God's blessings in the promised land

Everything began at the aiport in Tel aviv on saturady - sabbath - with no public transportations... So we prayed in small groups and got this vers:'This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.' Joshua 1:9.Perfect vers to hitchhike to the see of galilee! What a great experience! Six days full of hiking and God's blessings through free bananas, grapefruits, 25 fishes and bread made this definitely my highlight! This week showed us that God is really with us and that he wants to provide for us and it was the perfect time to read God's word and see where Jesus did all the miracles.After this trip we had the opportunity to serve at a coptic church in Bethlehem, pulling out weeds and building a small church in a cave. Fellowship with Northbound, the unending chocolate pile and the spontaneous visit of my brother were some of our blessings in this time. After crossing the border of Palestine to Israel we visited Jerusalem where we discovered all the famous places. The next blessings were the family hosting us in Tel aviv, all the teachings about Israel/Jews, outreches, shabbat celebration, worship and just to be part of their family.On the way to the Dead sea God told us to go to a village in the desert, but they couldn't host us, so we camped and worshipped God in the wilderness. 'O Israel, the one who formed you says,'Don't be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name, you're mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you!''Isaiah 43:1-2God showed me every single day that he wants to walk a personal journey with everyone of us, and he will bless us in this time! 
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Two continents, one country


Sahlep n.  a traditional winter warmer, a common beverage in Turkey.  The powder of Sahlep is sold in a ready-to-prepare form, to be mixed with cold milk or water, boiled until it gets thick so that it can really sooth our sore throats and take away that cold during the blistery winter days. The dust of cinnamon makes it even more pleasurable.  It is thick, it is sweet, it is comforting.  I would like to use this delicious drink, made out of orchids, as a metaphor to describe my time in Turkey: As we arrived with a lot of uncertainty in Istanbul, we found our way to a backpackers with the Hagia Sophia Mosque on our front porch and the great Sultanahmet Mosque in our back yard. With happy faces and smiling hearts we celebrated our arrival and the well located backpackers which is walking distance from everything in the city. We were well reminded by the shouting of the two mosques 5 times a day that we are centrally located...which made our experience of the Muslim culture alive. So the milk was on the stove and that there was no chance of turning back for me -we as a team embarked on a crazy cultural pilgrimage through the land of Sahlep.  Our first destination was Izmir. We had a blessed time serving, being served and having fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. Part of the ministry included facilitating a cutural youth night and conecting with Turkish kids, visiting an underground worship event, doing some work around the house and sharing some testimonies at church. The milk was on the boil, our hearts swelled with joy and like boiling milk our cups started overflowing... After making our way through the ancient ruins of Ephesus, the Word sank in deeper and I received a better understanding of what it was like in the days when Paul wrote letters to the Ephesians. That was the devine moment when the soft white powder was added to the milk and being stirred together- things started to come together and I was able to pinch down the present and the past on one spot, feeling impacted and overwhelmed by the large pillars and fine carved out relief pieces on the capstones.  The concoction started getting thicker... Due to the fact that we are traveling on a low budget, we thought it good to save some money on transportation. We diveded into smaller groups, got dropped off at the side of the road and started hitchhiking! I hitchhiked 897km in total, without paying a penny for transportation or food on the road. We went through Pamukkale ( a natural wonder of hot springs ), snowy mountain ranges and Cappadocia, a valley of oddly shaped rock formations where people made their homes in thousands of years ago.  Now that I am back in Istanbul I can enjoy my cup of Sahlep reflecting back on all of my wonderful experiences and the friendly Turkish nation that opened up their doors for us- front doors and passenger doors :) And last but not least, my team is the cinnamon on top of my drink, without them this journey would be flavourless and normal...
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The world at the end of my thumb

The world at the end of my thumb

This being my second year on global challenge hitchhiking has become one of those skills that I might consider putting on a CV, I've been working in the hours and can honestly say that I love the adventure of putting out my thumb and expectantly waiting to see who will pick us up.

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