My favorite thought

Rejoice in His name and not in your circumstances.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Shalom! Toda Raba! PART II

                             My first day there I was worn out but so happy to be there. We got there the day that the festival was over so many people still continuing to celebrate and party so, we did not get a lot of sleep to all the loud music, shouting, as well as a few sounds of guns being shot off then girls screaming out side my window at 2:30 am. I think that it just scared them and it wasn't close but still terrifying to wake up to. I don't sleep well without Aaron as it is let alone a new place then a whole new country hearing loud guns. So I just for the opened & read my Bible and devotions and prayed, then got up and got ready day. For me this was blessed time for me and God to really focus on what He was doing in me and how He was going to change my life through this trip. 

"Ready for Life Changing experiences!! This trip is going to be the start of a new beginning!"
 - (journal clip)

"So excited! Lord, change my heart to be more & more like Yours! Make me know Your voice! Help me to follow You & not lean on my understanding." 
- (journal clip)

      We had dinner with the volunteers of Shevet ( and we played with lil' Doaa ( Oh how this lil' child brought smiles to all of our faces. Sometimes I would forget that this smiley lil' one was very sick with a hole in her heart. Every time I saw she brightened my day & I pray for her each time I think of her. 

       The food was absolutely delicious! I love Middle Eastern food! Eating outside was wonderful, the weather was not that chilly and NO nats! Always a plus! Wonderful food & lovely company!

That night Aaron flew in so I stayed up and went with them to pick him up. I was up for almost 24 hours before my head hit the pillow. Oh, how I slept like a baby with my Bebe next to me.

Our hostel (hotel) is right in the middle of Jerusalem on Jaffa St. Every patriotic to their country! I love it! Israeli people are so kind and appreciative of our support to their country. 

Jaffa Street was Happenin'!! Our room was on top of the hostel and they had a few sitting areas up there. We could look over and see what was going on in the street. We are people watchers so we enjoyed watching people as we sat on the park bench & from above.  Here the commuter train, people busy going from work to their jobs, and people singing, playing music, and dancing in the street. The Israeli people are so talented! Sometimes they would sing in Hebrew and other songs in English. It was beautiful no matter if I could understand it or not. We really enjoyed Jaffa Street & Zion's Square. 
 Zion Square was full almost every night. I was so amazed how many people would come out and sing together every night (except Shabbat = Sabbath). Even when terrorists are attacking them every day even in the heart of their city, they still continue to sing & dance. I am amazed at their perseverance & dedication to their country and their way of life.

We met all kinds of Israelis: religious Jews, secular Jews, Christians, Muslims, and those we spoke with love Israel and the Israeli people, calling this their home. Defiantly not what we here in the media in the west.
Aaron said he was so amazed how many people came up to him & talked to him. He said with a smile, " They think I am their people." lol! He did fit in with his long hair and beard. :) 

                On the first morning before going to work with Shevet Achim we went to the Garden Tomb for tour and devotion. This is one of my favorite places. What a blessing it was to do this at the beginning of our trip. It really put things into perspective.
               Our tour guide was a young man from Poland, who was there because his home land was desolate from war and he spent 3 months in Israel as a volunteer at the garden.You could see the light of God in his face and his words. He was great on historical information as well as the Bible. 

       He showed us skull mountain, "Golgotha", which is spoken of in the book of Matthew, "and when they come to a place called Golgatha, the Place of the Skull".
        There was a wall with Arabic writing above it. I asked and a gentleman answered me saying there is a Masque  right there and the Muslims built a wall and the writing says, "There is no god but Allah."

         I found this very interesting. I would like to speak to them and ask them why they chose that phrase and that location. I really like to hear others people's beliefs and opinions even when they differ greatly against mine. 

Jesus has already answered this in one of my favorite verses:

"Jesus answered,
"I am the way
and the truth
and the life.
No one comes to the Father
except through me.""

- John 14:6


This is the cistern of the garden which is over 2,000 years old and holds over and holds over 200,000 gallons of water. Which would be more than enough to water the garden in this desert. 


