May 8, 2008, Thursday ~ Depart Portland, Oregon International Airport (PDX) at 7:35 AM
Perhaps this is the place to share the miracle that I shared with so many in Israel, as people generally ask a leading question about why one is visiting Israel. Even though the dream of visiting Israel had been tucked away in a little pocket in my heart for most of my life, I rarely shared the hope of visiting Israel with anyone. Three to four years ago Amanda Spunda, Venlo, Holland, forwarded Pastor Daniel Rozen a copy of our HGRM America Israel Prayer Shield monthly prayer and then he contacted me. Through the years he has provided answers to theological questions and sent teaching regarding Judaism and its relationship to Christianity. Our ministry has been deeply blessed by his passionate faithfulness to YESHUA! The Holy Spirit inspired, Pastor Rozen and his wife, VeredChen to begin praying for “GOD to touch one heart” to send me to Israel. I did not know about their prayers. I remain eternally grateful for all the prayers I do not know about. Two years ago, a woman in the American Military in Kuwait found our ministry website and placed an order for Holy Anointing Oil. We corresponded occasionally, and it was quite a surprise to me that in May 2007 the Holy Spirit directed her to invite me to join her on the GODTV Tour May 2008, all expenses paid. As we have never met this gesture was not only “over the top” it is just rare in my Christian walk. Many people make promises, yet experientially, I have found very few keep their commitments. In the late fall of 2007, Israel was closed to the American Military, and so she wrote and said that I was to go to Israel without her, still all expenses paid. This made her commitment even more precious to me. She was transferred to Afghanistan and communication by email became more challenging. The connections with the tour company was sporadic at best and finally on April 18, 2008, 18 days after the deadline to register and make payment, the GODTV Land Tour was confirmed, not the airfare. After many more logistical and technical challenges the airfare was confirmed April 25, 2008 only 13 days before departure. The LORD allowed these delays to provide opportunity for me to stay an extra week in Israel. I have found ELOHIM rarely looks as things the way I do…but HE does cause me to look at things the way HE does…the pure, righteous, perfectly timed and ordered way.
There were many others who sent offerings to provide for the second week in Israel including one unique amount of $333.00, which I mention because of the Jeremiah 33:3 Scripture that the Holy Spirit has been echoing in my spirit for weeks. A dear friend and brother in the LORD, Jack Van Hatten III, sent the $333 and said to keep it in an envelop in cash until the LORD said that it was time to spend it, which I did as per his request.
In this season. I am a full-time graduate student at Marylhurst University, working part-time as an on-call for a financial firm and devoting all remaining hours of my life to ministry and my family.
May 9, 2008, Friday ~ The 777- jet plane arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel at 4:15 PM. A child’s dream, a prayer and a hope were answered the moment I stepped off the plane. Others were rushing past to retrieve their luggage after the 18-hour flight and I just stood still in a holy moment in time recognizing in a single moment the dream I had waited for 49 years had just come true. I was living the dream. I have not yet met one person in Israel, yet I felt like I had come home.
After months of seemingly endless rain in the Northwest of America, I heartily welcomed the warm spring desert sunlight of Tel Aviv. Pastor Rozen found me in the crowd of a myriad of expectant groups waiting for shuttles, tour guides and family. With navigational expertise he managed the luggage and the ensuing drive to Jerusalem where I would lodge at the grandeur Regency Hyatt Hotel as part of the GODTV Tour – the largest tour to ever visit Israel – 1800 people. As we followed the ancient road now a modern highway on the way to the hotel, we stopped by the Mount of Olives and prayed. I will always remember my first place to visit in Israel was the Mount of Olives. As James Michener describes in The Source,
The trunks were gnarled, their branches broken. Many retained no center wood at all, for the years had rotted away their cores, leaving only fragments standing, but these were sufficient to provide the twisted arms of the tree with life and in the late spring the olives were covered with those grey-green leaves that made the trees so attractive. Each wind that came down the ancient road, rustled these leaves, turning the aspect of the grove from green to gray to some intermediate shimmering color.
