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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

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Ending the Journey of a Lifetime at Golgotha

Our last day began with a brief tour of the hospital where Tom Gronewald volunteers as a missionary servant to Israel. It was very enlightening to hear about and to see the medical facilities and preparations done by this hospital.

We went from the hope of holistic medicine to the sobering reality of the Holocaust! Touring the Yad Vashem museum and the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust leaves you an ache in your heart. The staggering scenes and video-taped interviews with Holocaust survivors left a grim reminder of the evil that is in this world. It ignites the passion for showing love and restoring the dignity and value of every human being. People matter to God and people matter to us too!

Our final journey took us to the Praetorian where Jesus was flogged, mocked and spat upon. He went through all the agony of Gethsemane, the beatings and the crucifixion for us!

Wow, what a Savior!

We wept as we stood on the stones in which Jesus received His cruel thrashing. We followed the Via Dolorosa , the way of suffering where Jesus carried His cross with the help of Simon of Cyrene (Mark 15:21).

Along this busy road we came to Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. We were truly standing on holy ground as we saw the Skull in the rocky cliff and personally witnessed the empty tomb. We gathered to read, worship and celebrate Holy Communion. What a special time of personal renewal and spiritual intimacy with our Lord. Richard played his violin and Kyler led us in worship as we spent an hour and a half just praising God for His gracious sacrifice on our behalf. This is the fitting conclusion to an amazing tour.

Isaiah 53:4-5 reveals the prophetic truth of our Messiah Jesus:

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

Our group has truly become a family and many are already planning to join us on our next trip to Israel and Greece from July 8-22, 2011. Please pray about joining us as well. You will never be the same!

Shalom!

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The Ancient City of David

We viewed a 3-D movie of the ancient city of David before we saw the actual ruins left in this archeological site. Over 3,000 years of history is being excavated here. Then we participated in the Temple Mount Antiquities Salvage Operation where we took part in the actual archeological process with our own hands. Our group discovered coins, bones, pottery pieces, mosaics, frescoes and other specialty rocks dating back to the Second Temple period. It was great to literally get our hands in the dirt of this ancient land.

Our lunch was at the Ramat Rachel Kibbutz, which has a very nice Hotel with a view into Bethlehem and Rachel’s Tomb. My pre-conceived idea of what a Kibbutz would be like was shattered by the modern facilities and luxuries enjoyed in this Kibbutz. It is the only Kibbutz with a Hotel in Jerusalem.

Back into the Old City of Jerusalem, we sang within the Church of St. Ann as our songs echoed off the ceiling. Just outside were the pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the man who had been ill for 38 years (John 5:1-17). Kyler continued to lead us in wonderful worship as we tried to assimilate and soak in all the spiritual insights that have flooded our heads and hearts. There is so much to absorb and learn!

Finally, we went through the Rabbi’s Tunnel that goes underground along the western wall of the Temple Mount! The foundations stones of the Second Temple range from 400-1000 tons each and fit so closely together that a razor blade cannot slide between them. The incredible process of chiseling, transporting and laying the stones to make the Temple Mount was illustrated in an animated movie presentation. As we walked along this tunnel, there is a spot that is closest to the Holy of Holies in which people pause to pray.

After this trip of experiences, learning and ministry opportunities, may we all practice Colossians 4:2: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”

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Please join us for the journey of a lifetime.

The life changing experience of being in Egypt and Israel:

I want to share with you our journey as we walk through this land of biblical history! I wish you could join us in person, but as our family of 32 ventures into this dramatic land, we want to share our encounters with you via blog postings. Please pray for our trip and seek the Lord in what He wants you to take away from it.

We invite you to join us vicariously in our adventure as we walk where the patriarchs, prophets, kings, priests, Israelites and most importantly, Jesus, also walked thousands of years ago. Our journey begins in Egypt on November 30, entering Israel December 2 and returning to California on December 10. I pray that you will experience a spiritual transformation as we share our divine encounters from the Holy Land.

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