This is day one of our tour, I am so excited even though I MAY have slept 1 hour – it’s debatable.
I’m sitting here in the dining room of The David Citadel Hotel.
They prepared a fabulous buffet for us. Pink and yellow grapefruit, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, berries, apples, oranges, numerous cheeses, and salads! Many varieties of salads -unusual for breakfast. I looked to the right side of the room and thought, “Is that cheesecake I see -for breakfast?” Not sure, I had to try it, of course. Sure enough, it was cheesecake along with many other desserts. Then there were the eggs, potatoes, omelet bars, waffles, cereals, juices, coffee, and teas. Needless to say – ALOT of food!
Eric came down earlier and ate so I’m sitting alone contemplating the day ahead. I can see the old walls of Jerusalem in the distance as I think about all I am about to experience and what a dream come true this is.
I should back up and document what led up to this trip to the Holy Land.
I originally signed up with another church to make this journey probably 16 years ago. The trip was canceled.
Since I’ve been going to Calvary, I’ve signed up probably 4 times. For one reason or another, I was not on the tour.
Last summer they announced the date for sign ups. Unfortunately, it was in July while I was in Cabo with my son and his family. There is limited availability and I knew I will be on the waiting list again.
Every few months I would call Pastor Jacks secretary, Robin, to see if I was moving up the list. I was moving, but very slowly and still pretty far down on the list.
In the meantime, one of our kiddos asked my husband and me if we would babysit one of the nights the group would be in Israel. I told them, as I’d been telling everyone for years, that I was on the waiting lists for Israel.
I’d let them know.
March 7th I decided to call one last time. Again I was told it was full. I was told,
“Last year someone broke their arm so you never know.” I’m not wishing that on anyone! I thought “oh I should just tell the kids I’ll babysit” then thought ” I’m going to wait a couple more days.”
Thursday morning March 9th, I’m driving to see clients and praying. I’ve found that driving is a good time for me to pray. No distractions and lots of traffic. One of the few times in the day that I have solitude. During my prayer, I asked, ” Lord should I babysit or is there a possibility that I’m going to Israel? I don’t want to go if I’m not supposed to go at this time so
“Your will be done Lord, but…. you know Monday is my birthday and this would be a great present.”
About 5 hours later I was working in my Anaheim office when the call came from Robin.
“Are you still interested and able to go to Israel? We have an opening for two!”
Happy Birthday from the Lord to me!!!!
I had to find a travel mate and had to find one like right now. If interested, the names were going to the airline tickets that night!
After some frantic phone calls and text messages, my son Eric, with the encouragement of his wife, my sweet daughter-in-law, agreed to go with me.
18 days later we were on a plane and today- whatever day this is in my sleep deprived, time changed mind, I’m here and ready to embark on our first tour of the holy land!
Thank you, Lord!
Now back to our day:
The majority of our group arrived yesterday around 10 am. Because we did not arrive at the hotel until midnight last night, they decided to change the schedule for today and take it easy on us.
We were each assigned a bus for our entire stay in Israel. Eric and I are on the “blue” King David bus. We were also assigned a whisperer-(earphones and electronic communication system so we could hear our guide. Our guide is with “Behold Israel Tours” and his name is Elijah, but he prefers Elle.
Our first stop was to the Israel Museum (or מוזיאון ישראל) that was fairly close by. It is located in Givat Ram on a hill in Jerusalem. It was a beautiful museum and thTere was a large model of the old city of Jerusalem.
This was interesting as they pointed out and explained what we would be seeing over the next few days.
We also saw parts of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls! What a discovery! I’ll explain more about this later.
(Tomorrow we are going to Qumran where there were discovered.)
After lunch, we proceeded to the Holocaust Museum Vad Vashem The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
This photo was taken at the children’s exhibit.
There were two parts to this museum, the children’s exhibit, and the main museum. Both horribly sad.
The Hall Of Names is a place that gives honor and pays tribute to the lives of the six million victims of the holocaust.There they have displays of the names of those lost as well as photographs and brief bios of those lost given by those that survived, family members and friends. It is a heart-wrenching testimonial of those that were lost. The Valley of the Communities is a place that has been excavated from under the earth and on the 107 walls that make up this memorial over 5000 names of Jewish communities that existed for hundreds of years and now most of which are completely gone without a trace.
Incidentally, I watched a movie on the plane called “Denial”. Excellent. How can they deny this happened? Unbelievable!
Well, that is all for this time, join me next week for more of our amazing adventures in the Holy Land!
To buy, rent or watch the trailer of the “Denial” movie click here.
Israel Museum – Jerusalem
Debbie lives in Southern California with her husband Doug and her amazing children and grandchildren. She is a successful business woman and is active in her church and community.
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