The Holy Land’s Adventures

HL 7:29-4Experiencing what most Palestinians experience on a daily basis is important to us.  So, to go to church yesterday, we walked through Beit Jala and entered Israel on foot through a guarded checkpoint where passports and bag inspections are required.  Palestinians are not allowed in Israel without a permit and those are difficult to come by.  The wall separating Palestine from Israel is covered in graffiti displaying people’s hopes and dreams for freedom and unity between the two countries.  Being American and Canadian citizens, we were ushered through with absolutely no problems.  Once through the check point, we hopped on a city bus and drove to Jerusalem. 

Our presentation went well!  We helped lead worship and presented the drama, Because We Want To Be Loved.  We have really enjoyed fellowshipping with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ at the East Jerusalem Baptist Church.  The congregation is made up of people from all over the world!  Australia, England, and even Zimbabwe are just a few of them.  Pastor Blaine has asked us back for next Sunday.  

After service, we ate lunch which consisted of our favorite: falafel and shawarma sandwiches.  

Then we clambered down Zedekiah’s Cave, the alleged quarry used by King Solomon to build the Temple.  It is called Zedekiah’s Cave because King Zedekiah supposedly had it build to escape from his enemies…which, it turns out, didn’t go according to plan because he was captured.  There is a pool of water within the cave that legend tells is made up of the tears Zedekiah shed when captured.  To gross the team out, Mike told them it was sewer water from above.  Of course he waited until a few of them had put their hands into the water first.  Funny, funny!   What made the cave even more fascinating, was that it is literally located beneath the Old City.  

After emerging from the underground cave, we boarded a city bus to take us to the Mount of Olives. The panoramic view of the Old City from the mount is Jerusalem’s most iconic view.  It was awe-inspiring. The Temple Mount, set apart by the golden Dome of the Rock, and the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher all stood out from behind Jerusalem’s high ancient walls.  We could also see the sealed Mercy Gate, where Jesus will re-enter Jerusalem when He returns.  

We sojourned from there to the The Holy Sepulcher, a church dedicated to preserving the supposed location of Jesus’ crucifixion and where his body was laid afterward.  Throngs of visitors, eager to kiss the holy monuments, flock to the church daily.  The queue to see the place where Jesus hung on the cross, was packed with people.  People were ready and willing to wait for hours.  

After shopping for additional souvenirs, we headed home, only to discover upon arrival that the gate to Hope School’s compound is broken and we could not get in.  What do you think our Boot Camp trained team did??!!  Jumped the fence of course!!!!  Our Obstacle Course training has literally been put to use now.  Although we are on the correct side of the gate now, I am not sure how the school’s staff will get in for work today!!!  We might have to show them how to “scale a wall”!  

Today we have started mixing and pouring the cement for the greenhouse’s footers.  Work on the greenhouse has been slow going due to the difficulty of gathering the needed supplies and tools.  We are reminded daily that the Palestinian way is NOT the American way.:) The team is anxious to see the building go up, so please pray for favor with the people involved in getting those supplies.  Our guys and gals work hard…we know this based on the amount of food that they eat.:)  Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers…they are definitely felt!!!!!HL 7:29-3 HL 7:29-2 HL 7:28-1


  1. Hello Everyone – and a special greeting and much love to Joshua.
    Thank you so much for the wonderful update about your travels and the details of the work you are doing.
    God is doing great things through you. May He be lifted up in everything you do an say.

    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13.


  2. I am Moriah’s Granny. Been reading the updates over and over and praying each and every day. So thankful that ALL the team has had a chance to go to Israel and see the birthplace of Christianity. These memories and friendships will last a lifetime. Thank you for sending out the updates so that we know how to continue praying for the team. God bless you all and we pray for safety and health.

  3. Klystia Hobbs I can not wait to hear about your trip to Hezekiah’s tunnel in person because that is one place we will be going to also. I have wondered if you all have met any of the students that attend Hope School? I can only imagine how much more engaging your Bible reading time has become with the visualization of the places mentioned in the scriptures. Praying for you Holy Land team and sending you our love.

    Grandma Tama

  4. We so enjoy these updates as we “join in” in our hearts with praise and prayers to our FATHER experiencing HIS will and HIS love through HIS SON, our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Thank you all for showing the love of JESUS, especially through your hands and feet!

  5. rich and amy fetterhoff

    Praying for your group daily that you’ll have endurance to finish that huge job and get the material you need. Praying for a life-long positive impact spiritually for each member of the group and the people you come in contact with…..

  6. Timothy Kennelly

    Thanks for the update. We are praying your work goes well and that each member has great experience and grows spiritually.

  7. I really enjoyed the post especially the part about you having to climb the wall and the skills you use at boot camp. I can’t believe the size of that green house your building. Just by looking at it gives us a better understanding of the way we need to pray for you. I hope you get it done before you leave. May God bless your work and protect you as you serve Him. I am sure the people you’re serving there really appreciate all your doing. I hope that you continue be blessed as you bless others.

    Marty Smouse

  8. What an awesome adventure in an area so rich in religious history. My thoughts and prayers are with Gabe and the team. Thanks for the accounts.

  9. Jennifer Brooks

    Thanks so much for this great update. You guys are awesome! What a great opportunity you have- to be in the land where Jesus was. I hope some of you (Emily) are learning how to make falafel and shawarma. We pray for all of you- God’s blessing, protection and growth in your lives.

  10. Thanks for the update! I know you have been busy, but I have been checking ALL THE TIME!!! So good to hear from you. It sounds like you are having a great experience. Even jumping the fence! 🙂 Have you received any mail? We pray for you daily…for you all! Health and Safety, that you bless the Lord and those around you! And that you grow in wisdom and knowledge of HIM! 16 more days…if you’re counting!!! 🙂

  11. Thank you for that wonderfully descriptive account of your Sunday activities. I pray that each of you is inspired by being in the Holy Land. Lots of love to my neice Miranda and my prayers are with you!

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