One of my favorite stories about Jesus was John  4 where He met the Samaritan woman at the well. Where he strikes up a conversation with asking for a drink of water and tells her that He is the  everlasting water & if she had Him she would never thirst again. She asked how was that possible? When we accept Him as LORD and Savior then He will satisfy our needs and fill us with Him, His Spirit.

The Garden tomb was an amazing place but, the most amazing feeling is that I know - PERSONALLY know this JESUS - The True and Living GOD. 

                                    For HE is NOT there!
                              For HE is HERE with me! :) 

                         "Remain in me, and I will remain in you." - John 15:4

Toda Raba, Shalom.
                                                         More to come... stay tuned..

Friday, November 20, 2015

Shalom!! Toda Raba! Part I

               Hebrew lesson: Shalom means Peace. Toda Raba means Thank you very much.

               I know that it has almost been a month since we've been home from Israel. It felt like a whirl-wind to get there and busy busy while we were there and when we came home we hit the floor running back to work. We thank you so for your support, encouragement, and patience with me on getting this down.

              God answered prayers from the beginning to the end and then some. I cannot go into every thing so I will be sharing only certain stories and experiences that I feel that God tells me to share.

               God was amazing on how everything came to pass, from invitation to go, us saying yes, raising money to go, as well as getting our jobs to comply for time off. It was perfect timing and perfect plan. My last day of school was the day I flew out and Aaron finally found someone to cover for him for a few extra days. Getting finals and work done so we could go was amazing! God had His hand all over it.

                I flew with our friends Kim and Leo from Atlanta to Paris to Tel Aviv Israel. It was a LONG trip but very nice. Aaron flew my first night in Israel. My first day we woke up at 7 am, we walked to Shevet Achim (, which is a medical ministry for children who are in need for heart surgery, most of the children are from Gaza, Jordan, Iraq, and Iran. We first had a tour of the Shevet home, meeting volunteers, & staff. We had morning devotion with scripture reading, singing worship songs & hymns and praying in thanksgiving & asking for guidance. I fully enjoyed this time with meeting our new brothers & sisters in Christ.

               The Shevet staff and volunteers were dedicated and amazing people from all over the world: Florida, Colorado, New York, England, China, Singapore, Australia... I am completely amazed by  these people who love as Christ loves. As we sang and prayed that morning, I think I got a small glimpse of heaven, people from around the globe singing praises to Jesus.

             This is the new door and inside of the courtyard, absolutely beautiful! They have made great changes to this place!

              After devotion I cleaned all the
bathrooms in the house, during the cleaning I sang as I cleaned and praised God for bringing me to the land where He lived, walked, taught,
and loved. Many may think that cleaning the johns would be a bummer thing but I find it soothing. I cleaned houses for a living for over 8 years and it is such a sense of accomplishment when something is cleaned and smells nice. Two, I appreciate a clean home, especially a bathroom, and bathrooms need to be prayed over too. Everyone uses the facilities and even God can meet them on the white porcelain throne and pipes need prayer too especially in a house that is old. So know that no job is too small for God to bless and He cares for the small things.


            For lunch the Mothers, that come to stay to get help for their children, cooked lunch every day for 35-40 people, except their Holy day Friday so, we had the most delicious Kurdish food. Absolutely delicious!! The first time I have ever had Kurdish food and I could eat it every day! They have a long family style table that sits 30-40 people. Here we sat with people from all around the world, Christians and Muslims together, filling our bellies with the most delicious food talking and smiling together. What a blessed day it was!

            After lunch we did some more cleaning and then welcomed two new mothers and their. children into the Shevet home. I did not know how they would receive us, one we look completely different than them, speak a completely different language... yet gratitude seems to come only in one language: SMILES, HUGS, and KISSES. We stood in the small court yard to say hello and welcome them and they came up to us with big hugs and kisses on each cheek. Oh what joy it was to be a part of this! We met sweet little Doaa ( and Stafro ( Oh what a joy they are! What a Blessed Day!!


                                            Doaa                                                Stafro

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."
- 1 Corinthians 12:27

Nothing better than being the hands and feet of Christ! What a Blessing!!

                         Toda Raba, Shalom.
                                                         More to come... stay tuned...