This was truly a sacred moment in time, a kairos moment in my life. I felt like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon with wet fragile wings as we walked among those lovely gray green trees whose leaves swirled upward in varied patterns turning new faces to the sun and shimmering like jewels. The spiritual experience was too powerful and sacred to formulate into words.
There was a bit of confusion at the hotel with room assignments. When we arrived at the room after trekking down the maze of long carpeted hallways and unlocked the door to my hotel room, we were greeted with another person's set of luggage. Pastor Rozen navigated his way back to the lobby while I sat on top of the luggage and waited. The 18-hour flight was catching up and I was not sure I could take another step. In about 20 minutes, Pastor Rozen came with a new room key, picked up the luggage and I followed him through the maze of carpeted halls once again to a room on the other side of the hotel. Gratefully Pastor Rozen managed that transition. Somewhere between not knowing the language and being awake for about 48 hours, check-in was a little blurry.
We then went to Pastor Rozen’s home in Jerusalem for Shabbat Dinner. The trip had already reached perfection and I could not begin to anticipate it could be better than this moment in time…in Israel…at Shabbat Dinner…with those who prayed faithfully for three years for me to visit them. How sweet it is! Praise the Name of YESHUA! During the evening the Rozen family welcomed me with a card and the Scripture Jeremiah 33:3 “Call - cry out, speak out, proclaim, call out loudly, calling upon the LORD or upon HIS name - to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. The LORD was echoing again the word HE spoke to me while preparing for the trip.
As today, May 9, 2008 is Lola Isaacson, my grandmother’s 99th birthday and I pondered that on the very long flight over. The timing is a bit too obvious. Even though she stepped through heaven’s gates 20 years ago, I am realizing this trip is also an answer to her prayers…how sweet and rich it is to have the cognitive memory of my grandmother praying for me and my children.
May 10, 2008, Saturday ~ The GODTV tour began this morning at the Mount of Olives with 1800 gathered for a group photo - seriously, a welcome from Rory Alec of GODTV and a bit of worship and then through the Joppa Gate, down the Via Dolorosa - Way of the Cross - to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, The Stations of the Cross, The Lion’s Gate and The Garden of Gethsemane - all common places to visit in the times of the Knights of Templar. Perhaps the place that touched my spirit the deepest was during the tour of the Garden of Gethsemane…although the building was ornate, the mosaics simply amazing, the 2000 year old olive trees beyond description…as we were leaving I passed a rose bush called “Double Delight”…it is very familiar rose bush to me as my twin sister and I gave one to my Dad for his rose garden a few months before he moved to heaven October 4, 2000. There were those along the path in the Garden of Gethsemane humming/singing “I Come to the Garden Alone” a familiar Christian hymn from my childhood and one of my Dad’s favorite hymns…and I know my ABBA ADONAI is remembering my Dad in this place…and I am so humbled by HIS relentless love for me.
May 11, 2008, Sunday ~ Mother’s Day in America, The CALL with Lou Engle was being held in Jerusalem, Israel and the closing of the Global Day of Prayer…we met at the Convention Center in Jerusalem as many pilgrims are making the journey to Jerusalem in this season. The Convention center is filled to overflowing and gratefully a single space is found in the balcony. Immediately my eyes take note of a beautiful flag of the World just a few seats away. It is identical to the one at Love’s Way Community Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, USA. After a few moments I ask the owner of the flag if I just might use it for a bit. Ahhhhhh…now I am at home…flags overhead, worship music of Misty Edwards coming from the keyboard, prayers of Mike Bickel and Lou Engle being released…who would have imagined that I would be in Israel at this strategic season in the earth’s history? A gift from ABBA ADONAI!
Pastor Rozen picked me up in the late afternoon and we went to a family’s home, from his congregation, for prayer and a Bible Study, then he graciously returned me to the hotel and after dinner I began uploading and editing photos which I did every evening for the remainder of the tour.
