Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 4: another yesterday

Window cleaning crew

baby lovin

meet our driver :)
To encapsulate "today" (once again we'll pretend yesterday is today) let's focus on the wise words spoken earlier by Ms.Becky, "Who needs a gym membership when you have a church?" Today was arm day.

With the roar of the tiger, which sounds more like hacking of a hairball, we arose to begin another day of service. Half of the women of the group stayed behind at the B&B to clean and bless the ministry there (did I mention it is run by messianic jews?). Their to-do list lasted all afternoon and then some, but smiles never left their faces.

I left with the remaining group to serve another ministry just up the mountain called Kehilat Ha Carmel. Relying on faith alone the founders trusted God when He told them †o start drug rehabilitation centered. Being the only rehab center in Israel at the time, Kehilat Ha Carmel was able to meet a huge need through God's great plan. The ministry quickly grew to be a place for women and Sudanese refugee children to call home and a house of worship for messianic believers. Just one step on neatly groomed grounds resting on the highest part of the mountain, and you immediately feel the presence of God.

I chose to wash windows. No, these were more like giant walls of glass that needed to bathed at least three times. God really reinforced patience in my heart as I wiped and wiped then rewiped. The amazing thing was, no matter how much elbow grease I burned at each window, I really didn't feel it. As giggly Sudanese babies ran around and believers from every corner of the earthed jubilantly served, I could see place God loved and I wanted to love it just as much.

After a long day of work and a filling lunch served by Kehilat Ha Carmel, the team regrouped to have a special shabbat dinner and time of prayer and worship together. In those moments I was reminded of what a loving and God-fearing family I received by being a part of the Israel team. It has been such a blessing to learn customs and share burdens with this group.
got my hurr did


Prayer: Pray for the ministry at Kehilat Ha Carmel as love every person that comes across their path

Praise: We accomplished more than we had planned...and I got to snuggle with adorable kiddos at the ministry :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 3: Yesterday

Distribution Center

Atta girl!
 Well I guess you've figured it out by now, I'm a slacker. I'm sorry I neglected the blog last night. So let's have a little fun and pretend that today is actually yesterday and I tell you a tale about sweet Israel (who doesn't love cheesy rhymes?)

After an exhausting day of airplane adventures, the team was finally ready to get to work for the land we flew 11 hours for. You know God has done a work in your heart when you wake up giddy simply thinking of cleaning (not sure if I'll feel the same when I have to clean my room at home). For the next 5 hours I pulled stubborn desert weeds, scrubbed floor tiles, and watched a humble team clean every nook and cranny with the biggest smiles on their faces. What made this experience even more rewarding was the story of the building that received our care.

Nestled by a soon-to-be apartment complex and train station sits Tents of Mercy. Definitely a building, not a tent! This is place that distributes clothes and food to the needy in the community. Not only does this organization provide physical needs, but it meets spiritual needs. Tents of Mercy is run by Messianic believers who never stop loving and growing in their ministry with messianic services held in the very building. They even have plans to open a coffee shop around the same time as the new train station. God perfectly planted this building in a place only He could know would be bustling with people someday. It's crazy to see how everything fits together, especially since the current location was not the original location. The original location was firebombed in the early 90s. Everything but a parcel notice was destroyed, which meant the ministry had to be relocated. That was when God opened the doors for the current place to be used. The ministry can now serve and love more simply because they own a building in a location superior to the other. The leader of the ministry said they prayed for God's fire to fall upon them and they were blessed even if it was in the literal sense. Being a hand in such a great organization is an incomparable blessing when you realize as you serve the Jews your are really serving the King of the Jews. And that makes every dirt stain and sore muscle worth the while.

