Saturday, March 13, 2010

Short but Sweet!

Posted by Colleen

IMG_0293 Trish and Colleen at the Inbal swimming pool.
IMG_0292 Tally, Ryan, Collin, and Lillian in Inbal pool.

Well, the Weeks’ stay was short but we loved every minute of it. They certainly are going home with a lot of knowledge and I believe a deeper love for Israel.

They loved swimming in the Dead Sea and seeing the world from on top of Masada. By the way, there is a mini-series called “Masada” staring Peter O’Toole, if you would like to learn more about it. You can even see a movie prop while visiting the fortress ruins—ancient history meets recent history.

image “After the destruction of the Second Temple, 900 Jewish zealots hold out against a 5000 man Roman legion on the mountaintop fortress of Masada.”

Their visit also included a trip to Migdal Ohr, an orphanage that the John Hagee Ministries supports (the organization they won their trip through). It is Israel’s largest youth village serving thousands of Israel’s orphaned.

They spent one morning at the Garden Tomb which they spoke fondly of. It was a peaceful place where it is believed the tomb of Jesus is located. Remember, the Holy Sepulcre also claims that it is built over the location of the tomb? This is common among these very holy sites. Remember we told you in a previous blog that as westerners, the historicity is very important to us. However, here, among the eastern world, belief is just as important. Eric reminded Trish and I that much of what we base our “facts” on was given to us from the eastern world – including what we count as Scripture. Ultimately, we can trust in a sovereign, infallible God and His Word. Praise Him!

The Weeks skipped a visit to the Israel Museum to spend some time with us. We were so honored! We met them at the Inbal hotel and went swimming. By the way, make sure you ask the price before you send your kids on ahead of you at these very high-end hotels. For the price it cost to swim, Eric and I could have rented a car and spent the day in Galilee. The upside to it was we got to have the boys stay with us while Trish and Richard enjoyed an evening out by themselves. They attended the Night to Honor Israel at the Jerusalem Conference Center with John Hagee. They even got to hear Israel’s Prime Minister, Netanyahu speak… cool! We swam with the boys then took them down Yemen Moshe! Yeehaw! Lillian and I stayed at the top while Ryan, Collin, Tally and Celine ran down then up all 253 steps. I had a common Israeli chocolate treat called Bueno waiting for them when they reached the top. We then walked to our home for a dinner of chicken and toasted pasta, apples, carrots and day-old pita bread (it is so much better fresh, sorry boys). We headed out to see if the ice cream shop with swings was still open—it was! That was fun. On our return we played Uno and spoons until Trish and Richard returned from the celebration. The girls LOVED having the boys over and the boys needed a break from the intense “school” they had been having with the tour group.

IMG_0299 Collin and Lillian at Inbal pool. Lillian showed her love for the boys by incessantly kicking them… sorry boys.
IMG_0303 Celine and Lillian swimming at the Inbal pool.
The boys and girls at the Windmill Ryan, Collin, Lillian, Celine and Tally at the Montefiore Windmill, which contains a small museum on the life of the British philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885). In the middle of the 19th century Montefiore bought the area round the windmill and founded the first Jewish settlement outside the Old City (Mishkenot Sha'ananim). At the end of the century the area to the north, Yemin Moshe, was also built up; it is now an artists' quarter.
Yemen Moshe Collin, Celine, Ryan and Tally just ascended the 253 steps of Yemin Moshe. The stairs drop off in the background. Trish and Richard made the same climb.
Eating Bueno chocolate treat Ryan, Collin, Tally, Celine and Lillian eating Bueno chocolate bar.

The next day they visited the Memorial of the Holocaust (the one that Iran claims never happened—very sad) at Yad Vashem. They said if was very intense and overwhelming. Something that I have learned recently is that as a Christian, I am not viewed in a good light by Jews. Instead, the word “Christian” is a very ugly word to many of them. I never would have thought that I would be looked at as anything but a friend of the Jews. In reality, many Jews have been murdered in the name of “Christianity.” My prayer is that no matter what people do in the name of  “Jesus” or “Christianity” it doesn’t take away from Who Jesus is or what He came to do for all of us, Jew, Gentile, Infidel, etc. Jesus, himself a Jew, said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” Pray that Christians world wide will do His will and not their own.

