Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Israel

Two weeks ago we boarded a plane at 11:55 PM to Tel Aviv. Did that really happen??

It seems like forever ago that we left for Israel as a family, to be a part of the "En Gedi Experience", led by one of our long-time friends. This is our last 4-of-us family trip before Caleb goes to the States for college! We were there for 12 days, but it felt like much longer than that. We visited so many places, saw things we'd only heard about before, tasted delicious and fresh new food, and experienced God's presence in a personal way.

It's hard to recap everything that happened. There were so many significant moments and powerful place. Maybe I'll post individual stories of places some time, but it's also different just reading about it without seeing it with your own eyes. Israel is a land in which you need to walk, touch, smell.
The Garden of Gethsemane
It even impacted me to feel the heat of the desert, the wind on the Sea of Galilee. When I let the cool waters of the En Gedi spring rush over my shoulders, I understood why David would have dwelt here in hiding from Saul. When I sat on the Southern steps in Jerusalem, I could picture Jesus going in and out of the temple. As we stood on the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached, I could almost hear Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount.

So just to capture a fraction of the trip, here were my favorite experiences on the trip by sense:

Favorite smell: Honeysuckle! These flowers permeated the air with their wonderful fragrance outside of one of the hotels we stayed in. It's one of my all-time favorite smells, that I've only ever really smelled in California before!

Favorite taste: Hummus! With every meal. Hummus with meat, hummus with carrots, hummus with roasted zucchini. Just delicious. It tasted so different from anything I can make at home, or find in American grocery stores. Anybody know the secret to making perfect hummus??

Favorite touch: Definitely the spring of En Gedi! We stood under the waterfall and the water was so refreshing and powerful. It reminded me of how God's blessings shower upon us, and how He refreshes our hearts and minds.

Favorite sounds: At the Garden tomb. There were actually two things here that were wonderful. One of them were the birds- they sang as if they were worshipping their risen King! The second is a little less typical. One man (Chris) on our trip was South African (he works with churches and pastors there, but lives in the States right now), and after communion, he prayed in Afrikaans. Oh, what a beautiful language! It was also like music to my ears. And I just love that even when I don't understand, God knows exactly what Chris was telling him. He heard every word.

Favorite sight: This one is the hardest. There were so many amazing feasts for my eyes! But one of the best was when we were on the Sea of Galilee. The sun was setting over the mountain, the wind was blowing, and I could just picture Jesus standing out on the water, and calling Peter to come and walk to him. It was so peaceful at that moment, and yet free and wild too.

And one last favorite sight- the flowers! You know flowers make me so happy. Well, colors in general do. But flowers are God's creation, and He clothed each of them uniquely. I love how creative He is, and it just takes my breath away.

Thank you God for this trip, and for the gifts you give us every day. What an amazing Heavenly Father we have!

*Credit for these pictures goes to Caleb, and Mom! And this last one was taken by a proffessional photographer.
The whole En Gedi Group (minus Ben and Steve- they had to leave early. We missed them!)

3 comments:

Connie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Before I forget I wanted to tell you...this is my favorite blog post of yours!! I love everything about it - how you describe and capture the trip in such a beautiful way, how you make me feel it all over again, how you put in just the right pictures to illustrate it. GREAT JOB! Glad you posted before too much time goes by! Mom

Alice Robbins said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this post! You make me want to go! Not sure if I ever will, but I feel like I was almost there with this post! Thank you! See you later!

Courtney said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

That sounds like an amazing trip! I love how you recapped it by it smell, sight, taste...