A Trip of a Lifetime

What can I say about my trip to Israel and Jordan? There are so many memories. I will be telling and writing about this for some time. One of the many things that impressed me was Jerusalem. When entering the tunnel to go to Jerusalem our tour guide played the moving song, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem.”

We were in Jerusalem during the feast of the Tabernacles (Booths) so there were many Jewish people/families in Jerusalem plus foreigners. The local people actually had tents on their balconies in which they lived during the feast. The Western (Wailing) Wall was unbelievable. So many people (1,000s) yet I was able to get to the wall and touch it. The women’s side was not as heavily populated as the men’s side which was a sea of men.

The old city of Jerusalem was an experience. Again there were so many people, restaurants and souvenir booths. Our wonderful tour guide knew 3 merchants personally. He took us to their shops where we were safe from unscrupulous people. Our tour guide was top notch. We were so blessed!

I would never go to Israel without a tour guide (a good one) or a tour agency. They did everything and looked out for our safety. All we had to do was show up at the bus at the right time. Then away we would go on another adventure. As my sister said, “We would get to the end of the day and think that it was the best day so far. Then we would say the same thing the next day.”  

I am so thankful to have gone to Jerusalem, to the Temple Mount. Now when I read “Jerusalem” in the Bible I will have a picture in mind. We walked around in the Christian, Armenian, Muslim and Jewish sectors of Jerusalem. We prayed in the garden of Gethsemane and had communion at Jesus’ tomb. We walked the Via Dolorosa and the 14 Stations of the Cross.

We swam in the Dead Sea where you could float on your back. If you got on your tummy someone had to help or you’d drown. The Dead Sea was full of people and friends’ so drowning wasn’t a real concern. I got a taste of the salty sea (icky) when I was on my belly for a few moments.

We saw the Mediterranean Sea and collected some seashells but didn’t get into it. I would have loved to spend more time there. I was baptized (immersed) in Jordan River along with 132 other people. We had 5 pastors in our group who shared this experience with us. The pastor who baptized me was Jameson. 

We didn’t get a passport stamp in Israel otherwise Jordan would not let us in their country. We spent two days in Jordan. Our Jordanian guide was mediocre at best but then he had very big shoes to fill. Jordan was the only time I saw young men with tomahawks.

The thing that impressed me in Jordan was the Christian church the head pastor Alex led us to. It was like walking into a VOM magazine article. Jordanian Christians are persecuted for their faith. Our pastor preached with an interpreter. Otherwise the singing, etc. was all in Arabic. 

We also went to Anadolu Agency (AA) and visited the Mosaic House for Crafts and Handicrafts where handicapped women made beautiful mosaics. Even women who had no husband were considered handicap.

Another specular place in Jordan was The Treasury of Petra. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world. The Treasury was an Egyptian-like place, built in sandstone for a Nabatean king. To get to the Treasury we walked 2.5 miles downhill — which was fairly easy. Once down there we marveled at the site. It was so majestic, large and tall. It was built from the top down into the face of the rock. A couple in our group went into the Treasury and saw a room we didn’t know was there. Some people would spend a couple days exploring the sights around the Treasury. The way back uphill was another 2.5 miles. There were other modes of travel. They had golf carts that cost (per person) $28 down and $28 up. I walked! Thank you very much.

I had a few travel issues. One Wednesday my feet began to swell. One of my sisters had compression socks with her as she had knee surgery just 6 weeks prior. I started wearing them but they continually fell to my knees when I walked, which drove me nuts. Plus I was fighting a cold virus. Thursday I thought I was toast. At the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem I had a meltdown. My fellow travelers were kind and arranged for me to go back down in a car along with a handicap woman. The traffic was unbelievable!

That evening we went to the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath. The pastor encouraged us to give our Goliath to God. I knew what the next day held – Jerusalem. If things didn’t change I would miss it. (Some people did. They stayed in their hotel rooms.) I prayed that God would take care of my concerns, my swelling feet, ankles and legs. By the time we got back to the hotel the swelling had gone down remarkably. By morning I could see my veins again. So off I went to all the many sites in Jerusalem the Holy City. 

On the way home I was pick-pocketed in O’Hare Airport. The woman I believed did this was behind me in line at the TSA checkpoint. I was not being careful – a long story. She got my wallet which had very little cash in it. I was able to call my husband and he took it from there. He cancelled credit cards, etc. I was so thankful I was at the end of the trip not at the beginning!! And I am thankful for my sister who literally took care of me. I was befuddled and crying. I felt like the pickpocket had taken everything, not just my wallet.

I continued to cry the next day off and on. A very nice, young Christian woman befriended me in the airport when she heard me calling the Chicago police and airport security. She offered to buy my lunch but I was only drinking Chick-fil-A sweet tea, as Montezuma Revenge had hit.

When I got home I did a few things the next morning – starting the wash and unpacking. Later that day I went to bed and slept over 24 hours.

Besides the pick pocketing I would do it all again. It was a wonderful trip. I have only touched on a few things I saw and experienced! 

P.S. The top picture is of me touching the Western (Wailing) Wall.


Copyright © 2022
Lena Rae
All Rights Reserved

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Lena Rae

I love Jesus! He is my eternal hope, fullness of joy, calm in the storm and so much more. I enjoy reading, cooking, blogging and bird watching. I have two wonderful kids and a loving husband. God is good.

14 thoughts on “A Trip of a Lifetime”

    1. Amen and a whole lot more. I was just thinking this morning how I have a whole new ID legally speaking. The old is obsolete. There’s a spiritual lesson in there! Isn’t there? Maybe I will write about it…one of these days!

      Liked by 1 person

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