Both flights were delayed due to uncooperative weather around Atlanta. As I waited at gate E17, It seemed I stuck out like a sore thumb. :) Blonde and fair skinned mixed in with all of these dark haired, olive skinned Israeli's and Arabs headed for Israel. An older lady sat alone and quiet near me and seemed kind of shy, so I didn't speak to her. Another announcement was made confirming a continued delay so I decided to search out a cup of coffee. As I walked through the terminal, I noticed this "shy" lady was walking behind me so I started a conversation. She immediately warmed up to me so we walked and talked for awhile. Once back to the gate, others of varying ages just began talking to me including one very lovely young girl about 14 who shared how excited she was to be moving to Israel. These people seemed so sweet, warm and were very helpful to me. After finally boarding the plane, a young mother came to me and asked if I would give up my window seat. The airline had seated her two very young children with me and her elsewhere, Unbelievable! I couldn't help but think of another time in history when Jewish mother's had their children ripped from their arms. I gave up my seat. :) I ended up in between an elderly Jewish woman and a young Jewish father. We had great conversation and the woman stayed with me once we deplaned to make sure I found my way. It was a wonderful flight. The plane was filled to capacity with what seemed to be one big family. Lots of children...lots of talking...lots of laughter. We were crowded and uncomfortable, but there was no complaining...not even when one baby cried most of the trip. Again, I couldn't help but think back to another time in history and the cattle cars filled with similar faces but not so happy. Faces filled with fear and terror and sadness. The kind of stories I will be hearing from survivors while here in Israel. I was blessed to see these people so happy and free. My heart began to melt with a warmth for those on that plane and I just wanted them all to know my Jesus. Once we landed, applause and cheers went up for the pilot. I guess Israeli's are the only ones who do this...it was great fun to be with such exuberant people. Next was the train ride (nearly 2 hours) to Akko with Susan and an IDF soldier with a really BIG gun. Two soldiers ..the male with the BIG gun and one female soldier helped me with my bags once we reached Akko. Next we took a taxi to the house.
Today I was supposed to rest and recover from jet lag....well...I did sleep in and took a short nap but still managed to get in quite a bit including reading two manuals of instructions. :)
First though, I was amazed to be placed in the "manager's quarters." :) I did come to train to manage the house, but I fully expected shared rooms and bath with little to no privacy. Instead, I have my own room and private bath and small office area. :) I may have to share later, but for now, it's all mine.Susan said the work I'll be doing is emotionally draining and I will need some space and privacy at the end of the day. The beach is a 20 minute walk, so I can always go there to pray like I do at home. Eric is slated to room with a famous soccer player who volunteers here...more about that on another day. :)
I began training to manage the house this morning which included a walk to the grocery store for supplies. Everything is in Hebrew, so Susan had a "picture book" of the products to be purchased. Pretty smart. :)
I learned how to calculate shekels to dollars, but found in the end, it's real easy just to use my Visa! No change to count! lol
Before you enter the market place, your purse is searched for bombs...that was new to me. I now know that "boker tov" means good morning and "comazay olay" means how much? All along the way I was being taught the customs, etc. Next I was left alone in the house to wait for two guests coming from Jerusalem. One is a 63 year old lady originally from Lithuanian. Her parents escaped persecution fleeing to the US and now have immigrated to Israel. She has come to faith in Jesus. Her prayer is for outreach to middle aged and elderly women here..she says there is none. Next came more training and then I was treated to my first sunset over the Mediterranean Sea while eating my first Israeli pizza! lol I do like pizza and it was good. On the way back to the house I had a short tour of 5000 year old city walls and 1500 year old homes in the mostly Arab district. Next time I will remember my camera. Lots of National Geographic type shots to be taken. :)
The house is across the street from a "tel." Twenty-one cities were built one on top of the other to form the "tel." When a conquering army came in, the city conquered would be leveled and another built. I plan to hike to the top when I get some free time. Akko is one of the oldest seaports in the world. Napoleon attacked here and was defeated. There is a statue of him at the top of the tel holding an Israeli flag.:) I could see Haifa from the shore of the Med Sea.
On our trek to see the sunset, Susan became aware I like exercise so she gave me a rather unusual assignment. The translator for the work is an 87 year old man who likes to play badminton. He is a Jewish immigrant from China. Anyway, she wants me to play badminton twice a week with him.. lol She says I cannot get upset when he beats me. lol Abraham has not come to faith in Jesus...yet....so appreciate prayer for him....wisdom for me.
More training this evening to the sounds of the orthodox Jewish rabbi and his 7 children next door chanting and singing and laughing for hours...it is shabbat now. Two doors down another family had lots of company for shabbat, balloons and children's songs playing while eating outside. Two holocaust survivors live down the street. Tomorrow I will be visiting a Russian congregation. Should be interesting. So much for the jet lag rest day. lol I feel great, though. Sleepy earlier in the day....but wanted to jump right in. The time here will be over before I know it.
Funny thing in the laundry room ...on the wall it is written-
"Boldagok akik megmossak ruhajakat." A Jeleme'seh Konque 22:14 Translation is " Blessed are those who wash their robes. " Ha!
Good night and God bless. :)