After all the action the team gave blood at the Magen David Adom (similar to the Red Cross). Well those who weren't unqualified or squeamish. Yeah, I was definitely not in that bunch. As the blood was  flowin another group including myself took a tour of MDA. During this time I ran into a MDA volunteer who also works with Christian Friends of Israel (the organization I volunteered with last summer in Israel). I also ran into another godly woman I had met at MDA last year who keeps me updated with all the latest in MDA emails. And to top it all of I had a great encounter with a girl the same age as me who volunteers with MDA. She was beyond excited to praise all the wonderful things MDA does and she even got this girl, a girl who faints when finger pricked, interested in summer course especially for young adults that allows them to work on call with medics. Those who were able to give blood help to meet a tremendous need. Israel needs a new blood donation every seven seconds. Even though I couldn't assist in this area, God still used the people only He could put on my path whisper something beautiful. He is always with Israel and he is alive in the people who sacrifice so much all throughout the land.

We wrapped up the evening with a special time of worship and prayer on Mt.Carmel. I wish the pictures I took could actually capture the beauty of every inch of the mountain lit up at night, but maybe you'll just have to go to Israel to experience that! One thing that really stood out at  prayer time were words softly spoken by sweet Vinu; to pray that the truth of God will come upon the city of Haifa and shine brighter than every light on that hillside.


Prayer: Continue to pray for Tents of Mercy & volunteers at MDA as they continue to serve and sacrice
Praise: God gave us the financial means to bless Tents of Mercy

Hard at work!

Not afraid to get dirty


Valeria from MDA


Worship on Mt.Carmel

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day Two

Sunset on the Mediterranean Sea
The Blue Crew

DINNA-Quiche, salad, & apple juice
Guess where I am? Okay there's really no guessing necessary, I AM IN ISRAEL!!!

It has been a lengthy journey and I am thoroughly exhausted so please pardon whatever follows. Honestly, all my mind can focus on is the roaring of a white tiger outside my window. Umm, yea I am at the coolest bed and breakfast, but I'll get to that later.

Everything that happened in the past however many hours has blurred into a wonderful medley of blue polos, airplane food, turbulence, and a smidge of sleep. Actually, my prayer partners must have been on their knees all night because that was by far the best overseas flight I've had. After an hour or so of watching Les Mis I was out. For a l o n g time. When I awoke the captain made an announcement that we were an hour and a half away from our destination! God bless my prayer warriors, I was granted sleep.

So now I still feel like I am rocking on a plane which makes every sentence an adventure. I also have a really early wake up call so I am going to make this short and sweet. Prayers were felt as we traveled and we were blessed with an amazing B&B to rest overlooks a zoo, hence the roaring tiger :)


Prayer: My mom and Ms.Paula have been feeling under the weather
Praise: We are in God's promised land!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day One

We lift pianos 

Cleaning the ministry house
It has begun and we haven't even left the country.

It would make sense to write the events of the day in sequential order. You know, start with something like, "We started the day in the heart of our city working in a Messianic ministry house." But, I can't stop thinking about what has happened the past few hours so I'll just let the pictures retell the earlier events of the day.

Our team spent the past three hours in fervent prayer. Spending any length of time personally with God guarantees blessing because it is what He desires, but the team prayer time was so much more than a blessing. It was a time when my team sought repentance, direction, and protection in an indescribably honest way. I know that the mis-scheduling was no accident. God created a perfect opportunity for the team to be like-minded before the real trip began.

This cutie cheerfully cleans
As I keep staring at the keyboard in attempts to formulate my personal state, I come to a blank. My team member Ashley beautifully described what has happened- I am speechless and breathless in the presence of God. Like I said yesterday, I was in desperate need of purposeful prayer time. Tonight, God lifted the burdens that I had been clinging to and enveloped me with peace. Praise God for his perfect plan! I can say I am ready, like really ready to wrap the people of Israel up in the love God has placed in my heart.

