Jerusalem was beautiful and it was special to see where Jesus was, but I honestly enjoyed Bethlehem, on the other side of the wall, more. At both stops, we did a lot of gardening. Goodness, I never thought there could be so many metaphors with pulling out roots of weeds. I started dreaming about it even. Luckily I love gardening and find it to be therapeutic. In Bethlehem we lived with three stunning nuns, who changed my pre-conceived idea about nuns. At all of the ministry points we have gone so far there have been extremely effective women. They do things thoroughly and to a quick pace! At first it really drove me mad, because that is exactly what my mother is like and quite the opposite of my character. But God is changing me, stripping away the lazy and insecure self. Making me capable and strong, like all the women I mentioned earlier.
My favorite memory of Israel will be when we hiked to Ginnosar, got lost and camped where the Jordan flows into the Sea of Galilee. What a way to get lost!
We met a lovely old friend of Global Challenge in Bethlehem who inspired us with his God seeking life style. This whole time I was wondering if it would be possible to live this life permanently and looking at him I realized, that if it is God's will, then yes you can. I hope it is His will ( wink, wink nudge, nudge).
I've gained a lot of respect for the different religions we have come in contact with and just realized that all we have to do is love. Preaching just pushes people away, and frankly I feel people know Christianity more by what we don't believe in than what we do. So it was quite a relief to know it is in God's hands and that the judgement is not mine to give. Instead we must just love!
Go listen to "Jesus, friend of sinners" from the Casting Crowns. It's really nice!