Studying abroad is a terrific experience. I’ve seen different cultures, lived among people that are not like me and my friends and have seen a different and beautiful part of the world. I’ve been stretched more than I would have ever been in Chicago. However, while in Israel, the majority of our time is spent in a five-star hotel (the second best in all of Jerusalem) in the east-most part of Jerusalem. While it’s amazing, we get incredible food and everything is wonderful, we don’t truly experience Israel cooped up in this luxurious lifestyle. Thankfully, last weekend a few of us got to see what Israeli’s truly live like.
On Friday, January 23 around 2PM we started our adventure to the Boskey’s. We all took our final exams for our first class, systematic theology, and packed our bags. Crazy to think we are already done with one class in two weeks! Yet another reason why study abroad is so fun! Asaph Boskey goes to Moody Chicago and aranged for a few of us to go visit his family while we’re here. I actually was in Asaph’s orientation group when I first came to Moody! The Boskey’s sent a van to come pick us up at the hotel so we could get to them easily in Be’er Sheva. So so kind…these people are the most hospitable I’ve ever met! David and Daniel, two of their sons, live in Jerusalem nearby so they came to drive with us in the van While we drove through the hills of Israel, we passed through where Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still and other biblical sights. How cool.
It took us about two hours to get there, driving through the summer sun with the windows down. We all felt so at home with such a wonderful family. They offered us nuts, homemade sushi made by their friend down the street, and good conversation. All of them are such incredible brilliant and kind people and it was so wonderful to just chat. Avner and Rachel are musician’s and have a studio in their basement. They’ve been in Israel for about thirteen years and live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in all of Israel. Their home had such a peace about it and I absolutely loved seeing how people live here.
I can’t put into words how incredibly hospitable the Boskey’s are. I’ve noticed this about most cultures outside of the states. People are so caring and do whatever they can to show they care. Avner is so witty and has such a sense of humor about him. It was so wonderful to reflect on God’s faithfulness and goodness to all of us and to Israel as we celebrated Shabbat. We’ve been in Israel for about three other Friday’s, experiencing Shabbat at the hotel. However, to us it just means that a lot of Orthodox Jews come to the hotel, we have to dress nicely for dinner and we get grape juice or wine. However, being at the Boskey’s for Shabbat was such a different and wonderful time. We all had Hala, a bread that they always have for Shabbat, and grape juice or wine. They read Hebrew prayers and sang songs unto the Lord. Such a sweet and beautiful celebration.
Rachel made all of us curry, salad, guacamole and a bunch of other delicious things. Avner, Rachel, Daniel, David, Lavinia, Andreea, Andrew, Luke, Josh and I all ate together, had great conversation and learned more about God’s heart for Israel. I love that meal times here are a time of fellowship and community. There’s no rush. Although we were all stuffed, Rachel filled the table with six tubs of Ben & Jerry’s and a fancy cake. She is so so hospitable! After dinner we chatted for quite awhile and then ended up watching the Terminal all together (although Dre fell asleep for all of it.) Once it ended, around midnight, Rachel drove us girls to an apartment down the street. One of their missionary friends is best friends with a Moody student who is from Israel. She was at a conference for the weekend and offered for the girls to stay in her apartment. Such a blessing and so so fun. We went to sleep right away, got ready in the morning and then went back over to the Boskey’s.
Since we had a bit of a late night, we all woke up and had a late start. Rachel made all of us so much food and was so incredibly kind. Yummy orange jam and toast. Sipped what David called the best chocolate milk in the world. After breakfast and a bit of chatting, we all gathered in the living room, beneath the sun pooring in from the beautiful window and worsipped the Lord. Rachel played piano, Daniel played drums, David played his guitar and Jamie sang. It was so beautiful. Such a sweet time of worship. I was brought to tears as my family of God all sought the Lord together. I love that when you become a child of God, you gain such a beautiful family. I recorded our whole time of worship and talk on my phone. We worshipped for almost two hours and talked about God’s heart for Israel. Avner shared with all of us about God’s heart for Israel, Gentile’s, Jews…it was a truly eye-opening talk and I am so thankful I recorded it. He is such a wise person.
In the afternoon, we went to where Abraham once lived, went to the well and walked throughout the tunnels. It was so great to have so much time and to really learn about it. While being here with such a big group, we don’t have much time to really take in what we’re seeing when we go to different sights. But Avner is an official tour guide of Israel and shared so much information with us. We also went to a beautiful memorial sight which was an incredible piece of modern art…a photographer’s dream 😉 After, we (Jamie, David, Daniel, Andrew, Josh, Luke, Dre, Lavi and I) went to the first ever ice cream shop in Israel! It was so cool. Apparently, Asaph used to work there. The ladies had red lipstick on (maybe too much ;)). I got a scoop of marzipan in honor of my sweet mama. We sat outside and talked and then they took us to one of the malls in their area just to see it. There was a huge American Eagle Outfitters (it had it’s own big building…almost like a department store) which is funny because it’s one of the most popular stores here. We just did a little car tour and then headed back to the house.
We all packed our bags and headed back to Hotel Yehudah. Jamie and David drove us girls and Daniel took the bus with the guys. Rachel sent us back with the cake and ice cream…all four tubs of them. So, once we got back all of us had what we now like to call girl time. Josh, Luke, Dre, Lavi and I sat on our floor and ate the ice cream with our plastic spoons and talked.
I will forever be grateful for this weekend. It’s so beautiful to see how such people can impact your life in such a way that cannot be explained. This weekend made me fall in love with Israel a little bit more. After being with them, God confirmed that I won’t be in states for much longer. I’m not quite sure what that means but I’m excited, I’m scared and I have faith. God is faithfully leading me and I am expectant.
- Continued growth in patience.
- Shine the light of Christ.
- Spiritual warfare. As I’ve experienced more and more clarity and seen God work so much, I’ve experienced a lot of struggle spiritually. I’ve had a hard time focusing on myself and realizing the lack. However, I am so grateful for friends that understand me and love me in the midst.