It's hard to describe the feelings I had knowing I was actually going to Jerusalem. I have wanted to go all my life but never thought it would happen. God is so good that I was afforded the opportunity to go as part of Lille Rose Ministries delegation to the Feast of Tabernacles, and to add my guitar and voice to the worship and praise music that would be happening daily.
The day arrived and anticipation was very high for me. The flight was comfortable and touching down at sunset in Tel Aviv did not show much of the countryside, but I savored every view as we landed, and throughout the taxi ride to Jerusalem.
After settling in, we took a cab to the Old City, Dung Gate entrance, and went straight to the Wailing Wall. Here it was! I was almost feeling like it is was surreal, to view and be standing in front of the most revered place in the world for Jewish people.
I prayed for my ancestors, my family, my friends, for the peace of this great city, and lastly for my trip to be successful.
The feeling of praying in this spot was indescribable.
As we walked away I kept looking at the wall trying to memorize the moment.
Saturday morning I went to the Great Synagogue, for the Shabbat service. This began at 8:30am or so and went until almost 11.
The building was beautiful with displays of mezzuzahs in the lobby cases, and other Judaica.
The service was entirely in Hebrew, but I did recognize most of the liturgy and participated in it. The Torah portion of the service was awesome, as the ark was opened to reveal 24 torahs! An incredible view. One was taken out for the traditional walk around the congregation, and then aliyahs were announced as members got to do the blessing over the readings, while the Rabbi then read from the scroll.
It was a tremendous experience to be in this place my first morning and to feel connected to the whole experience so deeply. Rev. Porter accompanied me and sat up in the ladies area, soaking it up as well, although I am sure she understood much less Hebrew than I. This again showed her true spirit and love for the Jewish people and Israel.
Afterward we visited the King David Hotel a short walk away. This famous place has been host to many of the world's highest level diplomats, and celebrities. Many have signed the floor tiles, which adorn the center of the main hall. It was great to see these, as well as view the displays in the lobby, and the lovely garden out back with its many fruit trees of pomegranate, grapefruit, and aloe.
Also interesting is a look across the street from the King David at the YMCA building which is an awesome structure.
Our first visit to a downtown shop was next, and it held many treasures. Beautiful jewelery and many souvenirs as well as art and rugs. I purchased an exquisite and large Opal mounted on a silver necklace for my wife Shannon.
She was quite pleased when I brought it home.
On Sunday I helped lead a small praise and worship session atop the Mt. Of Olives overlooking the Old City and the Eastern Gate ( Golden Gate). This gate is sealed awaiting messiah's return to break through it! What a view!! The weather was warm and clear, and the city below looked amazing. It was almost surreal to be there and worshiping the Lord in song.
Monday evening was our first meeting of the Feast of tabernacles group. Hundreds packed the meeting room at the Regency,and our group of musicians from the US, Israel and Norway led the praise and worship music. The main speaker Jan Willem Vanderhoven, was powerful n his message on Israel, the US and what the future may hold for relations between the two..
Tuesday we left early for the Gallilee, and the Jordan River. A riveting trip through the desert past many small developments both Palestinian and Israeli. At the Jordan over 60 people were baptized ( mikvahed)in the waters.
It was a very beautiful and spiritual afternoon.
I met delegates from England, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Korea,Holland, China, and many more. All there to show their love and support for God's Holy land.
At dinner I met a brother and sister from Holland who told me about their messianic Jewish friends, and I planned to go to see them the next day.
Once again that night we had powerful messages to hear at our meeting.