May 12, 2008, Monday ~ Each morning a sign in the lobby of the hotel indicated when our tour bus ~ number 22 which was symbolic of Genesis 22 and Revelation 22 throughout the remainder of the tour~ filled with about 40 people would be leaving. This morning we headed north to Galilee. On the way to Galilee we could see the Bedouin Tent Dwellings and many hundreds of acres of dry, parched desert. We stopped by Ginosar for lunch, then to the Mount of Beatitudes for a brief visit, on the shores of Galilee, then to Capharnaum ~ Capernaum-City of Naum~ to visit the synagogue archaeological ruins and the home of Peter’s Mother-in-law. This little city so impacted me as the geography of the area helped me understand and visualize the reality of the Scriptures, the fishing boats on the sea of Galilee, the synagogue where YESHUA taught, the places where he walked and talked with his disciples, where so many miracles occurred and where Peter walked on water. The area was filled with archaeological ruins of the 1st, 4th and 5th century. Simply amazing. The evening held a prophetic worship concert by Kim Clement at Mount Carmel where ABBA ADONAI destroyed the false gods through the faith and obedience of Elijah the prophet.
May 13, 2008, Tuesday ~ The Old City of Jerusalem called to us once again with a visit to the Dormition Abbey which holds a crypt of Mary, the Jerusalem Archaeological Center next to the Western Wall, the Dung Gate, Armenian Quarter and the Jerusalem Cardo. A few years ago, while standing in New York City looking up at the Empire State Building I was just overwhelmed by the technological advances of humankind and wondered “how does one build an empire state building?” and then walking through the Jerusalem Cardo of the 5-7th Century I found myself wondering the same thing “how does one make so many giant marble pillars?” that survive at least 1500-1600 years of history filled with wars. What kind of mechanical and engineering genius did this take? And who was the genius that designed the cistern holding thousands of gallons of water?
May 14, 2008, Wednesday ~ With the sun warm overhead, we headed south of Jerusalem towards the Dead Sea, Masada and Qumran. I felt much gratitude this day and for the many that devotedly lived in the communities of the 1st century and their willingness to keep such accurate records of their daily living so that 2000 years later, I could touch, see, feel and experience their history. The time constraints and crowds of people were sufficient to keep me from swimming in the Dead Sea and experiencing the open public mud baths…perhaps next time. I believe Masada and Qumran are among the most important experiences in Israel because of the historical and educational impact. It was a complete miracle of GOD that I was physically able to hike around Masada for a couple of hours. How grateful I am for just One Touch of YESHUA that releases such profound healing.
The evening held an amazing gathering celebration in the Jerusalem Archaeological Center near the Western Wall of a 60th Anniversary Celebration for Israel’s Statehood which included worship, the sound of 200 Shofars, the wall of the city lit with lamps and fireworks over the Mount of Olives. I was loaned a Rainbow Covenant flag for worship, so I climbed up on a piece of marble pillar and was delighted beyond words to worship in this place.
May 15, 2008, Thursday ~ A journey to the Garden Tomb with communion and worship was a celebration in revelation and time. It is a Sabbath’s Day walk, three-fourths of a mile from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem. The Garden Tomb we visited is one of many in Jerusalem that are similar to the tomb where YESHUA was buried. This tomb was close to Skull Rock, Golgotha and has been in the care of a group of people from England for 114 years.
In the afternoon, we went to En Karem where John the Baptist was born. It is amazing to see the place that is built around and over a simple cave where a baby was born. One common question that I have been asked about the tour is the city of Bethlehem. We were not able to go to Bethlehem because it is a Muslim community and Jewish people are not allowed entrance. The GODTV tour provided elegant meals each morning and evening at the hotel with a five-star buffet which always held hard cooked eggs, pita bread, many types of olives and hummus even for breakfast. This day was the close of the GODTV Tour and I am beyond grateful for an extra week as I am not ready to depart Israel.