All of us holding our signs before the Rally Richard, Ryan, Tally, Collin, Celine (behind the Israeli flag) and Trish getting ready for the Unity Rally to begin.
Here we go!  Here we go… Notice Lillian in the bottom of the picture waving her flag.


The next day, we met the Weeks at the Convention Center for a luncheon before participating in a Unity Rally through the streets of Jerusalem. The girls and I arrived at the luncheon but couldn’t find the Weeks. We finally decided to find a place to sit. God was gracious and placed us with 2 couples from the Dallas area. They were so kind and very generous to my girls. We had great conversation and sharing of what we love about Jerusalem. They had been on the tour before but just had to come back. I failed to get their names but hope to run into them again. They attend Chuck Swindol’s church in Dallas which Eric and I look forward to visiting when we get to Dallas. Chuck Swindol spoke at Eric’s undergrad graduation (12 years ago now!) and speaks occasionally in Chapel at Dallas Theological Seminary. As the luncheon ended, Pastor Hagee gave the benediction and we were all dismissed to the busses. Trish had asked if we could ride with them. That was great because the march was going to be at Ben Yehuda which was not close to the Convention Center. We were given Israeli and American flags along with signs that read “Christians United For Israel” on one side and “אנו תומכים בישראל” on the other side which says, “We Support Israel.” The Israeli people were very receptive and welcoming of our large crowd marching through their streets. We heard many telling us  “thank you” and “God bless you.” Richard saw a man on his balcony with a sign that read, “thank you.” We had many asking if they could have a flag and both Richard and I ended up giving away our signs. The response was wonderful. There was a group of young men playing their drums as we walked. At the end of the march, I turned and told them thanks for joining us and playing. They responded with, “Thank you and thanks for supporting Israel.” It was an honor to be a part of such a positive experience. There weren’t many kids, so you can imagine everyone wanted Lillian’s picture. Tally, Celine, Ryan and Collin also were the subject of the photographs being snapped. I am keeping my eyes open to see if their picture shows up in any publication.

IMG_0320 Collin and Ryan during the Unity Rally.
IMG_0327 Collin and Lillian getting their picture taken.
IMG_0323 Tally with the Shofar guy. During the Unity Rally, he play Amazing Grace and the Israeli anthem with these shofars. You can check him out at www.shofarsogood.

The Unity Rally proceeded down Ben Yehuda then down Jaffa Street toward Old City. We ended the Rally at the Municipality building to hear a few speakers then dance with an Israeli girls’ dance team. Celine and Trish joined them. It was a lot of fun.




When the Rally was done, we took the Weeks over to Eric’s school where they got a brief history of the buildings they use. His school is only 200 years old but it is built over top a Hasmonian era tower (160-40BC) that once stood there. You can see the Hasmonian stones they reused, and the old steps leading into the tower—and we thought that recycling was a 21st century idea.

IMG_0345 Eric is explaining how part of the school was built on the wall fortress towers dating back to the Hasmonean period.
IMG_0348 On the roof top looking out toward the Weeks’ hotel, Yemin Moshe and the Windmill with Hinnom valley below and between.


We can see the Inbal from his school where the Hinnom valley looms below and between. On the way back, we took them down into the valley which of course led us to the infamous Yemen Moshe. I asked for forgiveness beforehand. However, they were real troopers—not one complaint. It is a pretty walk which can distract you from the breathless state you find yourself in as you ascend.

The last day of their visit, they visited the Western Wall tunnels, very cool, a kibbutz and the Archeological gardens which is at the southwest corner of the Dome of the Rock. It is a beautiful place.

We missed them there but met back up with them at their hotel. We had about an hour to visit before they had to load their luggage on the bus. It was sad seeing them go but what a blessing it was to see them and share this experience with them.


IMG_0383 Farewell photo!
IMG_0385 Saying goodbye to Trish was hard. What a joy to have had the Weeks with us in Jerusalem.

They are now back in Kyle. Welcome home Richard, Trish, Ryan and Collin. We enjoyed your visit to Israel.

To everyone else… Shabbot Shalom!


Carole L Robishaw said...

Loved seeing the joy on Celine's face as she danced past in the column. Ohh, do i miss you, but so glad you have this opportunity.

love you, Grandma

midspoint said...

I love seeing all the pictures and imagining myself there right along side you!!

Maybe we should go together sometime, Carole!! :)