Friday, September 23, 2011

Israel Bound!

It is hard to believe that the day is almost here!  I leave tomorrow (Saturday September 24th) for Israel!  I remember when I *knew* I was going.  I have known for a while I would go to Israel, however, I had no idea it would this year.  I was meeting with my Women's Ministry Director about my speaking ministry and she said, "you know, I feel strongly that every person who represents the Gospel and shares their testimony or speaks, should at some point, go to Israel."  I recall nodding my head in agreement and thinking, I agree and I hope to go someday.  Then she continued talking about the trip and as she began detailing the trip as a Biblical Study program and not a tourist trip, my heart began to beat fast. I asked a few questions and the next thing I know my heart was racing and I KNEW I was supposed to go on this trip.  We agreed I would go home and discuss it with my husband and pray about it.  

It seemed impossible for me to go right now.  Financially we didn't have the money needed and there were other details to work out.  Little by little the Lord began to open the door of peace for my husband and me and we both knew I was supposed to go. I knew the money would a faith issue for us. 

I mentioned the trip to one of my best friends and thought how amazing it would be to take this spiritual journey with her. She was excited and agreed to pray.  We talked a few days later and she said she thought the answer was a "no".  I felt in my heart she was supposed to go and I said so to her. She said she felt it as well, but she could not see a way to come up with the finances. We agreed to pray more and seek God's will.  A few days later she called me and said, "I am going!" I screamed with excitement so loud that I am sure the entire neighborhood heard me!

As the Lord always does; He provided every penny for her and me. Not necessarily in the ways we expected, but none the less, He provided.

Our group of twenty will be venturing to Israel September 24-October 7th. 

Please keep us and our families in your prayers.  I will add the note and itinerary I posted on Facebook below.  I will do my best to update my Facebook. When I return,I hope to have many stories and photos to share with you.

Thank you for taking time to read this.  I genuinely appreciate your prayers!
There is always HOPE!
 here is the letter & itinerary

Hello friends and family!

I have been participating in a nine month Biblical Study Program that ends with a two week stay in Israel!  I will be gone 9/24/11-10/07/11.

I am asking for prayer as I travel and also for my husband and son as they will be home.  I will post day to day on fb and post a few photos when possible.  I look forward to writing about my experience and posting all photos when I return!

Here is the itinerary: (*each day is a FULL day event and includes lots of walking)

Day 1  9/24 Depart USA  (13 hr flight)

Day 2  9/25 Arrive Tel Aviv travel to Jerusalem

Day 3  9/26  Theme: Ancient Jerusalem:  explore ancient Jerusalem of Abraham through Nehemiah, Temple Mount excavations, City of David excavations, Western Wall, Kidron and Hinnom Valley

Day 4   9/27  Theme: The House of David:  Travel to Hebron to visit Machpelah and discuss burial site of the patriarchs and early capital of David. Then continue to Herodium, Shepherds Field, and Bethlehem as we focus on the birth of Jesus in fulfillment of the promises to David

Day 5   9/28   Theme:  Palm Sunday, Passover, and Trials:  A morning walk to the Mount of Olives from Bethany to the Kidron Valley will provide the context for understanding the raising of Lazarus and Palm Sunday.  The afternoon journey will concentrate on the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord as we visit the Holy Sepulcher and Garden Tomb

Day 6   9/29  Theme:  Joshua and the Conquest:  Travel to Jericho, Shilo, Jacobs Well, and Mt. Gerizim as we study Joshua's entrance into the Promised Land

Day 7  9/30  Theme:  Exodus   An investigation of the Biblical events and places in the Negev and Wilderness of Zin which were significant to the Exodus

Day 8  10/1  Theme:  Joshua, Judges, and Kings:  An investigation of the Biblical events and places in the Shephelah of Judah which were significant to Joshua, Judges, and Kings. Special emphasis will be placed on Biblical activities which occurred at Jericho, Gibeon, Bet-Sheesh (Samson), and Elah Valley (David and Goliath)

Day 9  10/2  Theme: The Place of Refuge:  The wilderness of Judah functions as a place of defense and refuge. Visits to Masada, Ein Gedi and Qumran

Day 10  10/3  Theme:  The Northern Regions:  Biblical events which occurred in the Golan Heights and upper Galilee Regions will be discussed and we will examine places as Gamla, Caesarea, Philippi, and Dan

Day 11   10/4  Theme:  Galilee of the Nations:  Travel through Jezreel Valley to sites including Beth Shan, Mount Gilboa (Gideon), Mount Moreh (Elisha) and Mount Tabor (Deborah) and Nazareth

Day 12   10/5  Theme:  Jesus and the Sea of Galilee  Taking the boat across the Sea of Galilee will set the stage as we prepare for a thorough understanding of the sites and activities related to ministry of Jesus around the sea.  Capernaum, Chorazin, Magdala and Arbel Cliffs will be visited

Day 13  10/6  Theme:  International Coastal Highway:  Investigation of Biblical events significant to the international coastal highway. Specific points of inquiry will be at Megiddo and Caesrea Maritma.....prepare for travel to airport to return to USA (13 hr flight)

Day 14  10/7 Return to USA hug and kiss my family!

*we will also be going to the Jordan River and will have the opportunity to be baptized-not sure which day yet