Israel

Day 34 (The End? I refuse)

The end of the road is here. Today was the last day. I slept in then came downstairs and ate breakfast. After breakfast we had prayer. Everyone here prayed for each other. I think this was very important to do before we leave at the end of the day.

I can go on and on about how incredible this trip was, the places I went, the things I have seen, where I have walked, people I have met, and many other things, but not one of these explains the impact this trip has had. I have been on multiple mission trips, excursions with youth groups, internships with churches, and ministry through schools. Out of every trip I have taken, this trip by far outweighs the others. The reason this trip rocked does not lie within the “stuff” I have seen, but the people I have been with.

I am going to miss all of these incredible people. I am excited to meet up with the few I live close enough to this summer. We are planning on watching the Avengers and just hanging out.I love these people dearly and everyone here has made an impact in my life.

 

 

I have moved on a couple times in life leaving good friends behind. Leaving Charleston may have been the hardest. I spent my entire life in that place but when God opens doors and says go, I go. I know that I will not be able to remain good friends with everyone from this trip which is sad. However, I will do my best to remain in contact with most via facebook, twitter, and other ways. Many are graduating so I will not see them next semester. Even the ones I will see next semester will fade as time goes by. Time is a friend who I Love and Hate at the same time.

When I was a child I would always find it annoying when old people would only tell stories. Stories of this person, stories of that person, what happened then, why it happened. I am beginning to understand why they did this. Good memories can cause one to smile. They can also cause pain. Memories override everything in importance. Memories are real events that happened personally. There is no book, no movie, and no story that is more important than our personal testimony. There is nothing of more earthly importance than the events that take place in our lives and it is people that make those events important. Memories are more valuable than diamonds.

Since everyone here is saved by the grace of God, I look forward to the day when we sit in the Kingdom of Heaven and like old people, we can reminisce on these incredible 5 weeks.

 

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you’ve said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Dr. Seuss said, “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”

My Farewell is not sad

My Farewell is abundantly glad

My Farewell does not bring sad tears

My Farewell brings love for all to hear

 

I cannot stress the value of these times

This line is random cuz nothing rhymes

A picture has been painted upon my heart

It is truly my favorite work of art

 

I could remember and simply cry

But doing that would not satisfy

The feelings I had before the start

And the ones now before we part

 

The End is never and I refuse

To decide “It’s over” I will not choose

My mind can never simply erase

All my friends and every face

 

My Farewell is not sad

My Farewell is abundantly glad

My Farewell does not bring sad tears

My Farewell brings love for all to hear

 

Shalom.

 

 

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Day 33 (Jerusalem Institute of Justice, Shofar)

Today we had a very intelligent speaker come in a speak with us. His name was Caleb Myers. He founded the Institute of Justice which has done many things to help let Christian Jews gain citizenship within Israel. He spoke with us about prophetic scriptures being fulfilled. I have heard from an intelligent Palestinian Christian a view that is quite different. While there were many things I agreed with with the Palestinian I found that my view of Prophecy lines up a little more with what Caleb had to say. While I still hold to the fact that the new State of Israel is a miracle from God and a fulfillment of prophetic scripture, there are others on this trip that would disagree and hold more liberal views on the issue. I enjoy diversity since it often calls for healthy conversation which leads to a more solid conclusion.

Caleb Myers referred to Ezekiel 36 and 37. By reading through these scriptures it is very easy to see how it correspond with modern happenings. I would encourage you to read through these scriptures.I agree with what he said. It was refreshing to see his point of view and to hear his story as well.

Afterwards I went to the Old City to visit a shop owner who I have previously made a deal with to buy a shofar.

This is a good example of what my shofar looks like. There are much larger ones and much smaller ones. I got one about the size of my bookbag so I can take it with me on the water when fishing, or out in the woods when hiking and out on the mountains when climbing. This way I can blow it epicly. It may sound silly but Im excited to use my shofar. They are pretty loud.

What a shofar is, is a rams horn. Shofars have historical significance in the fact that the Jews would blow them before wars. They were also used to initiate holidays and for religious issues.

Today was an exciting day. Tomorrow I head home. Excited to see all my friends again and eat skittles!

Shalom

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Day 32 (Mt. Carmel, Acre)

Today was incredible. I had the opportunity to see one of the coolest old cities and the opportunity to visit the place where Elijah called down fire from heaven. Everyone know the story of the Priests of Baal being overcome by the power of God working through Elijah.

22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the LORD’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. 23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.”

Then all the people said, “What you say is good.”

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it.

Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made.

27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. 29 Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”

34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.

“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”

The name of this mountain where this event took place (Mt. Carmel) has stayed the same for thousands of years and I had the opportunity to stand in the area where this incredible event took place. It truly was a powerful moment. I looked out into the fields and the view was incredible.

This is a picture of the view from Mt. Carmel. By looking ahead you can see a V shape from what appears to be a road. What it actually is is a jet launching area for Israeli Jets.

This is the same picture except with no zoom. You can see how much higher the mountain is than the plain below. After visiting Mt. Carmel we moved on to Acre.

Acre is a city in Western Galilee. The City of Acre has been around a very long time. From the Greek period to the Roman period all the way through the Crusader period until now the city has held importance. Due to this there is much to see.

This is a picture of the Mediterranean Sea. For some reason the waves were brutal by the city of Acre. We would stand next to the wall and the waves would slam into the wall and splash upward 20 or sometimes even 30 feet.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. Here is another.

We also got to walk through a couple tunnels. One tunnel was small enough to stress out a claustrophobic. Personally I enjoyed this experience. This day was great. I got to see many historical ruins and got to see the beautiful Mediterranean Sea at its wildest.

Shalom!

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