From the time I arrived early yesterday morning I have had a strong feeling that I would run into someone I knew. Kind of silly, I know. Here I am, half way around the world in a country at war. Who would I “run into”?
Got up early to a beautiful sunrise over the Promised Land. Scott and I spent time drinking coffee and talking about the Lord and generally fellowshipping together. He and I share a lot of common attitudes about the Bible and the Church. Some of you back home would really enjoy this guy. Then we spent about an hour trying to get my laptop connected to his ISP and finally gave up. Seems like I’m always needing you, huh Seth.
Scott drove me into the center of the city where his office is located in a high-rise building. He dropped me off at Zion Square after helping me change my money to shekels. The Johnson’s are following their church back home as they follow an eating routine meant to cleanse the body of toxins. Anyway, they eat mainly fruits and vegetables, but no breakfast, so the first thing on my mind was finding something to eat. I walked up Ben Yehuda and found a wonderful little sidewalk cafe and ordered my first of many Shawarmas. Toxins, Yum!
Then I decided I would walk the couple of miles to the Old City and go to the Wailing Wall. On the way I stopped at probably 30 ice cream coolers looking for my favorite chocolate ice cream bar. I finally had to ask someone and he told me the color of the wrapping had changed. So, I found what I was looking for. More toxins, Yum!
So I just strolled along toward the Old City, not in any hurry. I looked in lots of shops and just took my time. I was even aware that I wasn’t moving very rapidly toward my goal and the thought came to me that I was making this little trip take a long time. But I just reasoned that this was my first time in Israel when I had no schedule or time constraints.
I entered the Old City at the Jaffa Gate and slowly descended the steps and alleyways to the Wall. When I reached the courtyard (about half way from the gate to the Wall) I saw the Shorashim Gift Shop and decided to stop and pay my respects to the twin brothers who own it. That’s when I realized why I had been moving so slowly.
If I had walked any faster, I would not have entered Shorashim at just the time Emily Whiteside was buying earrings for her mom. Of all people to see in Jerusalem! She has been here a couple of months and her finace has arrived to visit her as she spends her last 3 weeks in Israel. Emily is here to be part of a ministry that leads worship 24 hours a day, 7 days a week near the Old City. Anyone can drop into the gathering and join in on the worship at any time of the day or night. Em plays the piano and sings and is one of the most anointed worship leaders (and worshippers) I’ve every known. The group has her scheduled for several 2 hour sessions where she leads worship some days and some nights. She also lives within walking distance of where I am living.
After visiting the Wall I returned to Ben Yehuda and finally found the right bus to return to the apartment. Tomorrow afternoon the Johnson’s and I travel to Ma’ale Levona for my first of many Sabbath weekends with Danny, Yossi, Yitzchak and their families.
Took some pictures which I will put on the blog whenever Seth tells me how. Seems like I’m always needing you, huh Seth?
BOB’s (+Mike): Tell me what’s happening, other than freezing something off.
Haven’t yet heard from my children or from anyone at CoLinx. Wazzup?
Feelings: It’s very different being here this time. There is no “rush” like there always has been before. One reason is that this time I’m by myself and I don’t have others to share the excitement of being in such an amazing place. That’s what always makes something more special for me. Also, I’m not going to different places every day. I’m here for the long haul. Also, I must figure out my own agenda rather than having every hour of every day already planned. After this weekend, when I have had time to be with Yossi and find out how he wants to work on his book together, I should be more clear re: schedule and how my time here will play out.