Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Walls of Jerusalem (2012)

The following is a blog post I had written in July 2012 in preparation for a journey to Israel with WJOF. As that blog will be closed down, I am transfering all the posts into here.

This summer I've been journeying through the study of Nehemiah by Kelly Minter with a few local ladies....but also with over 4,000 other women from across the world. This study is through Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries website - she does a study like this each summer and it's called Summer Siesta Bible Study. I've led studies for many years but have never been part of a study like this. God's timing sure is perfect! What incredibly more insight it's given me to the history of Jerusalem. What struck me anew was what God had laid on Nehemiah's heart to do for Jerusalem ... to rebuild the walls of the great city so that the people would no longer be in disgrace or shame. (Nehemiah 2:17) WOW! That line could bring up a whole Bible study session in itself.  God's Hand was on Nehemiah as he went out to do what God had laid on his heart to do. As I read of the variety of people that were given specific jobs of rebuilding each of the gates and the specific sections of the walls, it reminded me of how the Body of Christ needs to operate. We cannot stand alone, or do everything alone...God's Hand needs to be in it and how blessed we are when we adhere to what God lays on our heart to do. 

For many years, it had been a dream, a yearning on my heart to go to the Holy Land....someday.  Little did I know what God had planned for me. We had just received a new pastor at my local church in 2007 and he had a tour to Israel already planned for November 2008. It was amazing to me that God was now giving me that incredible opportunity to go to Israel with my pastor, my hubby and our son and 33 others. My pastor had been to Israel 4 times and his Israeli tour guide Arie Harel, came to SK in Spring 2009. His presentation planted a seed which grew to taking my first group of ladies to Israel the following November. God had used Arie to lay something on my heart to do...and I embarked on an amazing journey.  It was also on my heart to take each of my daughters with me to Israel as well and God also answered that heart's cry in 2009 and 2011. I know of a young woman who is in Israel right now as I write this blog post...she was in my son's class in school and when we had shared our photos at the school in December 2008, she went home that day and told her mom "I'm going to Israel someday." :)  She's now there with a mission's team for 5 weeks. God used my son and I to lay it on her heart to go. How honoring it is to be a small piece of God's plan in her life. 

I believe He's using this tour opportunity with WJOF to lay it on the hearts of women to join us on an incredible journey in March 2013. Ayelet Tours has done an incredible job together with Arie Harel - our tour guide - and they've put together an amazing itinerary. When I had the divine opportunity to meet Beth Moore in Calgary last month, I was so excited to tell her about taking ladies to Israel and having Arie as our tour guide!  Each time Beth had been in the Holy Land, Arie has been her tour guide as well. It's so very special to have that common bond with her. It's been many of her Bible studies that have laid a lot of ground work for me while I've led these tours.

Ladies, I am so very excited and anticipating such an incredible time. God has amazing things in store for those who embark on this journey with our ministry!  It is such a spiritual investment that will affect you forever...you will never be the same. I'd like to leave you with a few words from Arie in Israel and Seffie with Ayelet Tours. They are really looking forward to this tour with us!

"22 years ago, God had led me to follow my passion and enthusiasm to show and guide people through His Holy Land.  Together with Ayelet Tours I have begun to focus my tour guiding on Biblical Tours.  During my guiding years I have had the unique opportunity and delight to meet and guide some great Bible teachers like Beth Moore, (with whom I participated in "Jesus the One and Only 2001, The Beloved Disciple 2002, The Patriarchs 2004, The Book of Esther 2007) and many more Bible teachers. In 2009 it was a delight to meet Lisa Braun. Lisa's passion for God and the teachings of Jesus has brought her to Israel 3 times and I have had the privilege of leading her groups. Her groups kept growing each year!!  Lisa is a delight to work with :) I really look forward to meeting those whom Lisa and WJOF will be bringing to the Holy Land in March 2013."  - Arie Harel from Tel Aviv, Israel

"Since 1986, Ayelet Tours has helped people fulfill their lifelong dream of visiting the Holy Land. We feel honored to have partnered with Lisa Braun. Lisa is dedicated and passionate about showing others the miracles of Israel – both the ancient miracles from the time of Jesus and the miracles at work today in this modern State. All of us at Ayelet Tours look forward to helping Lisa coordinate her next trip, which is shaping up to be a powerful and spiritual journey. Sign up today to join Lisa and WJOF in Israel – it is an experience not to be missed. Israel Awaits!"  - Seffie Epstein at Ayelet Tours in Albany, NY

Oh sisters!....Can't you feel the anticipation?  I want to leave this minute...don't you?  Oh I so hope you can join us!
God bless you dear ones, we hope to hear from you soon!

Much love, prayer, hugs and blessings!
Lisa Braun - WJOF Team Leader

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