Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ladies Sharing of their time in Jerusalem

In this post, I've invited the women to share something special of their time in Jerusalem. What an amazing journey we've had, beginning from Tel Aviv, driving up along the Meditarranean coast and over to the Galilee area, then down through the West Bank to the South in Eilat, including a day in Petra Jordan and then heading back up to Jerusalem to complete our tour. It's been an excellent journey!
It's so hard to say what is our favorite because there are many favorite places here. God has spoken so deeply to our hearts and has touched the depths of our souls in many of the places. He has opened our eyes to see more history and how it comes to a complete cirlce through the Scriptures.
We are definitely leaving the Holy Land with changed hearts and a new love for the people.

"Oh Jerusalem! The Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, the Palm Sunday Road, Pools of Shiloam, the Garden Tomb - Jesus is Alive!! I will now pray more fervently for Israel. Jerusalem, an amazing, intricate, chaotic city. What an experience!" - Judy

(I loved Judy's smile and spirit! She was always so encouraging and spirit filled, quick to pray and a blessing to be with. She has a huge heart for those around her.)

"Seeing Jerusalem - what an experience. The Garden Tomb was the best way to end the tour - to see it!!!  The Holocaust Museum was very solemn and moving especially when the children's names and ages were read aloud." - Connie

(and I can tell you, that Connie was thrilled to be riding a camel in Petra! She did GREAT with all the walking...what an adventure!! So wonderful to see the smiling, laughing faces of all the women!  So fun!!  What a blessing it was to have you join us on this tour Connie...what memories you have and such a wonderful bond to share with you!!)  :)

"I liked going to the Garden Tomb on the last day. I liked that there was 2 malls/markets close to our hotel in Jerusalem." - Kyrstin

(it was such a joy to have Kyrstin with us on this tour. She often brought smiles and chuckles because of things she said and did. I love her sense of humor and her way of making us smile. She was fun to be with!...and she found out that 'old' ladies CAN be FUN!) :)

"I liked the Old City and around our hotel. I also enjoyed the visit to the Garden Tomb on our last day." - Danielle

(Danielle was Kyrstin's answer to prayer! Kyrstin prayed for nearly a year that a 'younger' person would come on the trip so she wouldn't be the only young one with all the 'old people'. :) Danielle & her mom Karen were the 3rd mother/daughter team in our group. It was great to have Danielle, her quiet spirit and beautiful smile! Love ya girl!!)

"I loved exploring the Old City, finding places where Jesus walked, tracing his journey and finishing with the Garden Tomb. I've always been emotional when imagining his pain. Being in this place made it even more real, tangible. Reading Scripture will never be the same." - Karen S.

(it was so wonderful to have Karen with us and to celebrate her 50th birthday when we were staying at the Sea of Galilee. I totally loved her laugh and sense humor and her gentle, sensitive heart. So blessed to have her and her daughter with us.  Love ya both!! )

"How Great is our God and how unfathomable His ways and so amazing to realize that because His people obeyed even when it didn't make sense led to the history of what we are seeing and experiencing. I was surprised at how desolate and barren it is here and how the people were able to tunnel through and build such unbelievable structures. I am thankful for having a better understanding of the people and seeing them as also being made in the image of God.
I will never sing Jerusalem in the same way, being in the Old City was unbelievable. It was so good to have communion and a prayer in the cave where Jesus may have lain, to walk where He walked. The truth will truly set you free." - Anne

(I really enjoyed getting to know you more Anne and the short but deep talks we had. You are a walking testimony of the victory that God can work through in our human relationships. I love your heart and the love you have for God is so evident in your life.  God bless you sister!! )

"Being at the Wailing Wall and praying for the peace of Jerusalem was very moving. God is so good!!" - Valerie

(having 3 sisters on the tour was great...Valerie, Karen & Anne. They were a hoot and can only say things that sisters can say but yet not be offended because they have a healthy relationship with each other. I really enjoyed having you all with us. Val, I appreciated the precious memories you shared from a previous time in Israel years ago. Hugs!!)

"I enjoyed Jerusalem. It was a fantastic experience. The Holocaust Museum was a very solemn experience. Unbelievable that it only happened not even a hundred years ago. But the best part was the visiting of the Garden Tomb. It was a very deep and moving experience! It touched my heart and soul." - Frances

(who would've ever thunk that we'd be walking these streets together today Frances! I am sooo glad you came! I loved your sense of humor, your sense of adventure and how young at heart you are! So fun! HUGS)

"Having communion in the Garden Tomb was a very emotional time. A also enjoyed learning about their ideas on the future temple." - Kara

(you made me laugh Kara. I enjoyed our talks, our texts, Facebook messages and emails about this upcoming trip. You were so excited and I know you thoroughly enjoyed this time together. I love how this deepened your desire to spend time in God's Word. Love ya!)

"Being at the Garden was overwhelming - I had Jesus bumps. I felt some kind of presence at the Garden of Gethsemane. Also coming to the Mount of Olives I was filled with emotion. The Temple Mount, the Old City and the Holocaust Museum were very emotional." - Lillian

(it's been such a blessing to have you with us Lillian! Frances was blessed as two are a hoot! Love your laugh and the many times you shared how moved you were being here. So so so glad you came! :)

"I really enjoyed the Garden Tomb, it was a great way to end the trip!  As much as I disliked the Holocaust Museum, I'm really glad we went. I really feel blessed for the things we have and for my family." - Kerri

(sweetie, I can't begin to tell you how special it was to have you on this tour with us. You have blessed me beyond measure by sharing a special moment on the Sea of Galilee with you and also giving me the honor of baptizing you in the Jordan River. What a bond we share! You are a beautiful woman created in the image of God and have grown immensely! I love ya tons!! )

"There were many things I enjoyed in Jerusalem. The tunnels beneath the Western Wall, the Garden of Gethsemane, The Holocaust Museum, and of course the Garden Tomb. The Temple Institute was also very interesting." - Karen B.

(what a delight to have you with me to the Holy Land for the 2nd time Karen! We both brought another beautiful daughter with us and saw Israel through their eyes. You are a blessing to me!)

I can't begin to tell you how much coming to the Holy Land for the 3rd time meant to me. Seeing it through the eyes of my daughter and through my own heart that has learned so much over these past couple of years from indepth Bible studies by Beth Moore. Knowing that Beth and I share the same tour guide was really special. :) Maybe someday I'll be on one of her tours here...who knows. :) But watching how the ladies respond to different places and seeing God move their hearts and teach them new things....there's just no words to express how moved I was watching that.
Now having experienced being in Israel with my hubby and son the 1st time, our middle daughter the 2nd time, and now our youngest daughter the 3rd time here....well, that is a HUGE wonderful memory to strike off my bucket list. :) I am so thankful that God has provided the means through making my SK calendars to be able to take each member of my family here to the Holy Land.  What memories to treasure! And each time I have learned so much more. But each time, I have also been at a new different place in my walk with God. Having gone through indepth Bible studies like Anointed Transformed Redeemed, Jesus the One and Only, To Live is Christ, all by Beth Moore, and also Nurture by Lisa Bevere....all of these studies have really enriched the growth and maturity in my personal life. The beauty of Nurture that I saw in our group of 13 ladies, from the age of 15 to 65, what a wonderful picture of nurture through the daughter, sister, mother and grandmother. Such a joy to be with these ladies! And an even greater joy to see them experience the Holy Land and to be stretched and matured spiritually through the life of Jesus Christ as we walked where He walked. Such immense joy!!  :)

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