Part of me wishes I spent more time describing the wonderful details of our service work at the messianic ministry house. Like how the woman in charge began to cry as she thanked us for our service. Or how every creepy crawly snake, spider, roach, and frog came out from hiding as we cleaned. But, that is for another time. For now I hope that my story of the power of prayer will inspire you to seek God at this moment in prayer. He longs to have a conversation with you :)


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Israel: Volume II

It's been a year since my last trip to Israel and although I may be classified as a veteran Israeli traveler, some things never change. Just like last year I am sitting on my bedroom floor attempting to translate every thought and detail that is racing through my head only hours before my last sleep in my bed until I return. I am confident that my suitcase won't be completely packed until the morning and I am struggling with how I want to word my next sentence. Thankfully, these are only minor setbacks.

The land of Israel so enraptured me that I wanted to return the day I left. My friends will testify to the impact serving Israel has made on my life because it is all I ever talk about. As much as I long to serve in God's holy land, I'll admit I'm struggling. A year ago I was apprehensive about the trip, but I was not unprepared. From fundraisers to conversations there was abundant affirmation that I was spiritually prepared for the trip. This time around it's different. It's not that I'm lacking in spiritual support from friends, believe me I know who my prayer partners are! I think my struggle stems from  a lack of personal preparation. With everything from moving to graduating, my schedule has been beautifully and ridiculously busy. But God works all things for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

Due to an miraculous chain of events our flight that was scheduled to leave Monday was booked for Tuesday. Technically, the team is losing a day, but in the long run we are gaining so much more. As quickly as our flight changed doors opened for the team to serve the Jewish community in our hometown. It gets better. After serving our team will spend the evening praying and preparing our hearts for the trip. There could be many reasons for this change of events, but to me it seems like God is saying, "Maddy you will finally have the time to spiritually prepare for this trip." Yep, I can dig that.

In about twelve hours the journey begins, even if I haven't left my home state. Please keep the team in your prayers as we serve and seek what God wants us to do in His chosen land. Cannot wait for what's in store tomorrow!



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

final thoughts

Hallelujah I'm finally feeling better & can write!!!

so what happened the past few days & what did I think????

The end of the trip was busy ,busy,busy!! We were able to tour many places w/ detailed info thanks to our awesome tour guide. Unfortunately, we had very little rest time so I'm really looking forward a nice bubble bath & my bed :) 

Thursday started w/ a trip to the oldest remaining village in Israel. Now I understand why archeologists are obsessed w/ their work, it's bc the final result is mesmerizing. 
Friday we climbed to the Mt of Olives, scaled King David's tower,toured the Israeli Museum, and visited the possible location of Jesus' tomb.
Saturday we visited the Western Wall aka the wailing wall, traveled through the Rabbi's tunnel ( a tunnel underneath the western wall), went to the temple institute, and climbed the southern steps.

Now, how do I feel about all that & and the rest of my trip???

Being in God's chosen land is life changing. If you've ever had a youth camp spiritual high then you can imagine what sleeping in Israel is like. Being awake in the Holy Land is a gajillon more times powerful! The people are so compassionate and the land is beautiful. I wish I could put into words how I feel about the land, but the connection is indescribable and can only be translated when you visit it yourself :)

I hope that this blog has led you to think about & even pray for a land that has very little friends. 
                                                                                    Isaiah 62:1-2

                                           For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
                      for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
                                        till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
                         her salvation like a blazing torch.

                                        The nations will see your vindication,
                            and all kings your glory;
                                         you will be called by a new name
                      that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
Thank you so very much for continually praying for the team. Your prayers were definitely felt & answered!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shalom Israel

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I couldn't get wifi in my room :(

Right now I'm in the US & will be home later. I'm planning to recap everything that has happened in the past few days but for now here are some pics

I already miss Israel!!

Praise: no flight problems so far
Prayer: I have had horrible stomach pains lately

garden of gethsemane 

@ Israeli Muesum flashback to APWH!

possible place of Jesus' tomb

feet in the Jordan River (see the Jordanian soldiers in the background?)

high tech game!