On Wednesday and Thursday, June 19 & 20, we took in the morning and evening sessions of the Jerusalem Encounter Conference. Having seen the Israel of the past, this conference was our window into the Israel of the present. It featured worship by Aaron Shust and Miqedem band, presentations from members of the Fellowship of Israel-Related Ministries (FIRM), and speakers form various places in Israel and abroad.
My eyes were opened to the many Messianic Jewish organizations at work in Israel. A few I became aware of: Be’ad Chaim – Israel Pro-Life Association; Jerusalem Institute of Justice which assists Jewish people fearing discrimination due to their faith; Maoz Israel – a Tel-Aviv Messianic Jewish organization; Streams in the Desert – an organization that helps struggling families in the Negev area; and Medallion – an organization that produces and publishes Christian literature for children.
Display of Medallion, the company that produces children’s books. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)
The conference took place at the King of Kings Church Pavilion in Jerusalem. After one of the sessions, we took the elevator to the top floor where the church has a Prayer Tower. The receptionist went out on the balcony with us and pointed out sites and buildings, telling us how they were prayer reminders for the various aspects of Israeli life. The views from the top of the Prayer Tower were incredible!
Scene from the top of the Prayer Tower, King of Kings Church, Jerusalem. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)
Views of Jerusalem from the top of the Prayer Tower, King of Kings Church, Jerusalem. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)
My husband and I went on a few other unguided walks in the city. One afternoon we wandered through the Mahaneh Yehuda Market. Some of the stalls that caught my eye.
Stalls that caught my eye at the Mahaneh Yehuda Market. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)
We also enjoyed our seven-day stay at the Prima Kings Hotel in Jerusalem.
On one of the lower floors was the hotel’s very own chapel or synagogue with lovely stained glass windows, depicting eight Jewish feasts.
(Note: I think I have these feast depictions right, but I can’t read Hebrew, so if I’m wrong, please let me know in comments and I’ll correct them).
Meals were terrific—generous and tasty. The breakfast buffets including hot food like eggs and potatoes, a variety of breads and cheeses, vegetable salad, falafel, hulvah, dry cereal like granola with a whole section of add-ins (raisins, nuts, etc.) yogurt, fruit and of course coffee and juice. The dinner buffets were similar only with meat and fish entrees and even more salads and of course a tempting board of sweet desserts.
Breakfast dishes were beautiful with square plates, large bowls, and matching mugs of heavy pottery in a striped grey and a turquoise pattern. (I’d love a set of these!)
Breakfast dishes at the Prima Kings Hotel, Jerusalem. (Photo © 2019 by V. Nesdoly)
Home – Friday, June 21
The day of our departure was at hand. We boarded our bus at the hotel in Jerusalem at 7:45 a.m. for Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
Our Air Canada flight left Tel Aviv at 12:25 pm. (Tel Aviv time) June 21st. We landed in Toronto 4:30 p.m. Toronto time, then left Toronto at 6:00 p.m., arriving in Vancouver at 8:00 p.m. Vancouver time (which was, by our internal clocks still on Israel time, 6:00 a.m. June 22nd).
What a wonderful trip! It has given me a new understanding of Bible geography. When, a few days after getting home, I read in my Bible how the risen Jesus while in Jerusalem told His disciples to meet Him in Galilee (Matthew 28:10), I realized they had a long walk ahead of them.
It has brought to life the stories of Jesus. He could have been pushed to His death just outside of Nazareth. His question to the disciples at Caesarea Philippi – “Who do you say that I am?” becomes particularly significant, asked as it was, in the setting of a pagan temple. The disciples noting the grandeur of the temple and praising its large stones is not surprising. The fact that the sight of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives made Jesus weep (as He thought of its destiny) now makes sense.
I also have a better sense of modern Israel, as I hear about it in the news, and remember the many organizations that are working, especially in the Messianic Christian community to help it become established and grow. This trip will help me be more faithful and knowledgeable as I obey the mandate to Pray for the peace of this beautiful and significant land and city (Psalm 122:6).