Must Have! Pack Right!!
Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Psalm 121: 4 Behold, the Protector of Israel will not slumber or sleep.(BSB)
Zechariah 2: 10“Shout for joy and be glad, O Daughter of Zion, for I am coming to dwell among you,” declares the LORD.(BSB)
In case you do not know of my love for shoes, this is the time to remind you! You may want to benefit from reading my post listed below:
Recognizing my almost seven decades on this planet, I wanted to be kind to myself. We had been warned there would be a lot of walking . . . so I had been walking 3-4 miles per day to condition myself. I was up for all the walking for sure.
The right shoes were given a lot of thought. Growing up in India’s warm climate, we were in open toe shoes the bulk of the year, hence even now, I do my best to stay in sandals for as long as I can. So, I purchased walking open-sneakers AKA good support sandals appropriate for the climate. I also purchased sneakers that were comfortable to just step into (I was totally thrilled I had these for the cooler climate and for the plane).
As prepared as I was, I was not prepared for the terrain! 😒
Must Have: You must have good sneakers, preferably with ankle support, you won’t regret it!
When my foot twisted, I was in sandals. I did all I usually do in prayer. I stood by faith in the finished work on the cross, took authority, rebuked the enemy, claimed my healing and I walked. I was not going to relinquish to the enemy any part of my trip that I saw as a gift from the Lord. I walked, without any hint of a limp all day, across the rocks and stones, up hills and down hill. stepped into tunnels and walked up steep terrain. No pain! Zero!! For this I know I had a miracle, later confirmed by my doctor.
The terrain is not friendly. You will be at a number of archaeological sights, and you will go uphill, downhill and walk on rocks and uneven terrain a lot. That said, I would not have missed out on any of the walking just because of the terrain. I wanted a fully immersive experience, and was happy to see that everyone did the hard walking most of the time.
Chorazin photo from Sudha Mehta
Yes we were on all this terrain!
Chorazim photo from Sudha Mehta
Perry Stone gave a teaching here.
Galilee Photo by Sudha Mehta
These rocks were very slippery, stepping any further would have been entirely perilous.
Ceaseria Phillipi photo from Sudha Mehta
Many more rocky steps than you see. Wrong shoes to wear!
Tel Dan photo by Sudha Mehta
Try as you might, you couldn’t avoid walking on the rocks, again, wear the right shoes.
Photo of terrain in National park from Sudha Mehta
One man from our bus took a bad fall on this walk, injuring himself.
In the span of a day in Israel, it is possible to go from the mountains (Mount Hermon) in the north to the lowest part on planet earth, The Dead Sea, even as you drive through the wilderness. Therefore, it is possible to see different climate changes, along with terrain. You may need a coat in one place, but no jacket and just sandals in another.
If I were to go again, I would take sneakers with ankle support in addition to what I took this time.
Seasonally, I think November is a wonderful time to go, you don’t get extreme heat or extreme cold. Still, I took my light down packable jacket and found it very useful in the colder temperatures since we were outdoors for long periods.
The little “dings” many of us took only allowed opportunity to pray for one another, and we saw healings take place. My friend was the first one. When she fell, We prayed and there were no complications. Like wise when I hurt my foot, I know I received His healing touch.. We also prayed for the lady seated in back of us on the bus who had hurt her knee in a fall, and she too continued on without any complications. The man whose toe became infected, had been walking with his cane, we prayed, the Lord answered, and he didn’t need his cane after that.
At some point I will write on the subject of healing, for now, trust me, our God heals even today. In my life I have seen many healings that can only be called miraculous for their is no other explanation for them. The Bible tells us our God never changes, so if He doesn’t change we can trust that as He did, and as He promised, He continues to do today.
That said, we must also heed His caution when He says STOP. To that end, there was one place where I chose not to walk. That was Petra. This was on the last day before heading back to Jerusalem and to the plane for the many hours long journey.
