Well, we are still pretty tired but very much blessed today! Rachel has some pictures loaded and is working on putting them on but I will write a little here.
As tired as we are, we learned that one family drove over 8 hours to reach Calgary in Canada, then to fly to HOuston TX, then to Newark and then to Tel Aviv with us.
Can we say tired??? Check out Rachel's pictures of singing in the airport and look for the already tired ones. Another group of 3 got to Lubbock TX only to find that their tickets had been given away, as somene said they weren't going to make it in on time...Praise Yeshua, alternate seats were found.
In case you missed it, and we haven't been able to get a map up for you, we are staying at Merchavia, which is just outside of Afula. It is a secular kibbutz; the first one in Israel, really; thus the 100 year anniversary celebration here last night, in which Shimon Perez made a speech between musical presentations. It was stirring and brought several rounds of applause, though we couldn't really understand much of the message beyond references to Merchavia and covenant and blessing. (Even with a Jumbotron in the courtyard here to see better, one would STILL have to have more fluency in Hebrew!) History in the making! It was a beautiful night, with a hint of rain, which is a blessing in this Shavuot season. The fresh air did feel good after being in airports and planes for a day!
We are at the Israel Discovery Center which is a small portion within the larger kibbutzim; really like a village within a small town. We are staying at "The big House" which is next to the courtyard where the doings were held last night.
After a few mix ups with the showering arrangements and a nicely presented breakfast, we got back into the air conditioned bus and made our way back southeast to Mount Gilboa; which is where Saul and Jonathan died. After some history and background presented by Boaz Dryer our tour guide, he passed out shofars for those that didn't have them and shofars were blown over the Jezreel Valley, asking for the God of Israel to show Himself strong and cause His will to be done here. I took banners: red, burlap, purple and blue as well as our SAM banner over the area as the shofars blew. Several people asked to use them, too, especially the red one!
Our next path was north east travel and then going around the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee past the place it is believed Yeshua drove the swine over the cliff, to a stop at one of three "sites" considered to be Capernaum; depending on which church tradition. We were at the Franciscan one, which is the same one I saw with Karen many years ago. That's a funny thing in Israel; every site you see is traditionally this or that, but many are really only a good guess.
We had lunch outside on the shores of the Sea, over looking a group of campers in tents on the beach. Then, on to the joy of the day: a ride on the boat with Daniel Carmel: a Jewish believer who came to faith while helping on the crew of a boat that hosted Christians. When all the Christian groups began asking for only him, he said his employer was upset and he lost his job. Within months, he had his own boat; and now two. We knew within minutes that this man was worshipping Messiah with his whole body, mind, soul, and strength as he sang. A mixture of Integrity Christian songs from the 80s, now done in Hebrew plus his originals. We found ourselves in joyful personal worship and when Janell and I got up to dance, two more ladies joined us. We have some new songs for worship! Check out his site at www.hebrewworshipsongs.com My most joyful time and one we would have loved to just stay for hours but had to rush away. Joan, the tour coordinator, hadn't realized he would be in worship while we were there so she, too was blessed! (OH, can we include someone else's "blooper" in our list? How about Angus Dei? The God of BEEF??? Fits right in with Rust in the Lord, and We will Never hold our Peach; don't you think?)
We had several hours with Hollisa today, outlining the basics in review and then going into background with Ruth and preparation for Shavuot.
Tony has been doing spots on word studies while we are on the bus, or on site, and is especially sharing thematic connections of 3, resurrection and life. Sound familiar? Janell really SHONE out as this was so recently in her head. Thanks Marsha! He intends to give out prizes of his materials daily; the Binding of Isaac DVD went out today.
Oh, does anyone else remember meeting the Halls, Cliff and Joanne, in Chicago at ResTorahation conference? They were among those who asked about our banners and are pleased to see some here with us, as we are! Thanks Bob! the pvc container worked well! And we had no questions in customs!
We had a brief presentation by a woman who learned she was Jewish as an adult who had been adopted by a Baptist family; and through a series of things, spent time in an Amish community, as Messianic; her husband built their dream home over two years and it was lost in 5 minutes in a tornado. They are now here in the Land, making many contributions; among them her line of essential oil products. Check out her website, too! www.branch-of-israel.com
The electric converter has already burned out; with just minutes of use....oh well!
We had a celebration dinner for Erev Shavuot with music and Ariel speaking, with Talia translating a wonderful message of blessing with an extra challenge and treat: two ladies just arrives today making Aliyah from Russia! So, next to Rachel there was a second translation from Hebrew to Russian going on! Will try to write up notes later. AS much as we enjoyed hearing the message, we were fighting sleep, too.
Up to Jerusalem in the morning for our time at the wall. Please remember us as we remember you before Yeshua!! Thanks Marsha and Lisa for letting us know you are there! Be blessed!
Rachel is busily writing away so I will close for tonight and try for some sleep.
Shalom and Laila Tov!