May 16, 2008, Friday ~ Pastor Rozen picked me up and transferred me to the Prima Royal Hotel. I was blessed to be in a business suite, on the top floor which provided internet access in the room. These are small but valued details when one travels. We traveled to Tel Aviv in the afternoon to meet with a group of intercessors from a Russian Community. Their passion and strength touched me deeply. Although I was sent to minister to them, I was profoundly ministered to by their deep love and kindness. Two of the women were Holocaust survivors. Although, I so appreciated the opportunity to visit the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem earlier in the week, what I kept hearing from the Holy Spirit was not only to honor those who died but to champion, encourage, build up, exhort and honor those who survived. Perhaps a Memorial of Honor needs to be built to honor the Holocaust survivors because they are truly a deep strong blue-scarlet cord woven into Israel’s history. My heart was melted in humility before the LORD as I was overtly honored to pray for these two women as well as the others that gathered. Gratefully, Pastor Rozen speaks 5-6 languages and translated from English to Russian for those that gathered.
May 17, 2008, Saturday ~ Sabbath was spent in prayer and final preparation for the 3rd Anniversary Gathering held in Tel Aviv, for the Jerusalem Foundation Living Stones Congregation. Many other ministries/churches in the city came to celebrate and the power of the Holy Spirit came like the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and we were all so blessed to be in the intense and powerful presence of an Almighty Loving God. I was humbled, blessed and honored to bring the message for their Anniversary Gathering. It was over five hours of worship, prayer, celebration and fellowship.
May 18, 2008, Sunday ~ The day of Abraham…the day of Hebron. We drove through a highly guarded area with military outposts along the way to a Jewish Community in Hebron. The first week of the GODTV tour was with 40 people on a tour bus and the second week of Israel was with Pastor Rozen on a private tour of places that were important to him for me to see. He asked me what I would like to see in Israel and I said, “Whatever the Holy Spirit impresses upon you.” We took the “I AM!” Holy Anointing Oil and the "I AM!" For the Nations of America and Israel! Prophetic Worship Glory Ring to Hebron for prayer, impartation and release over the land.
Before leaving Hebron, where Abraham was given the promise in Genesis 15:5, we stopped by an Israeli Jewish bakery at 11:11 am and the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Scriptures:
Luke 11:11 -13, ...where Jesus is speaking, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask HIM!”
Hebrews 11:11 -12, “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man (Abraham), and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude – innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.”
"For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; but the land which cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your GOD are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year” (Deuteronomy 11:10-11).
We left Hebron and went to Efrata a little community north of Bethlehem a place that is also considered the birth place of the Messiah. Then on to Har Huma a relatively new community that overlooks Bethlehem. We also prayed, proclaimed, imparted and released “I AM!” Holy Anointing Oil and the “I AM!” For the Nations of America and Israel! Prophetic Worship Glory Ring in this place. I was completely surprised to notice two - double portion - padlocks with the numbers 333 engraved on the surface of two containers that were buried in the ground. For me, it was rather obvious that the Holy Spirit was continuing to highlight Jeremiah 33:3 once again.
Then we jaunted over to the Olive Columns near Rachel’s tomb and the fields where Ruth gleaned in the fields of Boaz. This was also the location of a military outpost of the Six-Day-War 40 years ago in Israel. We specifically prayed for healing of the families of the Six-Day-War and that YESHUA, our Redeemer, who Boaz was a type and symbol of His coming, would come fully to Israel and be the Kinsman Redeemer for Israel. We poured out “HIS Kinsman Redeemer!” Holy Anointing Oil! in this place. At the Kibbutz Rachel Ramat, Pastor Rozen found a large “government sealed” menorah on a half-price sale then reduced even more because of favor of the LORD for me to take home. It is honoring to barter in Israel and might I say Pastor Rozen was quite the proficient barterer. I had hoped to take home a Menorah and a Shofar from Israel. Although, we did not know this gift shop was offering a sale, the Holy Spirit did, and I felt HIS favor just showering me every day.
