Bless the Lord, oh my soul, bless the Lord oh my soul! Let everything within me, let everything witin me, let eveything within me, Bless the Lord!!
Well it’s been a while since my last post in here…and from that time, the Good Lord has taken me to Greece and Turkey on my own with a dear friend from Bible study. What an amazing journey that was walking in the footsteps of Paul and John in May and June of 2014. In a way that only an amazing God can, He brought me there with a fabulous group of people from all over the world with Pilgrim Tours. The day we drove into Thessalonica was the day He had divinely orchestrated I begin a study on the Book of Thessalonians with hundreds of women across the globe through Beth Moore’s blog and then in the fall, I led about 100 women through that same study. God’s ways continually astound me!
In January 2015, I had a really unique opportunity to go with Christian Journeys to Israel with a group of pastors from Canada and the United States. For our next journey to the Holy Land in March, WJOF had partnered with Christian Journeys. So this was an incredible educational trip to give me some greater training on leading tours to Israel. It was extremely valuable to me and I was very honored and humbled to be included in a group of wonderful pastors who love the Lord and who will also be bringing groups of people to Israel from their communities and churches as well. Israel is a place that you never stop learning, no matter how many times one goes, and I am so thankful I was invited to go along with them all and to have my dear friend Jodi Kozan, founder of WJOF, join us well.
Which brings me to today! Guess where I am? Yes, I am writing to you from the Old City of Jerusalem! Shalom! Well I am here with 7 wonderful folk who signed up through WJOF to journey with me to this Holy Land and to experience yet another fabulous tour. The quote at the beginning of this blog post was the song my heart was singing while we flew into Israel earlier today. We have an amazing journey ahead of us! But we are beginning this one in a very unique way. Since the 2nd time I have been in Israel, I have wanted to serve in some capacity in Jerusalem. While being here in 2013, I had met with Bridges for Peace in person as I had come in contact with them back in 2012 when they were represented at a missions fest in our church. I loved what they did here in Israel and loved what they stood for. If you’d like to check out their website, here is the link www.bridgesforpeace.com
So we will begin our first three days here serving with Bridges for Peace at a women’s shelter here in Jerusalem. This completely ties in with our vision and motto for WJOF…the restoration of women. We at WJOF love ministering to women and knew that connecting with women in Israel while on tour here would move our hearts in a greater capacity to grow our love for this land. God calls us to stand with Israel, to pray with Israel and to love Israel. So this is what we want to do. We begin our time with Bridges for Peace tomorrow.
Today, we arrived at 11:30 and Christian Journeys arranged for a bus to take us to the Christ Church Guesthouse just inside the Jaffa Gate in the Old City. I had met a women who works in a tour office here back when I was on tour here with a group of women in 2011. I was able to attend a beautiful church service here in 2013 and now am back here to stay in their lovely guesthouse. I love how God brings people into my life for very specific reasons and it has been wonderful to reconnect with them all again. We had arrived early this afternoon and were able to attend a tour at the Temple Institute near the Wailing Wall. So fascinating! A group of Zionist Jews started the Temple Institute Foundation and have refurbished many of the articles from the 2nd Temple Period in anticipation of the 3rd Temple to come. It was a very interesting tour and sure made one think of how it is all going to happen. It is an ongoing discussion whether God will build the 3rd Temple with human hands or not. But regardless of how it will be built, the tour was great to take part in to begin our time here together. While we had the one hour tour of their facility, the song “Take me into the Holy of Holies, take me in by the blood of the Lamb…” was going through my heart. It was so fascinating to learn more about the Temple. We enjoyed a brisk walk through part of the Old City after sitting on the plane for many hours. After a fabulous supper at the guesthouse, we enjoyed some of the marketplace bantering near the Jaffa Gate while musicians, families and others meandered around.
The morning will come quickly so I will bid you farewell. I will post in a couple of days to show you what we have been up to with Bridges for Peace. Shalom my friends, thanks for joining us on this journey.