Amsterdam and Tantur

So it looks like I’m a day behind on blog post, I’m going to try to do two today, one now and another tonight. We’ll see how that goes. 

So I had mentioned loving 2 things about Amsterdam, and only talked about 1 thing, the 2nd thing is the architecture there. I love looking at buildings. In Amsterdam it’s particularly awesome because the diversity of the buildings themselves. You don’t just have one genre of building styles, but some that span hundreds of years. I would post pics but for some reason, probably the internet speed, I’m not able to upload them to wordpress. Hopefully I’ll be able to add some pictures soon though. 

Like I mentioned on my last post, I think the people, no matter where I go will be my favorite part about any place I visit. 

 

I arrived in Tel Aviv about 2:30 am and after getting my visa I walked out to get a shuttle taxi. This was definitely an awkward experience for me because the guys were literally arguing over who was going to take me. It’s not that they wanted to take me, it was more like they didn’t want to bother. I’m guessing the place was too far, or out of the way, but their body language was not in my favor. I was pretty uneasy about all that just because I started thinking that I would get stranded, but finally one of them was “talked” into taking me to Tantur. At night Tantur reminds me of an old castle/monestry building. It’s located on top of this hill and surrounded by flowers and what not. After a couple of hours of sleep I went ahead and did a little exploring. 

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My journey to Israel – a thank you

So I’m a little nervous about my immersion class next month. As each day passes I get a bigger knot in my stomach….ok let me be honest…I’m actually kind of freaking out!!! I’ve never been on a trip longer than 10 days, not counting the summers with my grandparents. I’m going “alone” and by alone I mean that there is no one that I will be meeting over there that I physically know or have met in person before. Ok so I am 31, and have never been over seas…so that’s kind of a big deal for me. I’m going with all these smart people and they might find out that I’m really not as smart as I pretend to be (I fully believe in the fake til you make it when it comes to confidence). I’m freaking out because what if my luggage gets lost…what if I get robbed…what if…

But then I think about my journey so far. 

Days when I thought it would be hopeless…impossible even. 

Days when I felt like just telling everyone, forget it! I’m not going anymore!!!

I think about all the words of encouragement I’ve gotten. The excitement in the voices of those who support me. Who believe in me. Those who have been and who say “THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!” I think about 15 WHOLE days that I will be walking down the historical roads wondering if King David stood here, wondering if this was where Peter walked when God used his shadow to heal the sick. Wondering if this was where Jesus taught…I will stand there reflecting on his words, praying for the Kingdom…and each time I think about these things I want to cry. I want to cry because all my life, I never dreamed I could do this. I had never thought that I could be that person who goes there. That person who says “When I was in Israel…” It was always someone else’s opportunity, someone else is experience. I didn’t dare dream it because I never believed it could be possible. I never believed that I would do something like that because that opportunity just doesn’t happen for someone like me. That’s why this is such a big deal. Because I didn’t think I could…I didn’t think it was meant for me. But God had this in His plans all along.

I know there are people who think that I shouldn’t be going because frankly I don’t have the money. I don’t come from a well off family that can pay for my trip as a present. I don’t have a job that pays enough for me to travel all over the world. I mean let’s be honest, I barely make enough to make it through graduate school without drowning in debt. So why did I sign up? Because I felt a tug in my heart, I felt God pull me in that direction. It’s that feeling you get when God tells you to do something but you have no idea how or why He wants you to do it….yea…that’s exactly what it was. So I did it. 

As I started this journey I had a goal…a pretty high goal…and slowly that goal seemed to be getting higher. I thought I’d never make enough…barriers started rising up…unexpected expenses started creeping in…and my goal was getting pushed back and back. And yet…here I am. Plane ticket bought, passport on my desk, lay over hotel booked…and I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am! 

Grateful that people like you that  have been here for me. That you have given from your heart, that you have considered me worthy of your help. Me the friend/family member/sister that forgets to call and text….me the friend/family member/sister that is sometimes too busy to hang out….the friend/family member/sister who can’t always buy you a birthday present…and yet you still loved me enough to help me through this…through your prayers…your words of encouragement…your donations…your love. 

I hope that one day I can express to each of you individually what this has meant for me. To let you in on the impact you are having in my life right now. If only you could see how full my heart is. 

There are no words to express my gratitude. No words to express how humbled I am by you. 

I pray that one day I can do the same for you. That God uses my life to bring encouragement to you. 

Again I thank you. 

 

 

If you would like more information about my trip, please visit my gofundme page at http://www.gofundme.com/travelingtoIsrael