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Jerusalem Day 1 – Israel Day 5
Spring 2018 Part 1
Israel day 5, it’s starting in Jerusalem this morning. One of my favorite places in the world. I started the day with a fantastic breakfast and great company. Oh my, did my AirBnB take the breakfast feast to a whole new level…it was a huge amount with a terrific variety. My host was a lovely, Jewish couple who were kind & friendly. They were extremely helpful with suggestions for the stay. Where to eat, park, awesome at helping with map apps, and best ways for transportation. Luckily their daughter, who serves in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and one of her friends was there to help polish off breakfast.
After all the residence rolled out, I spent a fair amount of time in praise & prayer, before I headed off to my first day in Jerusalem. The presence of the Holy Spirit brought tears and joy!
I asked the Lord to please reveal why He laid everything in place for me to be in Israel at this exact time. It was totally out of my wheelhouse. Taking an extended trip on my on, much less a trip to a foreign country. It was a definite stretch. I knew when I left in November that I would be back…. I just didn’t know it would be so soon.
Just getting to the old city was a mission impossible…almost.
Free parking in Jerusalem – YES!
It was in the same area as dinner the night before, but just not in the parking lot, actually. It was on the fringe of one side of the parking lot with only space for about 15 cars. Did I mention that they weren’t actually spaces either… Up in the grass, or next to a gravel driveway, some parallel, some just kinda sideways and hopefully you wouldn’t end up blocked in…. So maybe I’ll just pay to park.
Jerusalem & nursery rhymes in my head…
(Here we go around the Mulberry bush…)
Because, on my second trip back around to this parking lot, which is a one way area, with only one drive to leave that’s about a quarter of a mile away AND you have to circle a HUGE city block ¾ quarters of the way around it to get back into said parking lot. Pay to park, yep I’m so there:NOT – LOL…HaHaHa… You do that with an app on your phone. No biggie, right? I got this – It’s ALL in HEBREW. Needless to say there would be NO pay to park.
Good thing I prayed and the Lord totally used this trip to show me I could travel, not have stress and pressure. The ones that know me best – know that the normal me would have probably have already left the car somewhere; just get a ticket or towed. I truly decided this was all in how He wanted to show me love today.
Parking Lot Peeps
I met some great people in this parking lot adventure. I made the decision to just laugh about it all and enjoy the sights, sounds, and ancient-new, thriving city this parking lot I’d been circling like a buzzard.(Next I was going to walk for laps for a minute or 30.) Well, God’s divine number is the #3. Why not go for the ole 3rd time charms deal – say a prayer for a spot to become available (not that I hadn’t been doing that, but I did tell Him if He wanted me to see all that He had in store for me that day He had to get me parking, or I would never make it to the Old City and to the Via Dolorosa). Well God?
Did I happen to mention that there was parking lot construction going on????
HA! Yep, ssssooooo no matter where you go, somethings are the same. I was really sitting there waiting on a cement truck OR was I really waiting on the lady who the bus dropped off, to walk to her car? All of this, just as I was about to leave the “parking fringe” for the 4th and final time. Rolled my window down to ask if she was leaving…YES! Her space was just the right fit for my car!!!! Well, God!!! Thank you!
**I may have mentioned this in one of my previous day journeys while I have been on this trip, but I decide to take a picture of or a selfie with each and every person who blessed or helped me on this trip. I told them I was going to make me a blessing/prayer picture. I came home; made a collage of the pictures printed, so I can pray for them. If this becomes redundant in my post on this particular trip, I apologize, but there are many new readers on each of these days and I want to share how good these people where to help me with the simplest tasks. Giving me a place to park at their home, helping me with putting gas in my car(pumps are in Hebrew) card would not work at pumps – only inside, giving me directions, free gifts, but most of all their time.**
I met two people as I walked toward the area where I had been directed that the FREE shuttle should be, that would take me right to the Dung Gate. I saw a little rain shelter in that middle of the parking lot, but there was no mention of it being for the “Free” shuttle pick up, so I walked back to the opposite side; where I had seen the lady get off of the bus earlier. It was a city bus, not a “free” shuttle.
I have decided in some circumstances…..free and convenience are two total different things and “free” is overrated when the expense is time(that I could have spent in the old city), heat/sun/sweat, already hit 2500 steps, and stress – oh yeah, I’m not doing that today.
God’s time clock in His city – Jerusalem
BUT…I told God I was on His time clock, so this is where the journey was happening today, right now. Believe it or not I was not anxious, really rather peaceful. Hummmm maybe I could learn how to make this a new norm (I am trying, since I know I can do it).
I finally found the shuttle after 3 different conversations, and was told very intensely to not get in ANY van EVER that wasn’t marked on the outside appropriately. This could be very dangerous. My new friend who was Jewish (now IG friends, too), was formerly from NYC, NY. Her and her husband wanted to raise their children in Jerusalem, so they had moved there about 5 years ago. They actually live in a Jewish community that is in an area of the West Bank area outside the city. I feel that she would not have warned me of this if she felt it was unwarranted. This never left my mind. I enjoyed the rest of my wait with a lovely mother & child, and a nice couple from Mexico who come yearly.
We were dropped right outside the gate. Lot’s of traffic happening this morning. More than usual I was told. Besides it was not really morning anymore either, about noon, after my hour and a half parking lot venture….
The Western Wall, ramp to ascend to the Temple mount and several other interesting sites exist in this particular area of the Old City. It was a day for bar mitzvah’s to be taking place. They were happening near the city wall, just down from the the gate of entrance. Another was happening on the men’s side of the Western Wall. They were loud and very interesting to watch. This is a culture, religion, people who are deeply rooted in tradition and values. They are His beloved and chosen. I absolutely love this place.
Direction’s Please – Again….
Looking for shekel’s & the Via Dolorosa – I need to exchange dollars for some shekel’s. This proved more difficult than one would think. But, then again my blonde does sometime reach its roots… It truly, probably was the person looking for them. My journey of EXACTLY where & when I was suppose to be here this day to meet the people in each of the places that I was supposed to meet them and hear every single story that I was supposed to hear.
This kind lady who works a booth that loans shawls to those going to the wall for prayer helped me with a little info on where to find shekel’s & the Via Dolorosa. We visited a bit. She asked why I came back and was not a Jew, in addition she shared why I should be a Jew. Therefore was worried that maybe I had Jerusalem Syndrome (yes, it’s a real syndrome). How come I loved it there that much, but wasn’t a Jew puzzled her. She was sincere on both parts. Reluctantly, she let me take her picture, so I will not post it (well, maybe a little), but she helped me. I will pray that she one day will want to know about my Savior. Careful not to offend their belief, while still stating mine, I cautiously navigate those kinds of conversations.
Ready to go!
There is a lot to do and see still, so I need to get moving. More to follow in Part 2!!! I pray that you are enjoying this journey with Israel me. Sharing all of this is why I think God led me on this journey. I hope it inspires you to be brave, travel more, or meet God where He’s waiting for you.