Week 52 of 2016
The final week of December was definitely not normal. I had the whole week off to enjoy celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas. What a blessing this time was! The story of Hanukkah centers on God miraculously allowing the jar of oil to keep the menorah in the Temple lit for 8 days when there was only enough for one night. Throughout the week, I had numerous opportunities to celebrate the miracle from enjoying the light of the hanukkiah (Hanukkah menorahs with 8 branches rather than the typical 7) in Tel Aviv to the Old City of Jerusalem and in friends’ homes.
The light of our Father was shown bright for me during this week. I received a special Christmas gift, a necklace with a beautiful olive branch pendant, once again reminding me of God’s miraculous provision for his people. Then he blessed me with days full of things I love: close friends, animals and movies. With the whole week off I was able to spend a day at the zoo with Layden and another day having a Lord of the Rings marathon with friends!
Week 2 of 2017
Then came January. While normally I work at a desk at our International Headquarters Office, the second week of January I got to spend working at our Jerusalem Assistance Center helping to package some of the over 98,000 pounds of food Bridges for Peace distributes to those in need each month. My days were spent moving food onto pallets, filling grocery bags with food orders and praying over the packages before they traveled across the country to the Jewish people who needed the support. I even got to go out on the deliveries, meeting some of those people who are receiving the blessings. How special to hear their stories, many who are Holocaust survivors.
Week 3 of 2017
Back to normal the next week, right? Not so much! On Wednesday of the following week, I got to take part in an archaeological dig near Qumran, the sight of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hot, dusty, claustrophobic, enlightening and rewarding are the words that come to mind when I remember this adventure. The pictures below tell the story better than my words could, and check out these articles about what makes this site we helped at so special!
Surely after experiencing being a part of something that historic and special the rest of my January would be “normal”, but alas God still had more blessings to pour out on me!
That weekend was our Zealous Retreat. We went north into the Galilee region to a beautiful cabin where we worshiped, prayed, sought the Lord, shared, ate, swam, and genuinely bonded and recharged for the second half of our year. It was truly a blessing.
Week 4 of 2017
The next weekend I went to Mount Hermon with Kendall, Layden and Thea-Lise. While in the northern part of the country we visited Karmiel and another Bridges for Peace family there. We explored the mountains driving around, playing in the snow, hiking beautiful waterfalls and stopping to take random pictures of the amazing views of the Galilee Valley below.
Obviously, a “normal” week has come to mean: adventure, excitement, exhaustion, and blessings. There is nothing I would trade for the opportunity the Lord gave me to be a part of the Zealous Israel Project. It has changed my life in more ways than I will probably ever truly know.
Thank you all for your gracious support of me serving in Jerusalem. I am still hit every day by the fact that I AM LIVING IN JERUSALEM! Where ever I am, whatever I am doing that sparks this thought, a smile that I cannot contain even if I wanted to immediately cover my face. For this, I often get some odd looks as I grin like a fool on the bus or street. But there are also those times when I make eye contact with someone who has the same grin on their face, because they too realize how blessed they are to live in God’s capital city!