Sunday, June 1, 2014 – Israel Trip

Saturday, May 31, 2014
We got up headed to Jerusalem.  It is nice to travel in Israel on the Sabbath Day because there is no traffic.
We got to see several things on our way down South.  We saw Bet She’an, the city where Saul’s and Jonathan’s heads were put on display after they were killed in battle with the Philistines.  We drove on South next to the Jordan River.  We went up the road from Jericho to Jerusalem.  We just had a great drive.  Our photographer, Paul, took hundreds of photos.  I can’t wait to show them to you!
We then dropped Dr. Vineyard off at the hotel and we went to Old City Jerusalem.  We went up the Mount of Olives and then walked down through the Garden of Gethsemane.  Then we went to the City of David Museum and down and saw the foundations of David’s house.  You can clearly see how he could have looked down and saw a woman bathing on the roof of her house.   Then we walked in the Dung Gate and up to the Western Wall and into the synagogue that is under the Temple Mount.
Then we walked down though the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem.  We almost got to the entrance of the Dome of the Rock and we were turned back by the Israeli police because if a non-Muslim goes there at prayer time it will start a riot.   I am so glad that Christ said “Whosoever will may come!”
After walking down the street thought the Muslim Quarter you will begin to think that Jerusalem is like any African city to which I have been – dirty and quite boisterous!  Then, we rounded the corner and found ourselves in the Jewish quarter.  The streets were quiet and clean and we immediately felt the oppression lift.  Wow!
We sure were tired and that is why I did not get this sent yesterday!

Sunday, June 1, 2014
Today, I got up early and had a great time in the word of God.  Sunday is the same as Monday in Israel.  Christians go to church on Saturday here because the work week runs from Sunday thought Friday afternoon.  We sure have been having some great discussions about what we have seen and how the Bible locations have brought more life to the scriptures in our little minds.  My imaginations sometimes have very little to do with reality.
At 10:00 we went to the Prime Minister’s office building for a meeting with Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’allon.   We had a great meeting with him and he told us how he had just authorized the clearing of a mine field so that 700 farms could be built.  He said, “Life and construction rather than death and destruction!”  We only had five minutes with him, but he packed so much into that five minutes that it will take me a while to unpack it.
We got to go see the Dead Sea and Masada today.
This evening we got to go to a restaurant that was owned by some Arab people.  We ate supper with the Mayor, Vice Mayor and a city councilman.   I had a great time talking to an old blind man.  He could not speak any English, but we got along fine though and interpreter.  We sang a song in the restaurant that was next door to a mosque just before the call to the evening prayers.  Those Arabs sure closed the doors quick so that none of their friends could hear us sing.  They said that no Christian lives in that city.  I walked outside just as the mosque prayers were ending and said good evening to the men passing by.  I prayed for them that somehow the truth of the Gospel would be preached to those men.  If you want to see what no hope feels like…
As I write these lines I can truly say that I am glad that I was born in America and in a Christian family and grew up in a church that unashamedly preached the truth!

Joe Consford