HESED Service Tour

February 17 - March 6, 2016

Subscription options are no longer available for this tour.

Help support our friends in Israel in their time of need.

Understanding the reason

Friday, February 19, 2016 Yad Hashmona Country Hotel

9 am - We were invited to participate in and partake of a wonderfully prepared and scrumptious tasting brunch.

2 pm - A tour of the Biblical Gardens at our hotel. I enjoyed the first part of the tour. My participation in the tour ended when a radiologist from Kaplan Medical Center (a friend of our teammate, Star, from last year) agreed to look at my swollen ankle and lower leg. I had experienced an intense pain in my ankle area while on the plane flying to Israel, but I did not know what could be causing it. After examining my ankle and leg, the doctor concluded I could do no more touring, I should get to Kaplan Medical Center today, and I should be evaluated for a possible blood clot.

Yad Hashmonah

The Biblical Village on the slope of Yad HaShmonah provides visitors with hands-on exposure to the manners and customs of the ancient Israelites. The garden includes olive trees and press, grape vines and several winepresses, wheat field and threshing floor, watchtower, Bedouin tents, ancient Galilean synagogue, and a burial cave. All have been constructed according to the best archaeological knowledge of ancient life.

Learn More

I napped, iced my ankle, elevated it, and waited for our evening trip into the city of Rehovot while Bruce (the Hesed Project Director) worked on necessary arrangements.

During the day, Budget rental came and replaced one of the 3 vans. The clutch went out on a 6-speed manual transmission. Are you praying yet?

All of us loaded into the 3 vans at 5:30 pm to go to Rehovot for Shabbat dinner in various homes. Then Bruce took me to Kaplan Medical Center to evaluate my swollen, painful ankle. I had been loaned an ankle wrap and cane by another teammate, Ann, to assist in getting around the steps and stones of the Judean hills.

Every half hour Bruce telephoned updates to Shai, our Kaplan liaison, who made other phone calls to smooth the way in going through the medical treatment side of Kaplan.

Registration, payment ahead of time for just being seen in the ER, "therapist" to evaluate me, blood draw, X-rays of the foot, ultrasound from groin to ankle with COLD gel, resulted in everything's normal so far - no DVT [Deep Vein Thrombosis]. I later saw an orthopedist, and went back to x-Ray to picture the ankle. "Your outside ankle bone is fractured," he told me.

How? I didn't hit it. I didn't step off the curb wrong.

Sometimes it just "happens."

The orthopedist said, "I'm going to put on a half-cast now, and you will need a full cast in a week when the swelling goes down. You need crutches. NO work at Kaplan, no touring." All of this message was delivered to me around 2:00 in the morning on an empty stomach. Bruce and I had enjoyed that good brunch at 9 am Friday and it was now 2 am on Saturday. Bruce had in his pocket 2 Kind bars that he offered to share. I had a bag of mixed nuts and a granola bar in my backpack. But you just don't eat in the emergency room for various reasons.
The cast was applied and its exothermic reaction as the plaster cured felt, oh, so warm and good after the cold ultrasound gel.

With various phone calls we knew that the other team members were all safely back at Yad Hashmona hotel around midnight. At 2:30 in the morning there was very little traffic on the usually busy highways. It was 3:00 am when Bruce gave me door to door service to my room. I ate some of my trail mix nuts to stave off the hungries. Bruce had foregone the enjoyment of his Kind bars because he needed both hands to drive and shift gears.

Even at that early morning hour Bruce was thinking of others as he went to his room to get a special fruit basket to share with me. Claude, my roommate, had left a light on for me. Numerous team members had mentioned throughout the day, "I'm praying for you."

"When one member of the body has a broken ankle, all the members suffer and feel the pain" was a statement so wisely spoken by Bruce as we traveled back. I was thankful for the care and numerous phone calls to coordinate the activities of the team.

Do the prayers for Hesed 2016 stop now that there is a diagnosis? NO, please, NO. Do I stay and get treatment here, do I go home early? Medicare doesn't cover medical care overseas. As a retired military man, I also have Tricare. Will it cover 7 hours of excellent treatment in the ER? I will find out in the future.
Our times, our starts, and our stops are in God's hands. May I be able to say with Job, "When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." We all are on this Hesed service trip for God's glory. Do I understand the reason why this happened on the first day, far away from home?

Someone has said, "When God is silent during a trial and you don't understand why, remember that in high school during a test your teacher was also silent."
I'm looking for the return of my Great High Teacher and will continue to do my best on the tests that He gives or allows.

—Paul Houk

Upcoming Signature Tours

With 30 years of experience creating trips for other ministries, we've prepared our own signature study tours featuring some of our favorite itineraries and compelling teachers! If you've never been on a GTI Study Tour, take a moment to learn more about what you can expect.

GTI Signature Germany Study Tour
Sep 11-19, 2024
Learn More

Turkey / Greece Signature Study Tour
Sep 15-25, 2024
Learn More