This part of my journey includes two days. My last day in Israel and my thoughts as I returned home.
I have not been back over to Israel since this trip. The Lord opened the doors for other things for me. Since this trip, I have done missions work, gotten marries, bought a house, and now I am expecting.
I still have the dream of one day going back. I want to take my husband with me this time and maybe convince my dad and mom to go too. If you are interested in taking a trip I highly recommend Educational Opportunities. They are excellent!
January 19 10:57AM
As Shakespeare penned the words in Romeo and Juliet, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” We are putting the suitcases on the bus. All our bags are packed. We will be back to the hotel tonight for supper then off to the airport. Our flight leaves at 12 PM Israel time. I am going to miss this country and the friends I have made in the short time I’ve been here. I am looking forward to my own bed and pillow. I am going to miss the food. I could really be a vegetarian if I lived over here. I am not looking forward to eating canned olives again. This day may be a very emotional day.
Wow, it’s been a long morning off the bus. We started in Jewish quarter. We saw the old Roman Crido. It was then center of the Jerusalem back in the Byzantine days. There was not Temple when it was in use. We traveled along that to the church that was build over the site of the upper room. There we stopped and had a devotional and sang, “I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked.”
The location of the upper room is built supposedly where the Jerusalem sect of the Essenes were. The Essenes were celibate. In the time of Jesus the women were the ones who got the water for the family. If a man were carrying the water it would have been an indication that there were no women in the community.
From there we traveled to the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu. It is over the supposed site of where the house of Chiaphas the High Priest lived. It was also where Peter denied Jesus. From there you can see the Temple mound and the Dome of the Rock. I can just imagine it would be the perfect place for the High Priest to live with that view.
We just had our last supper at the Olive Tree. It was very good. I am really going to miss the salads. The olives and cucumbers were always excellent.
The last stop we made today was the Garden Tomb. There was a Swedish man who showed us around. He was amazing because you could see the joy radiating on his face as he talked about Christ. I lost it when he talked about how Christ had conquered death and how now we do not have to fear death. I started weeping. Even though I am only 25 I look forward to Heaven when I wont have to say goodbye to anyone ever again.
The tomb is like the one that Christ was lain. Some say it is the one that Christ was lain in. The amazing thing is that there is nothing in it. It is empty. He is risen!
We had communion there led by pastor Dan. The other pastors joined in with prayers and scripture reading. It was very touching and an amazing experience. It was the perfect finish to the journey.
I have learned a lot about Christ’s earthly life. I have seen so much. My life has been touched and I will never be the same. Seeing the tomb empty and remembering His death just toped the whole Journey off. Spiritually and physically.
Now we are no the way to the airport. We will have to go through Israeli security. Our flight leaves out around 12. I am ready for sleep. I want my own bed and own pillow but I don’t want to leave. This is the same feeling I get when I leave camp. Mixed emotions.
Jan 20 5:54 America
Today is a 31 hour day for me. Yes, it is crazy but that is what happens when you fly back from Israel at 12pm. I did get a little sleep on the plane but it was not enough.
Going through Israeli security was not bad. They are very thorough. They ask questions and look you in the eye as they are doing it. At one point they scanned my passport and it came up with a big red X. Not sure what that was all about but they questioned me and Pastor Dan and everything was fine. I kept getting looks because my name and dress made me look Jewish but I obviously was not.
The plane was packed and just before we started taxing a passenger in the back had a seizure. They had to bring on medical personnel and get the passenger off the plane. Then a lady sitting a row in front of me to the right said that she was sick and running a fever. They let her stay on but moved the other two passengers that were sitting with her to another area. I hope what that lady had was not contiguous.
As the plane lifted off I could see a little of Tel Aviv out the window. The lights were glowing softly. As it fell away blow us and the out side world turned pitch black I quoted General Douglas MacArthur. “I shall return.” It seemed as if something whispered back. “Ill be waiting to welcome you.”
The flight seemed to drag on forever. I tried to sleep but I could not get comfortable. I did not take a benadryl because I thought I would not need it. I really should have taken one. I watched one movie that they had on called, “Date Night.” It was pretty good. By the time the flight was over the plane was gross and I felt really gross as well.
We finally touched down at JFK. We had to go pick up our checked bags then go to Customs. From there we had to recheck our bags and go back through security.
We ended up at the same terminal that we flew over to Israel from. I headed straight for Dunkin Doughnuts. I got a bagel and cream cheese with a coffee. It was mighty fine. I had an awful headache so I took one of my allergy pills with Tylenol in it. I was not sure if the headache was allergies, sleep depravation, or caffeine depravation. The pill took care of the problem what ever it was.
From where we were waiting I had an excellent view of the sunrise. Also I could see the plane we were to fly to ATL on and the one we had just flown in on. It was kind of cool to look at.
When we boarded I was on the aisle again. Maybe next time I fly I can get a window seat. As it was I could see a little bit out either side so I had to satisfy myself with that. I played trivia and watched the flight most of the way to ATL. I wanted to sleep but was to excited to.
When we got to ATL daddy was waiting for us at the baggage claim. On the way home daddy stopped and got me Starbucks. Even with the caffeine I am still falling asleep.
All my laundry is just about washed. I pulled everything out of my suitcase and washed it then sprayed my suitcase down with Lysol. It feels so good to be clean. I have most of my stuff stashed. My laundry may have to wait to be put away. I am falling asleep writing this. I wanted to stay awake till about 8 or 9 but it may not happen.
The journey is over. It was amazing. I will do it all over again some day.