Day 1: Israel 2009 – Getting Acquainted and Adjusted
This has been a rough day. Hardly anyone slept on the plane two nights ago and some of us only got a few hours of sleep last night. Another group arrived in the middle of the night making quite a ruckus. But although exhausted, it was a beautiful day. Normally on a trip like this, we would have someone to lead praise and worship, but we are without that.
Perhaps the Lord knew what He was doing…with all the need, we instead spent an hour in corporate prayer. It was a little slow going for those that don’t know any others in the group, but those of us who are acquainted with and love Covering Prayer as done on Adventures in Missions trips in the past jumped right in at the chance to experience the Lord speaking through us.
This was a good intro to the group after breakfast under the great banyan tree in the courtyard. The main goals in these initial days are to build team unity and train the group members on hearing and speaking out the voice of the Lord. We spent some time prayer walking the neighborhood by splitting into three groups and heading in that many directions.
It was awesome to see an area where a few of us had done battle praying through two years ago, completely revitalized. New parks, new mid-rise buildings (replacing dilapidated graffiti covered buildings.) There are still quite a few graffiti covered buildings and the area isn’t totally remade, but it’s quite a change and beautiful to see what the Lord does with faithful prayers.
We spent some time praying for each other and we were amazed at how God used us to speak truth into each other’s lives. We were put together with someone we didn’t know at all and given 5 minutes each to pray for the other. Each one of us debriefed that our partner was speaking right into the personal situations of our lives.
It’s amazing to see how easy it is to be used by God to speak His truth. But of course the difficult thing is that in normal life, we normally get in our own ways and manipulate the message that God is trying to use us to delver (or tell us for ourselves!)
Do you do this in your life?
We split into two groups to spend Shabbat service with two different fellowships. One was really an amazing message that I’ld love to share sometime. We wore headsets to hear the message in English through a translator. It was great to see some of the same people from two years ago and also amazing to see how much bigger the congregation has become. They’re also in a new building with nicer facilities. Small by the standards, we’re used to in the US, but much nicer than where they were before. After worshipping in Hebrew (the best we could, you can pick up the choruses after a while, especially when it’s Adonai or Ha Shem.) Afterwards we spent some time with the people there, sharing with some that we had met two years prior, meeting other new friends, and having conversations that differed in large part based on how much English the person spoke. Sorry, I’m not sure these are the most interesting details, but I’m exhausted and need to sleep. My team gets to sleep in a little before going to another Shabbat service, so hopefully I’ll be more rested. Have a great weekend!