Thursday, April 15, 2010

Israel Post #1

So after being dropped off at the church on Wednesday morning, all 44 of us got on the bus and headed for the airport. My stomach was in knots until I got through securtiy. I have a knack for doing the no no's on the list, but happily got through unscathed! Here is a pic of Renee with all of our 44 passports. There is a bunch in our group! We were seated alphabetically so I got to know the "F" folks really well!. We had an uneventful

Here is old city of Akko. We stayed here for three nights. The view was so neat of this old city on the Medditterranean Sea.

We got to visit Tents of Mercy. This is David and Avi enjoying a laugh.

One of the great things this congregation does is have supplies for the community. Things needed if a war were to break out of things for various celebrations that the community does like Matza bread during passover.

I love this picture of the "Tents" in the desert, the oasis for those in need.

Eitan showed us the Torah. This is wrapped in velvet kept in a special shelf and read every week at congregation. It could take up to a year to write this our by hand. I believe it is basically the Old Testament written in Hebrew . . . but my memory fails me right now.

They read it using this special pointer so as not to ruin or smudge the writing.

David Ray and Avi. River of Life has a speical relationship with Avi. I believe he has preached in Abilene there.

A kibbutz. This is a communtiy farm that many people work on. There were several outside Akko.

For the most part this was the way we read signs: Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Thank goodness!

This man was a leader in a congregation in Nazereth. His name is Vakiff and he also had made aliyah (returning to Israel) from Russia. I told him I spoke Russian and felt very dumb when I couldn't figure out that he was asking me how long did I study Russian. I kept saying 34 years! Oi vey!

I just love the way Hebrew looks. This is a sign for Nazereth.

This a shot of the Holy Ennuciation Church (sp?). It is the dome shaped building in the center. The Catholic Church believes this is where Mary met the angel that told her she would be pregnant with God's son.

This guy was actually from Belarus. His name is Leon. He helps a lot of Holocust victims and has just started a seminary. The Torah that is in the picture actually came from Germany and was found after the Holocaust. It amazingly made it through all that destruction!

Interesting warning sign! I would stay away from that!

We got to see where Jase and Melissa are working and living and the people who are helping them out. It was neat to see the projects that they are doing and to know how to pray for them back in the states.

Melissa showed us their bomb shelter and it was sobering knowing that they had just experienced the effects of war not too long ago. I had a hard time imagining what that must have been like. In America we really don't know what it is like to have a war going on in our homeland.
I had to show this photo. I have never had a problem swelling with any of my travels or pregnancy and it blew me away how much I did after we arrived in Israel. My sandels started to hurt my feet and I had no ankles! I made sure to drink lots of water and keep them up and thankfully it went away.

This painting was at Guy Cohen's congregation. I loved hearing the shofars blowing but unfortunately missed out on a lot because of my troubles with jet lag. I hope this gives a glimpse into the first day of what we did. I felt like we were all over Israel this day . . . at least the NW side.