As our Holy Spirit led tour continued, we stopped by a Greek Orthodox Church on Hebron Road in Jerusalem. It is a place associated with Elijah and Elisha. As I was walking near the garden an elderly man with a very large cross approached me and greeted me. He asked me if I had any questions or if he could help me in any way. There was a holy presence around him and his handshake was filled with kindness and compassion. I wondered in my spirit, “Who is this man?” Pastor Rozen came over and introduced himself and then I learned that he was the First Archpriest Jabba D. Baddour who oversees the Greek Orthodox Church in Israel. I know that it was a very divine appointment, one of a kind, in my life, and although I do not begin to understand the fullness, I do know the LORD ordered it.
Most of the time while I was in Israel I just had that “oh my goodness will you look at that” completely overwhelmed expression on my face. It did not seem I could not take enough photos to capture the experience even though I had already taken 1000 photos.
The day ended at the Knesset, the Government of Israel. Pastor Rozen gave me a private tour including the Marc Chagall tapestries, the place where President Bush spoke just a few days earlier, noticing that 50% of the flags in the courtyard had been exchanged from Israel Flags to American Flags in honor of President Bush’s visit. While inside the Knesset I was allowed to go into the "meeting room" and anoint all the chairs and then to the back section where photos of President John F. Kennedy and Golda Meir were still hanging. We stopped by the very huge Menorah that is across the street from the Knesset. The Knesset Menorah is a bronze Menorah 4.30 meters high, 3.5 meters wide, and wights 4 tons. It is located at the edge of Gan Havradim opposite the Knesset. It seemed fitting that I would receive a Menorah the same day as my first visit to the Knesset. We prayed, proclaimed, decreed, imparted and poured out “I AM!” Holy Anointing Oil in this place.
May 19, 2008, Monday ~ The day began in Jerusalem at the placed Peter betrayed YESHUA ~ Saint Peter in Gallicantu and where there are archaeological ruins of the prison where Jesus probably was held the night before he was crucified. The marble rock in Jerusalem runs with a red thread that was simply beautiful. The prison of Jesus’ day was merely a rock cavern, a pit without TV, a bed, food, toilet, libraries, sports equipment, counselor, medical services, electric lights and other amenities often found in America’s prisons. The stark reality of what the word “prison” meant 2000 years ago struck me profoundly.
Later in the morning, Pastor Rozen said that we needed to go to "The Arches" to pray over the city. I did not realize "The Arches" meant the Three Arches YMCA International Hotel in Jerusalem because there are literally a lot of “arches” in Jerusalem. It is a city of hundreds of arches, archways, arched windows and arched doors that symbolize the Torah/The Ten Commandments. When we arrived at the hotel, he went to the desk to make arrangements while I was taking photos. I did not know the arrangements were to acquire a key to the bell tower for prayer. A door was unlocked and opened and Pastor Rozen widely smiles, “Come, time to pray!” I go through the little brown arched door and look up a small circular stairway …158 stairs to the top. “Oh, ABBA ADONAI help me!” Gratefully, HE did, and I made it to the top – such a miracle of HIS kindness to be able to climb that many stairs again. We prayed in all four directions - to the North, East, South, and West – pouring out Holy Anointing Oil! It was a profound and holy experience.
Across the street of The Arches Hotel is the King David Hotel where President Bush stayed the previous week as well as many other dignitaries. In the gallery of The Arches Hotel was a display of beautiful and very colorful Samaritan Style quilting.
May 20, 2008, Tuesday ~ Pastor Rozen arranged for me to meet Moshe Even-Zahav, Director Non-Represented Countries in the Ministry of Tourism Offices and Raphel Ben-Hur, Senior Deputy Director-General. I was overwhelmed to be given an hour of their time, showered with so many gifts and honored so highly. They were very confident that I could bring a tour to Israel and that our ministry ~ HGRM ~ could bring a tour to Israel, which is something I have never even considered before this trip. I was surprised at the resources and assistance they offered to help facilitate a tour to Israel. Moshe’s parting words were, “Next Year in Jerusalem!”
