Looking for shekel’s & the Via Dolorosa
I asked for directions for the money exchange & Via Dolorosa…many were willing to help, just not sure HOW well I interpreted it…hahaha! Finding the exchange, where I could change cash for shekel’s was getting real… Not everywhere wanted American dollar’s. The places that you do the exchange were supposed to be SO easy to find, well I either didn’t know exactly WHAT I was looking for or was a block off every time I got close.
Maps are a good thing – Paper please
I would advise anyone who is going to be exploring the old city – have a map of just the old city!!! Large print if you’re over 40 and without your readers, LOL! Also bring an external charger for your phone; chances are you’re gonna need it.
Found the Via Dolorosa
Found the Via Dolorosa! Still no shekel’s. Wandered up on the Praetorium. Met a guide outside on the street as I exited heading toward the Lion’s Gate. I explained I was still looking for shekel’s, so I didn’t have any to give him for a tour.
Made my way toward’s St. Anne’s
As I meandered my way toward St. Anne’s, I was absolutely drinking in the moment of the day. The look of the stone walls that towered over me giving me thoughts to all the history that was held within them. Well, actually under them. The layers of this ancient city absolutely take me to another place & time. When I hear the sounds, feel the warmth of the sun, see the beauty of the blooms falling softly over the walls all while catching a whiff of the hearty mixed spices; I catch a reflection of what it must have been like to have been here thousands of years ago. I clearly understand why Yahweh picked this piece of earth!!!
Quiet and vacant
I found the street quite vacant. I found a place to set up my mini tripod and take a couple of shots. There were a few students that had been let out of school on the opposite sidewalk heading back towards town, but for the most part I was alone. As I headed back, I turned around and there RIGHT in my PERSONAL SPACE was a young man (late teens/early 20’s). It was a divine appointment from earthly angel.
He sent me love messages all day long…
He was what most would consider to have special needs. He looked deep into my eyes (while almost touching me) and asked me one question, very seriously: Do you love me? I actually had to lean back to look at his whole face he was that close. I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Of course I love you.” He said, “I love you, too.” He turned on a dime and took off walking. I was taken so off guard by the whole incident that I forgot to ask for his picture for second, so I hollered at him and asked if he’d let me take one. He spun around, puffed up his chest and posed perfectly.
The sun was at a bad angle, so I checked to see if I got the picture. Luckily I did, because when I lifted my head to thank him he was GONE… I mean I don’t know where he could have totally disappeared to that fast…but he was gone. Divine, just sayin!
My next divine appointment was with guide.
Yep, the one I passed earlier not just once, but twice. He was setting right across from the door that led into the Praetorium. They say third times charms…When I started past him he said, “I don’t care if you have shekels or not (because I still had not found the exchange). I cannot let you walk by. The Lord won’t let me, let you go without showing you this.” Well, when I looked directly at him I knew, he knew Jesus and I knew he knew the Holy Spirit.
He pointed up to a couple of doors – Behind the doors awaits new wonders!
He pointed up to a couple of doors that he had seen me take a picture of earlier, he said, “That’s a school now, but it used to be the top of the original palace where Pontius Pilate resided. Come on I want to show you something.” Class was in, so the students weren’t about at the moment. He led me up to a window and I was looking down into the garden area, on the North side of the Dome of the Rock. There was no one around, so peaceful.
I teared up – really couldn’t even speak realizing that God just gave me a view that most all people would not get to see that day, at least tourist that is. I dug what few loose shekels that were floating in the bottom of my backpack and gave them to him. I gave him all I had.
Sometimes all we have is all He requires
He wanted to show me one more thing
When we exited he asked if I had anymore time he wanted to show me one more thing. We went in across the street and he told me of the games carved into the stone that would have been the roof of the structure in Christ’s time and how they played the game to see who would torture Christ. Is this 100% fact everything he is saying or completely the authentic location of the things that happened, I have no idea.
Still Holy Ground
All I do know is that I was at some point standing on what was still Holy Ground. I know this because the Holy Spirit welled up so deep inside my soul that I held my breath, had tears in my eyes and my heart was racing. I think my heart actually broke again, for the pain that my precious Savior was in, right here in this city. He accepted the sin for the whole world and me. I could feel the weight and shame for knowing how much I’ve let Him down over & over. He would do it all again just for me. Wow, the feeling comes right back as I type these words. My face is heating up, I’m holding my breath all while my heart is beating fast.
You can’t NOT be moved…
When he saw how much this meant to me, as he talked about Christ, he said if I would give him a few more minutes he had one more place to show me. He stopped and looked at me and said, “He sees you and He loves you so much.” I looked at him and said. “How is it a Jew like you loves Jesus so much, to share His love for this place like you do?” He said,in a very low tone, “Because I BELIEVE he is Messiah, too.”
Down the street to Lithostrotos ~ John 19:13
We went out and down the block and turned onto another street, where we went into a little hotel. It was the entrance to a museum under the city where there was an ancient street from a thousand or more like two thousand years ago.
He told me stories and let me walk where Yeshua possibly walked, maybe even where the walk would have started with Him dripping blood and dragging a cross. Fact – Yes, I believe it definitely happened, in this very spot? Who knows? I just know, like I know that for a good 30-45 seconds I had a spine tingling, hair raising, goosebumps, tears flowing Holy Ghost encounter and so did he!
He prophesied over me as we were leaving.
As we went to exit from there he suddenly stopped turned around and proceeded to prophesy to me. I was caught so off guard by what was happening, that had I been prepared, I would have recorded what he was saying. Not doing this….was one of my biggest regrets of my entire trip. I did wake up at 3:00 am that night, with His words, He sent Sharif to speak to me still lingering in my my mind. I immediately grabbed my trip journal and began to write everything that I could recall that had happened / said that day. It was truly the VERY MOST divine day of appointments in my ENTIRE life.
The flowers are so vibrant. Spring is beautiful.When we stepped back out into the light. We exchanged names & numbers, he trusted me with the names of his children to put on my prayer list. I was on my way again, back to looking for shekels, the Church of The Holy Sepulcher and food!!!
As I meandered on the Via Dolorosa (or so I thought – it is a very crooked street….) I was just leaning into my experience of the day and continuing to trust that the Lord had more appointments for me. He did not disappoint!
A Drink & Jewelry
I met a kind gentleman who had gave me a pair of earrings and had a free water delivered to me. He offered to take me to dinner, but I declined. He was very complimentary, haha! Definitely an ego boost – LOL. His father had owned the shop he was tending, on the Via Dolorosa, for years. He had recently passed away. He was there to sell out the inventory and close it. His business was import goods to the US. His home was Houston, TX.
Time to move on. I should have been looking for food, all I had eaten was a lemon square and a handful of trail mix. I had let time totally get away from me. So much to see….so much to do…. Now, where is that church?
This city makes me so happy! Shalom!
Lean In and living in Rhapsodyville!
P.S. I did FINALLY find an exchange. I at least have shekels.
Don’t miss Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 pt.1
Get your trip booked to go with us now!