Israel oh Israel, you were such a interesting country. We arrived here not knowing where we are going, but God took me on one incredible journey. I was in for a big surprise when I thought that Israel was just a boring country full of people stuck in history. In our first week I hit rockbottom, we had some really tough times and I started to miss home a lot. But I learned that it's only when you hit rockbottom that you realize that God is the rock. Luckily we all made it through that first week, and trust me I know we will be able to handle everything this year. After this God just started to bless our team so much. Like when we were so tried and hungry He would just bless us with grapefruit and bananas on the ground. Wow, how I learned to appreciate everything that I have so freely at home. Thank You Jesus. I'm not going into the details about the rest of our time in Israel because it will take forever. We saw a wide spectrum of all the different areas there is to see in Israel. It is so mind blowing to be in a nice city that's green and then like an hour's drive further you're in the middle of a dry desert. From walking the Gospel trail, to eating way to much unlimited chocolate in Bethlehem, to healthy food and a amazing family in Tel Aviv, to camping in the desert, to floating on the dead sea, to snorkeling in the red sea and to living in a prayer house, God took me from being at the bottom to the top with Him. And through this crazy journey God provided so much and He just loves to bless His children. Thank you Israel for the interesting time you gave us. Russia here we come!
Going to the Promised Land for the first time of my life was a dream come true. Seeing the places where so many things happened in the Bible, reading the stories and seeing the "exact" place where it happened was amazing. Using your imagination to see where Jesus died, going to all the places where some of it happened, and meeting amazing people at these places that tell us so much of what they know about the old city. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee were memorable, but the most amazing thing was when we were in the Old City of Jerusalem doing a challenge where we had to go to all the significant places where Jesus was. Like the upper room were Jesus and the 12 disciples had the last supper before He was crucified, but not all of those places were as “wow” as I had hoped it would be, to be honest. None of the other places that we visited were “wow” places for me. I was disturbed when I saw that the others were overwhelmed by these places and then it struck me, like a lightning bolt to the chest, why I was not overwhelmed. It felt like the Holy Spirit was telling me: “why did you expect to be overwhelmed at these places? Is it because it’s where Jesus was?” If it is, what then, have I missed the entire story? Many of you know that not all of His works were written down and that means that there are places on earth where He was and we don’t even know it. None of those places has a ‘Holy Spirit hot spot’ so why will these places have them and not the others where He was. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said: ‘These places bear no witness of what He has done or will do but it’s me that bear witness of what He has done and will do. Where I am, there is the ‘Holy Spirit hot spot’. Where I choose to glorify His name, that is where He is and where He is, is far more important that where He was.
This whole Global Challenge has been tough. I've really been struggling to fit into my team and to find my purpose. I spoke to my leader and she said a few things that was needed, but I want to tell you about two things. Fitst she said that you're value is not in your purpose, it is in who you are. Second thing is that we are not human doings, we are human beings. I am not going to elaborate on that, but think about it.
Israel - the Holy Land. The land overflowing with milk and honey. The very first nation we encountered.
From the north to the south, the beaches of the Galilee to the stone-cobbled streets in Jerusalem, the country shouts the name of our Emmanuel - God with us. But the echoes in the religion and the hate and the noisy youth murmur the depravity of our human souls.
Israel, the promised land, the country where Jesus walked, the place where God revealed so much of His character to us through the Israeli nation. Visiting this special place is an experience that can hardly be captured or described in mere words or pictures. It is seeing a piece of living history, a walk through the gospels. From Bethlehem where Jesus was born to Capernaum next to the sea of Galilea where Jesus ministered to Jerusalem, the city that Jesus loved. How strange and heartbreaking to see the same historic events being viewed so differently through the glasses of different worldviews and religions and how these differences are used as a platform for blind hatred.