Posted by: cindybythesea | November 13, 2013

The Harvest is Ripe – Part 3

The first and most important thing to know about picking grapes. Keep your fingers away from the tips of the clippers, they are very sharp!

I had never traveled further east than Chicago, so when, our plane arrived in Newark, I was startled to see the World Trade Tower as we made our approach into the airport. Not knowing the proximity of Newark to New York, I was very surprised.  I don’t know about you but, for me to see something I had previously only read about or seen on television was particularly amazing. I guess you could say – “seeing really is believing” at least in some cases.

The same could be said, for our approach in to Tel Aviv some hours later. It was late in the afternoon and the sun was sparkling off the Mediterranean in a blue I could only have imagined had I not just left Hawaii just days before. It was spectacular!

By the time we were processed through customs  and our ride had arrived, it was dark. I had hoped to see more of this beautiful city shining white against the sea, but, there was no time for that.  Walking out of the airport to the van, the air was balmy and smelled distinctly of citrus and spice. A lovely fragrance that reminded me of the air in Hawaii, when you first step off the plane, except the air there (Hawaii) is floral as opposed to citrus and spice of Israel.  I was tired but, excited to finally be in the land of the Bible. The flight from Newark to Tel Aviv had been a grueling ten hours but, I had slept a good part of the way, so, I was excited and ready to go.

Backing up a little, it was interesting (and, a bit disconcerting, I must say), when boarding the plane in Newark, we had to under go a second security check.  This was something I had not anticipated and really drove home the point that traveling to Israel is not like traveling to any other place. There is a real and present danger in traveling to this part of the world. A sobering thought as I endured  a second pat down.

Once in the van, we began driving and I was super excited to see road signs with the miles in kilometers to places like Jerusalem, which told me – “yes, I really am in Israel!”

For the next hour, we drove, and drove  and drove –  gaining in elevation as we went. The road became dark as the city lights behind us diminished in to the distance.  From the van windows, I could see dry and rocky hillsides, which looked a whole lot like the landscape we had left just hours before in New Mexico. Is this the land of milk and honey I had read about?  Sure didn’t look like it!

Finally, the rugged  terrain gave way to the streets of a small village.  The businesses were closed up but, I could see the signs above shop windows were all written in Arabic. Arabic????  Now, I was really confused. Where were we?  From all appearances, we have driven not to Samaria, but, to Jordan or some other distinctly Arabic country.  Looking very much like the run down appearance of an inner city business district, it was apparent to me that this was not the Israel, I had expected. The scene below is typical of what I later saw in the day light.

When, we finally arrived at our destination on the Mount of Blessing, I was tired and ready to call it a night. It was dark and cold on the mountain, which was just a stones throw up the hill from the Palestinian village, we had just passed through. And, I was grateful to finally unroll my sleeping bag in the house I would be sharing with forty other people for the next three weeks.  And, I think this night, I understood just a little better God’s directive to Abram.

” …..  leave your country, your people and your household and go to the land I will show you.”  Genesis 12:1

…. to be continued –

And, as always – “pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper, who love thee.”  Psalm 122:6

Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus!  Cindy


  1. I’ve followed your post for a few years now, and have missed your insights of late. This is so exciting to follow the journey with you as you retell of your adventure. I’m glad your doing it in parts, so it lasts awhile. Thanks.

    [Thank you Darlene for writing and thank you for your kind encouragement! I’m glad you’re taking this journey with me, its exciting to be able to share with you (and others) about my recent trip. Thanks for taking the time to write, I do appreciate it! C]

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