Departing from Jerusalem

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Mount Olive and the Garden of Gethsemane.

We are departing from Jerusalem port of Ashdod.

Just to let you know our two days in Jerusalem were safe and exceedingly and abundantly enjoyable. I could live here. I love the land, the landscape, the temperature is perfect and I love the people. It’s amazing: when it is cool, it is perfectly cool. When it is warm, it is perfectly warm. I could not stop staring at the people and how beautiful they are.

Yesterday we visited the Western Wall, the Sepulchre and saw Calvary (Golgotha), the place where Jesus’ tomb was… Although, I am not sure that the spot was correct, as it made no sense being in very close proximity to where the crosses would have been. Also, the entrance is small.

Today, we visited King David’s tomb, the representation of the upper room where the Last Supper took place, the Jewish quarters and the Temple Mount which is in the Muslim section, and we had just over 2 hours to eat and go shopping.

Jerusalem is extremely interesting, 40,000 people actually live there. 30,000 are Muslim, 5,000 are Christian, 3,000 are Jews and 2,000 are Armenian. Naturally, the newsworthy events are shown on TV. We heard about the shootings this week and the entire area has military personnel all over. In the Jewish section where we were, life is like normal. You can sing, dance and clap at the Western Wall. It is not a somber place. The Israelis are very welcoming. We were able to visit the Temple Mount during the one hour when they allow tourists in. As soon as we arrived there, I wanted to leave due to a couple of events, but we were safe. The Muslims have taken over that section and it is the only place where we could get a good picture of the Mount of Olives and Garden of Gethsemane.

Mount Olive and the Garden of Gethsemane.
Mount Olive and the Garden of Gethsemane.

It has been an amazing experience to see where everything is and the layout of the land. Mom managed very well, except today she was almost ready to pass out from the walking. We must have burned 100,000 calories from walking today, as Jerusalem is hilly. I recognized her blood sugar was getting low, so I took care of that. Thank God, I traveled with the granola bars! They have been a lifesaver for her on this trip. Today I found a place that sold them, so I picked up a few more.

We docked right next to 2 container ships in Ashdod. Mom and I spent the evening staring at the operations of this vibrant little port. We were like kids staring at how the containers were moved from the ship and transported to the different sections, with such precision and perfect timing. While we were doing that, the ZIM ship departed and guess what replaced it shortly after? A SHIP NAMED “RIO”! I had a good laugh and took some photos.

Finally, today I felt like I was on top of the world. I had a very deep desire of my heart and prayer answered by God. A few years ago, I just had this urgent and intensely strong desire for a Jewish man to bless me. Why? I don’t know. It is just one of those things that I cannot explain, and I wanted it to happen naturally, without me asking for it.

Today, out of the blue, this old Jewish man appeared, really out of nowhere and starting talking to me. It was as if I blinked my eyes and the man was before me.

He complimented me on how beautiful I was. I thought he was going to ask me to buy something or visit his store. Then he looked at my mother and told her what a beautiful daughter she has. He said “I am not just saying she is beautiful outside. I am saying she is beautiful inside, which I can see.” Then he blessed me and turned to walk away and I blessed him. I kid you not: at the blink of an eye, the man just disappeared. The euphoric feeling I had after he left me, I could have been floating on the clouds when I realized I finally got my blessing from a Jewish man! That made my year, just like my marriage! Wow!

Tomorrow we will dock at Haifa. I think the first stops are Nazareth and the Jordan river where mom and I will be baptized. Then we are having lunch, followed by a drive along the Sea of Galilee, and finally to Capernum where Jesus gave the Beatitudes.

It will be a long day…a 9 1/2 hour tour.

God bless you all and keep you safe.
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