The back of my knee had developed a swelling due to the stress. I had prayed, and wisdom said, I needed to avoid the 5-6 mile round trip journey which was all downhill one way and therefore all uphill the way back. I knew if I forced myself the plane journey would be an issue.
But I needed to see Petra as well. The “how to get there” part was the question. Interestingly, the options presented were “Walk, ride a donkey, or take a donkey cart.” We were told none of them were “fun.” We were cautioned the donkey cart would be bumpy and not fun. The donkey ride . . . well, if you are up for it! Walking would be long and hard.
Here is how the Lord answered my prayer for this: At the morning breakfast, right before we were to meet up with our guide, an Indian woman I had met the night before in the elevator came looking for me. We had chatted only for a minute or two, but she felt she had to find me this morning. Soon as we met she said, “Don’t take the walk take the Golf-cart.”
“Golf-cart?! No one said anything about a Golf-cart!”
She repeated and said, “Do it only by Golf-cart, it will be a smooth ride and you will not regret it!”
The state my knee was in, I knew this was an answer from God. I knew the Lord had used this precious Indian woman to send me an answer to a question she wasn’t even aware I had!
So I spoke to our guide, who then informed me of the extra cost. It was expensive but I knew He had said this is what I was to do. It worked out that there were three other people that felt this was an answer to prayer, and were happy to ride together and the shared cost was not bad at all.
What a relief! The ride was totally smooth. We missed the teaching given by our guide Michael along the way, however, Muhammed our driver seemed heaven-sent also. He stopped numerous times without our asking, gave a small explanation, and asked if we wanted pictures. Not only did I assent to the stops, I was happy to have my picture taken at every stop. Muhammed even helped negotiate a great price for a lovely necklace I found in Petra from a young vendor.
Petra photo from Sudha Mehta
Nabotean soldiers at Petra photo from Sudha Mehta
Since we returned from the trip sooner than the rest, we had a chance to sit, and relax over tea in the hotel center court which was absolutely lovely. It was a wonderful day and quite a treat all in all. I was soooo glad! We all thanked our Lord and King.
Center court at the Movenpick Resort at Petra.
Israel is supposed to be a land of milk and honey . . . and it is! I had never heard of honey made with dates, but now I know. I can also say, I have never had better dates, figs or olives.
Some things are different in Israel. We were never served pork. It was absent from all buffets. You can expect chicken, fish, lamb and beef.
They also do not mix dairy with meat . . . dietary laws require that. So in the morning at breakfast, no meat was served, and at the evening meal no dairy was served. We missed nothing, and ate plenty.
On Sabbath (Shabbat) pretty much everything shuts down. The people of Israel observe the Sabbath, so on that day we had non-Jews serving our needs. Nothing lacked, except the Israeli Jews took a day off. I missed the Sundays of years gone by when everything in the US would close down. We honored God then . . . today we honor only money! 😢
Their irrigation techniques are amazing, and in a land that has historically been so arid, God has made the desert bloom for His people. Israel is now also making water from air!
Food was extravagant everywhere we went. After three days of supremely delicious three meals, yours truly had to make a change. I decided to have breakfast and lunch but skip dinner. My body, soul and spirit were satisfied and rested.
I am posting some of the many pictures of the buffets in both Israel and Jordan for you to get an idea how well they take care of their guests.
All photos from Sudha Mehta
All photos from Sudha Mehta
In short, both Israel and Jordan hosted us very graciously. Tourism is big business for both countries, and they are very gracious people.
I hope you go. If you have been, I am sure you felt as blessed as I did.
One confession, lately, I had been feeling like I had lost my song. Life had been taking me in a different direction, and teaching had been so much my focus that I had no song in my heart. Well, in Israel, I could not stop singing. No one else needed to sing, but my heart kept bursting with song.
I spent a good lot of money, yet I came back a lot richer! In body exhausted, but in soul and spirit totally refreshed.
I would like to go again! With different shoes!! 😁
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