Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Israel . . . and Jordan!
Sea of Galilee Photo by Sudha Mehta
Genesis 12: 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you: 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: (AKJV)
I have just returned from Israel and Jordan.
This was my first trip. A lifelong dream finally fulfilled, I am ready to process my thoughts with you all.
It won’t be done in one post, but I am sure it will reflect in my writing . . . and it should!
To start I must say is that I recommend a trip to the land of Israel for everyone. History comes alive, and in this case it is not just any history, it is evidence of the Messiah who took the form of man and came from Heaven to show us the way home to Father God.
In the ten days that we spent there, we toured from the Northern most to the Southern tip, as well as East to West. I am so grateful that my camera recorded every location and shows me a map of the region, and exactly where I was when I took the pictures. It helps me much for referencing when I look at that map.
Mount Nebo where Moses was shown the Land Photo by Sudha Mehta
The one thing I missed was “Time.” Time to slowly take it all in, time to retain, time to meditate, time to pray and commune with the Lord at the many sites. If I could, I would return many times. Should I go again, I would like to spend time at each location to breathe the air, soak it all in . . . to think on the Word and speak with my Lord!
Perhaps He will allow me to go again . . .
Friends and family are asking me to share my thoughts. I am and will!
A common theme seems to emerge as I process my trip. I went to see History and the Land, I came to love the it all, but in the here and now of it, I came to love the people everywhere . . . both in Israel and Jordan.
I took the trip with a large Ministry that I follow. It is Perry Stone Ministries also known as Voice of Evangelism. Perry stone is one of my favorite teachers.
The travel agency that arranged the tour is Noseworthy Travel Services. Why they call it that is unknown to me . . . 😁. That said, every arrangement made by them was superb.
Although it was a large group, and arrangements had to be made to accommodate everyone and everything, it all ran smoothly and flawlessly. We were well taken care of. There is nothing at all that I could say negative about any of the arrangements.
Amphitheater at Ceaserea Maritoma Photo by Sudha Mehta
Our hosts from the Ministry were gracious and met every need. Our hosts . . . that is, the people of Israel and Jordan were absolutely wonderful, gracious and courteous, hospitable, polite and welcoming. Everywhere we went we were met with smiles and a heartwarming welcome. I say this not only of the hotel staff, shopkeepers etc. (of whom it may be said by skeptics that they had much to gain from our business), but of strangers young and old who had nothing to gain from us. I had conversation with Jewish, Christian and Arab Muslims and even a couple of Beduins, and all were equally gracious and full of smiles.
Our Driver at Petra in Jordan Photo from Sudha Mehta
Here in the USA, I am told the water from the tap is not safe for drinking, there in Israel the water from the tap is safe. The food was elaborate enough to satisfy any king or queen. It was delicious, fresh prepared and wholesome. I only wanted to eat local cuisine, not American, Chinese or even Indian food. I did see that their spices are very much the same as I use in Indian food, but I had known that from the Bible. The lunches we ate were a closer reflection of what it would have been like to sit at the table with Jesus and the disciples, especially one lunch that we had at a place called “Shepherd’s Tent.” Here even the bread came as a hot huge round flat Pita, prepared as it would have been then and we had to tear it and pass it around. It was much more traditional.
At one Kibbutz we were served a lunch that included what is called St. Peter’s fish from the Galilee. I don’t know if this was the type of fish Peter caught to get the coin for the tax as Jesus instructed, but this was the first time I had a whole grilled fish on my plate . . . I imagined the fish and the loaves . . . and the breakfast Jesus served His disciples after the resurrection on the shores of Galilee.
John 21: 9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. . . . 12 Jesus said to them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples dared ask him, Who are you? knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then comes, and takes bread, and gives them, and fish likewise.(AKJV)
St. Peter’s Fish photo by Sudha Mehta
For the ten days we were in the Holy Land, we were in essence a traveling church. There were several buses that carried us, and each bus had about forty people.
These forty people were in themselves a small church. We came from all corners of the USA, but some also from other Nations. The blessing was and is that when we meet anyone from anywhere in the World, as Christians we feel like family. We have the same God and Father who has given us eternal life and whom we serve.
Sitting at a dinner table we got to know each other understanding that we all serve the One God, One Lord, One Savior, and that we were all indwelt by the One Holy Spirit. We were brothers and sisters.
Acts 2: 46 With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. (BSB)
Lunch Photo by Sudha Mehta
I met men and women young and old, and every age in-between. Professionals, retirees from various professions, ministers and spouses, students, musicians and so much more. Each had a story uniquely his/her own. We knew no age, color or race difference.
I met a sweet couple who had both been through major surgery just three weeks prior to coming, yet they came. You can see them on the right in the above photo. They are humble servants of the Lord who have served in the Ministry as Pastors for decades, and nothing was going to stop them from doing this journey. It meant rising above all physical challenges, and trust me they had enough, but their laughter and funny as well as miraculous stories kept us all engaged.
I saw grace immeasurable extended when I saw that one retired sister traveling alone fell and broke her arm, and a young nurses aide from another state stepped up to help and nurse her through this journey. They were strangers to each other . . . yet it was as it should be, the love of the Lord makes us love our neighbor as we ourselves are loved by Him.
There were many tales like this and some not so good ones that I will share as time goes.
I met wonderful people that I will probably not meet again on this side of heaven, yet I know that when we see each other on the other side in heaven we will know one another and embrace as family, brothers and sisters.
My friend (left) and I at the Temple Museum Photo by Sudha Mehta
As we parted ways returning home, I had only my friend who had traveled with me. I think we were content knowing all we learned and seeing all we had. We also understood that we will each take months processing, this was a gift overload that will keep giving as time moves on and I know it will show in what I write.
This is one of many blog posts that I will share with you about my journey. I hope you will stay tuned. For today I will stop here.
Since I am still in process of getting my thoughts together, I hope you will be patient. I will share as much as the Lord gives.
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