Truth be told, my wife Patti was a little worried about me traveling over seas in lieu of my recent hospitalization, but the doctors confirmed it was acceptable for me to travel and I was taking every cautionary step to insure my health would be in great standing! And it was. As I was leaving Rochester on Monday, the northeast was just about to embark upon the most severe snowstorm we’ve had in decades. I was leaving earlier than the storm was predicted to advance, so after a few routine delays, I was off to JFK airport before leaving nonstop for Tel Aviv, Israel. Pastor Ron Domina of Bethel Christian Fellowship (my Pastor) along with myself and two other Pastors were on our way to The Holy Land!
Landing at JFK was easy! The skies were clear, there was little wind, and the sun was shining. My hope was that we could depart before the storm reached the city, but I wasn’t scheduled to leave until the next day (Tuesday). We spent the greater part of the afternoon settling down, getting lunch and getting ready for an evening meeting hosted by Christians United For Israel (CUFI). Victor Styrsky, Eastern Regional Coordinator at (CUFI), led the assembly with a message brought by David Brog, Executive Director (CUFI). His words were so powerful and like never before I received a sense and love for God’s chosen people. Salvation is of the Jew first, then everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). *For more information on either of these men or their cause, click on their names within this text.
Tuesday morning started with breakfast, as I got ready to leave the hotel and advance to the airport. I must confess, several of us caved and indulged in some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and YES, a doughnut (shhh, don’t tell my wife). I justified my leniency for the arduous wait to get checked-in, wait in line, answer several questions, wait in line and wait in line… I finally made it on the plane!
I was now 4300 miles away from Jerusalem over the Atlantic Ocean with 7.5 hours yet to go. At 3:53AM (local Time) I was flying over the Aegean Sea on the tip of Turkey with 562 miles to go. We were almost there.
It certainly had been a long night with little sleep. It’s always hard for me to sleep on planes. The company next to me had been more than pleasant with a 6-month-old little girl. One of my favorite observations when I fly to Israel is the Jewish men praying. They’re so devout and deliberate; it’s something the Christian church lacks today. It’s not that Christians don’t pray, but there’s a lack of commitment and daily devotion. We all could use more dedication in our prayer life.
After arriving, we got onto a beautiful bus and headed up to Caesarea, a town in Israel located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The sights were incredible! I’ve placed some pictures throughout my blog for you to look at! Our guide is more than brilliant and it’s alwayssuch a joy to listen and learn.
I will be blogging and taking notes day by day! Keep checking my blog to be updated on my trip to The Holy Land! Tomorrow we are taking a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee! Don’t miss my blog after that journey!
See you next time!