Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adventures in Israel

What an incredible experience my reconnaissance trip to Israel has been!  I was immediately able to connect with the University of the Holy Land (UHL) and participate in their weekly doctoral seminar. I met several of the Ph. D students and the President of the university, Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Dr. Stephen Pfann and his wife Claire.  She graciously gave me and John Glueck a tour of Hebrew University because UHL is a sister school meaning most of the classes are on campus at Hebrew University.  It was good to get familiar with my surroundings and it helped me figure out what part of Jerusalem we should live in.  I also toured a few apartments in the area to get a feel for the pricing and size.   After getting my head around everything and talking with some locals, an apartment agent, and UHL, it seems to make the most sense to wait until the big move to rent an apartment.  Clint and Janet Glenny ( allowed us to stay in their apartment for free -- a huge blessing!  And, they have graciously offered us their apartment when we move next month until we find a place.  This will save us several thousand dollars plus Leah can give her input on new home.  Halleluyah! 

As if this was not exciting enough, John and I were able to visit Yad Hashmonah just outside of Jerusalem overlooking the Judean Hills.  We had a wonderful time fellowshipping with many followers and getting a taste of the discipleship training.
Tom with Asher Intrater
I attended a few different congregations and these were great experiences. I have also been informed of numerous other congregations in Jerusalem for us to connect with when we get here -- so many opportunities!
Riding with John from Ashdod to Ashkelon with food for the
substance abuse program
On the last day of the trip John and I spent some time in Ashdod and the surrounding cities.  We connected with a humanitarian organization and participated in their daily distribution of food and clothing for the poor. We were able to meet and speak with some of the local needy people including one survivor of a terrorist bomb.  The inhabitatants live with the daily threat of rockets and John and I experienced the calm composure of our hosts during of few of these! Can you imagine living every day knowing a rocket could hit your home, or someone you know? Please pray for the Jews in Ashdod and Ashkelon.

In Judea
In 4 and 1/2 weeks we'll be in Israel, pending our visa appointment on January 22nd, so stay tuned for more adventures.

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