Trip to Israel 2010
Jody and I left Toronto on Air Canada headed to the land of Israel with 3 other warriors from Barrie, Ontario. To say that we were pumped would definitely be a huge understatement. 3 of us have been to Israel before, but somehow we knew that this trip was going to be life changing and transforming. We were not to be disappointed!
We left Toronto at 1 PM, with two stops, one in Montreal for a couple of hours and then in Switzerland for a couple of hours, and we finally arrived in Israel at 1:30 in the afternoon. It was very HOT! After clearing all of the security and picking up our bags, including my guitar, which arrived in good shape, thank God, we took a shuttle to the car rental area and after we got the keys to our van for the next 16 days, we rented a GPS, which I highly advice everyone to do. Our next mission was to rendezvous with the real estate agent who was waiting in Tiberias to show us how to get to the apartment we rented. We were already late for that appointment. I called to apologize for the delay, but after all, this was Israel where everything is in another time dimension! We suddenly realized that we had entered the time and space where everything is different than we North Americans are used to.
We drove to the exit from the car rental and met our first obstacle, how to get out of the airport onto the highway. I had to get out of the van, which is now at the drop down exit bar, go to a machine, buy a ticket, get back in the van, put the ticket into the machine at the driver’s door, and then the bar rose up, and we are on our way. The GPS led us up Highway 6 towards Tiberias, just a little bit late. Tiberias was only about 100 kms from the airport but it took about 2 and a half hours to get there. Everything was going well until the GPS all of a sudden lost the road and started showing us that we were driving in an open field. Our eyes see the highway, but the GPS has not had an update for a while, so it does not recognize where we are. We drove for what seemed like an eternity and then we decided to go back, which all you men out there know, is almost impossible for a man to do. I was in the van with Jody and 3 other women who suggested that we go back to the area that the GPS recognized and get our bearings from there. They eventually convinced me that this was a good idea. The GPS re-connected to the road some 20 kms back and we headed in the right direction, towards Tiberias. It was now dark outside!
This may not seem all that important, but nothing in Israel is normal, so you have to be careful which roads you take, as not all areas are friendly to non-Arabs. We had this understanding and wanted to make sure we did not stray off the safe zones controlled by the Israelis. We reconnected by phone, with the real estate agent, Laurie, and after we arrived in Tiberias, she tried to lead us to the office. Well, she didn’t drive and we were telling her what we saw, as she tried to lead us through the winding streets to the office. We finally parked near a huge monument, and waited for Laurie to arrive.
We arrived at the apartment only to find that all of the hours of travelling, the confusion at the airport, the GPS losing it’s bearings, and the trials of trying to locate the office, had been worth every obstacle! We had been truly blessed with a most beautiful apartment overlooking the Sea of Galilee! We all got our bags in from the van, and headed out to the balcony to watch the moon glowing on the Sea where Jesus walked on the water! It was SO AWESOME!!!! This was during the feast of Tabernacles and Laurie had left us with a sheet of paper listing 3 different restaurants that delivered food and understood a little bit of English. Laurie had only been in Israel for the last year, she had made Aliah from New York. We had no idea how valuable the info on the restaurants would be. Everything was closed for the holidays, so we could not just go to the local corner restaurant and order up food. They were all closed. We ordered kosher pizza that first night, and it was great!
Our very first night, the intensity in the atmosphere started to affect us! The ministry started within a few minutes on the balcony overlooking the water. Attitudes started to show through the veneer of one of the warriors. It was dealt with right away as we were all determined to get “Real” with God and each other without compromise. It turned out to be the right thing to do, as change came immediately and the next day was very fresh with expectation and hope. Ministry increased in intensity the next day as one more person arrived to be part of our group. There was breakthrough after breakthrough occurring at a wonderful pace. Everyday conversation brought to the surface, deep hidden things that were ripe to be exposed in all of us! Attitudes and insecurities were being brought to the surface and skimmed off by the Spirit of God.
We spent a lot of time on that balcony apparently watching over the water, but all the while, God was healing, breaking and setting us free! What an awesome trip so far. People were saying after 2 days, that if we went home now, it would all have been worth it! It doesn’t get any better than that! Little did we know that this prelude was preparing for the “Best is Yet to Come” that none of us could have imagined or foresaw!!!
(TO BE CONTINUED)