Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I have been getting a LOT of Israel questions- it's about stinkin' time I tell you about it, huh?


Sorry for the delay in this. To be quite honest, Satan has really been working to get me down lately, and has unfortunately succeeded on many levels. The arrows started flying in Israel, but I was able to ward most of them off because I had a pretty great support system there. I wasn't quite so upfront about my issues there, but I had a friend who was extremely intuitive and really spoke into things in my life without knowing they were issues... and the first time we met was on the trip. That really helped me, but coming back to the ship was a shock to the system. Everything in my life has been changing quickly and Satan has been firing some fierce rounds of arrows at me, and quite a few have driven extremely deep. Thankfully, I have some awesome friends and support around me... even if they are thousands of miles away...Thank God for phones:) A few people really spoke into the situations I was experiencing, and I'm still not 100%, but I'm sure in a better place than I was 2 days ago. Thanks to anyone who was praying for me- and please keep the prayers coming. I think I ticked Satan off by going to Israel, but I don't regret it one bit.

So... let's start from the top...

I went to Israel for 2 weeks through a school called JUC(Jerusalem University College), which is an american-based christian college that is found on today's Mount Zion. It is literally JUST outside the old city walls and about a 5 minute walk from Zion Gate and about 7 minutes from Jaffa Gate. I don't think I could've picked a better location. The school itself is a piece of art- gardens filled with pomegranate trees and grape vines... totally incredible. The only thing someone could've had against it was the lack of AC, but I was used to a cabin that hit about 95 degrees F at night, so this was a nice change for me- windows open and a fan going we were set.

After my crazy adventures in Madrid, I got to the campus just about dead- starving, hungry and exhausted. Dead may be an exaggeration, but I sure didn't feel like it was at that moment. I passed out for 3 hours, then had a MASSIVE lunch, then we were off. We went exploring the Old city, went to the wailing wall, and just got a feel for it. I'm so glad I did, otherwise I would've slept all day and been miserable. This was a perfect precursor for the trip. Thankfully one of our group had been to Israel many times before and was our tour guide for the afternoon.

Now, I was invited to go along by a woman who works on board, Susan, who has been multiple times with this school along with her daughter, Carys. Our 'Mercy Ships' group consisted of 13 of us- 8 current crew- all long term, 3 who are alumni, and 2 who come back on a yearly basis, though are not currently on board. We had 2 mother-daughter-duos, a married couple, and the rest of us are singles.It was truly a really great group... all ages, backgrounds, from the US, the DR, South Africa, Switzerland... super great. THEN, we met up with about 35 others, who were from Northwestern University, Crown College and a group with Campus Ministries.  I didn't get to know those people all that well, but the relationships I did make on that trip were pretty incredible and a lot of fun:)

For the 2 weeks, I was totally blessed to live with a mother-daughter from South Africa, Leanne and Jordy. They were just so sweet and caring and really took time to get to know me and we had some pretty great conversations... the trip wouldn'tve been as great as it was had it not been for them... I didn't know them before the trip, but I definitely think I'll see them again one day.... totally awesome:)

Now for the places... oh man.. you ready for this???? I'll list off the places we visited. If you want to know more about any of them- inquire- I'll answer, maybe even write a blog about it;) I just dont know what you are interested in hearing about...

Day 1: The Old City- Visited most of the gates, The Upper Room, Wohl Museum, Pools of Bethesda, Church of St. Anne, Muslim Cemetary, Overlook of the Mt. of Olives, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Seplechure, then late in the night we went to the Western Wall Tunnels(EPIC!!)

Day 2:  Parables taught by Rabbi Mosche, The Good Samaratin Inn and we hiked in Setaph(Loveddd that)

Day 3: The Temple Mount and a free afternoon(we went to the Holocaust Museum)

Day 4: Qumran, Cave #11, Masada, En Gedi(swam in a fresh water spring), Old Synagogue, Dead Sea and the Negev Desert(the Wilderness)

Day 5: Mount of Olives, Dominus Flavit, Gethsemane, Garden Tomb, Israel Museum(didn't like that one at ALL), Herodium(awessome), a threshing floor, Bethlehem, Hill of Evil Council(view of Jerusalem from the South)

Day 6: Day off(well, 1/2 day off..)!!!! Went to the mall- Mamilla, where we had lunch, then I shopped around a while, then a lecture by Gabi Barclay... went RIGHT over my head...

Day 7: Trip to Galilee: Nazareth(the Leaping Hill), Sepphoris, Jotapata(love that word), Church of the Annunciation(MY FAVORITE CHURCH BY A LONNNG SHOT), and to get there, we traveled through the Sharon Valley, Jezreel Vally, saw Mt. Tabor and a tonnn of other awesome things.First time in the Sea of Galilee, stayed at En Gev

Day 8: Gamla, Quazrin, Har Bental, Cesarea Phillipi, where we got to go on an INCREDIBLE nature hike and see Herod Agrippa II's palace, finished off by Omrit.... some more swimming in the sea and stayed at En Gev

Day 9 : Boat ride, Boat Museum, Church of the Primacy, Tabgah, Mt. of Beatitudes, Chorazim, Capernaum, Bethsaida, more swimming- last night at En Gev, then the event I call the Parable of the Lost Ring.... I'll write that story for you some day;)

Day 10: Trip back to Jerusalem, which included: Kursi, Jordan River sighting, Tiberius, crazy fireee!, Bet Sha'an, Jordan River Baptismal- put my feet in... kinda gross, but cool, New Jericho

Day 11: Mt. Gerezim, Jacob's Well(loveedd), Samaria Sabaste, Cesarea(LOOOVEEDDD). Last day of classes

Day 12: Departure meeting, Shopping in town- got my Shofar and Schwarma:), visited the clinic, Dinner at Notre Dame to Celebrate Leanne's amazing birthday:), watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding in the Garden

Day 13: The goodbyes began, packed up and went to our hotel, Pizza at Jacob's Pizza, my FAVORITE watermelon popsicle for the last time, then went to the western wall one last time, slept on the floor, then I was off to the airport at 4:45 am....that was fun... not;)

Let me know what you want to know about, and I'll write more about it;)

<3 M

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