Following this meeting, Pastor Rozen took me to Old City Jerusalem to King David’s Tomb and to the Upper Room which I missed on the GODTV tour because a few of us became separated from the rest of the tour group…my heart was so grateful as the LORD was restoring within just a few days. I poured out and left a bottle of “HIS Gateway of Divine Pure Love” in the oil lamp niche carved into the rock wall of the Upper Room. Is there any purer love than the love of YESHUA, washing the disciples feet, breaking bread and drinking wine, preparing for the cross, with HIS eyes riveted to HIS Father’s will, and the eternal glory that we all may receive and participate in…there is no other divine pure sweet love as HIS.
In the evening, we gathered with the Russian Believers in Tel Aviv for worship, prayer, teaching and impartation. Pastor Rozen translated again and it was just a complete joy to minister with him. Pastor Rozen has a very strong evangelistic anointing that was such a blessing to me. Those that gathered gave me a Russian Bible to bring home … how precious is the Word of GOD in any language!
May 21, 2008, Wednesday ~ Pastor Rozen was with another tour group this morning, so I ventured out alone and learned quickly that a tour guide is truly an advantage in Israel, especially one that speaks the language.
In the afternoon, we went to the Jerusalem Museum where portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other artifacts are on display. I could have lingered for hours but time was not enough in this place. Pastor Rozen took the photos this afternoon, so that I could just enjoy the displays. As we left the Art Gallery, he took photos of me with Holocaust Survivors. I love that…The Survivors! One man was 93 years old and I thought…only the kindness of ELOHIM to give him such a long life after such a trial.
May 22, 2008, Thursday ~ It is my last morning in Israel. The sun is high in the sky again. My heart is purposing to grasp each precious moment in this land as I have done every day since arriving. In the morning, Letha, Pastor Rozen’s spiritual mother from Klamath Falls, Oregon and I were privileged to find a small space in the women’s section of the Western Wall and pray together. We stopped by the Promenade for photos overlooking the city. Then we returned to Hebron again…a double portion of this part is imparted to my spirit. The Abraham Covenant of ELOHIM is still present in this place, in this time, in this season.
We stopped by Pastor Rozen’s home so that I could say farewell to VeredChen and Adiel. Pastor Rozen had ordered a very beautiful Shofar adorned with a silver menorah and olive branch. Gratefully, it was completed on time and I would be able to take it home with me. When I asked him how much the Shofar cost, he said, “$333.00 American Dollars” which was exactly the amount that Jack sent to me before flying out to Israel. So, I took the envelop of $333 out of my handbag and handed it to him. Only GOD!
On the way to Tel Aviv, we stopped by Hashmona Kibbutz and Biblical Gardens which overlooks the valley where David, a young shepherd destroyed the enemy of his family, Goliath. I loved that the last place of my tour of Israel is a place of profound victory, a place of overcoming, a place of beauty, a place of new wine as the vineyard is laden with fruit, a place where the fig tree is blossoming with fruit, a place where new oil is made, a place of the blessing and favor of the MOST HIGH GOD!
The last stop before the airport is Abu Gnosh to meet Amnon of Sunway Tours for a dinner meeting in an authentic Lebanese Restaurant to provide more information about the details of managing a tour to Israel. Abu Gnosh is a Muslim community, and therefore, I was given directions not to look any Muslim man in the eye and to keep my eyes towards the ground. The small restaurant was pure middle eastern. We were served at least eight different hummus as appetizers. Then the chef prepared a different plate for each of us...as I am American, Pastor Rozen is Jewish and Amnon was Aramic. My plate was non-spicy lamb and beef, exactly what I would have chosen. The Chef then prepared samples of coffee and spices for me take home. Such extreme generosity and kindness.
Pastor Rozen navigated the very tight time schedule, long lines and customs at the airport so that I could make my flight without any minutes to spare. The airlines did not charge extra for my overweight luggage and three carry-ons. Oh, the favor of GOD! It is a great advantage to have an advocate and tour guide at these critical moments in time.
May 23, 2008, Friday ~ Safely arrived at Portland, Oregon International Airport (PDX) at 10:04 ~ Mission Accomplished, Over and Out ~… Next Year in Jerusalem! ONLY YHVH!