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It has been so, so good to be back in Jerusalem. So sweet to be back in the place that I once called “home” for a short period of time. This morning we heard from an amazing journalist on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. It was heartbreaking to hear him share the reality of it all. I was sick to my stomach. Today was windy and seemed to be the beginning of a dust storm. As we drove into the Old City of Jerusalem, we drove past the Mount of Olives. This place is by far my favorite in Israel as it is the place where Jesus will return. I was shocked at the size of it this time. I completely forgot how huge it was. The minisculity of the graves was shocking and the size of it all was amazing.
First, today we went into the City of David. We looked out at the Mount of Olives, surrounded by the Arab neighborhood of Shiloah. I will never forget my first visit in Israel when I was looking out at the Mount of Olives after going through Hezekiah’s tunnel and hearing the call to prayer of Islam. It was sickening and deafening. After this, we went to the Southern Wall Excavations, looked and standed on 1st century stone that Jesus walked on. We stood on historical stone that the Jewish forefathers and Jesus walked on to enter the Temple. I got to stand, again, where Jesus overturned the moneychangers tables. It is surreal and breathtaking to stand certainly where Jesus stood.
We visited the cardo and several other places before having free time for lunch. Several of us went to this place right outside the Western Wall, going into the Jewish Quarter, for lunch for shawarma. Yum!! So good to have it again!!! Afterward, Dre and I got a 5 shekel cup of coffee. It was SO windy, dusty and cold today. We visited King David’s Tomb and The Room of the Last Supper, tow places I have never been, and it was so cool.
Several of us stayed in the Old City before Shabbat and went to Shabon’s and Zak’s. It was SO good to see them again. I am so glad to be walking through the shuk again and hearing the funny remarks. So much joy. Thank you Jesus! God is so, so good and I am so blessed. As we finished up and headed back, it began to POUR in Jerusalem. We all got soaked and were so cold. We changed quickly when we got back and headed back out for Shabbat.
Tonight we had Shabbat at a family’s apartment in Jerusalem. They were in their 30’s with three young kids. It was so amazing to be in the house of a Jew for Shabbat and experience it all again. I was privileged to sit at the same table as them and was able to ask them a lot of questions. They were so kind and it was so good to learn from them. It surely isn’t easy being an Israeli but my heart longs to call this place home.
We have a later start tomorrow so I am journaling and reflecting on the day in the lobby as everyone else plays a game and laughs. So grateful for these experiences. So blessed. I am so undeserving. Thank you Jesus.
- Health, safety
- Deep relationships and genuine conversation
- Leading and peace in my future ministry in Israel