the Orthodox Jewish Men. Both Ultra Orthodox and Orthodox keep kosher and won’t ride in cars on Shabbat. Conservatives are the middle of the road Jewish people. They observe some of the Jewish traditions. Then Reform Judaism focuses on ethical aspects of Judaism but not much else.
October 17, 2017
Pastor Allen opened the morning by sharing a devotional from Genesis. We looked at the conflicts in the life of Jacob, mainly when he wrestled with the angel. At that point Jacob was alone, except for the Lord. Pastor Allen reminded us that we all experience times when we must get alone with God. This time alone allows Him to conform us to His image, to teach us what He wants us to learn, and ultimately to bless us.
October 16, 2017
It’s our first full day on the tour and we were up early and ready to go. Pastor Bill Houck shared a devotion on the bus from 1 John 2:6. We were encouraged to walk as Jesus walked and to bring glory to our loving Heavenly Father. It’s wonderful having pastors and leaders who are able to share from God’s Word on the trip.
October 15, 2017
We have arrived safely in the Holy Land! Our bus is full and our hearts are ready. We hit the ground running after our long flight. As we departed the airport heading for lunch, Miriam, our wonderful tour guide, reminded us that Israel is a supernatural country. I have a feeling we’re going to be reminded of this the entire time we’re here!
We stopped for lunch in Modi’in, a town outside of Tel Aviv. Miriam shared that Modi’in is a duly planned modern community and you could see the developers’ hard work in the way every structure and road was laid out.