Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Home in Tampa...

As of today, we are at home in Tampa, Florida. But, as those of you who know us are fully aware, that can change as soon as the sun comes up. Our motto is; "Have Passport, Will Travel!"

And "change" is on our radar screen. We will be leaving November 2nd to begin a three month tour of duty at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. And for those of you who are just curious enough to wonder - we will be voting before we leave. Florida is one of those states that has an early voting policy.

We have visited Israel on four different occasions (once with our children) and on each occasion our hearts have been drawn to Israel (our second home?). At some point along the way God put in our hearts a strong desire to return to the Garden Tomb as volunteers one day. That dream has become a reality.

Several months ago Al approached the Garden Tomb Association regarding becoming volunteers. Long story short, we applied and have been accepted. We will be coming home to the States over Christmas to fulfill commitments that were made a long time ago and returning to Jerusalem the first of January.

What will we do there? We will work. Al will do gardening, Judy will work, in the gift shop, Al will give lectures to tourists about the garden which include talking about why we believe this was the burial site of Jesus and present the gospel... all of which we are very excited about. We will do whatever we have to do for the glory of God.

We will be living in an apartment in the garden grounds. I see that hand, the one waving furiously "take me, take me, I want to go with you!" And I see that look, the one that is asking; "are you out of your mind?" NO we are not out of our minds. We have never been more in our minds. Our wonderful Lord has graciously fulfilled one of the greatest "desires of our hearts" and we are incredibly excited!

You know how much we love going on Mission Trips (and we will continue to do so - Mali and the Philipinnes are still on our radar screen for 2009) but think of this as the Ultimate Missions Trip. How exciting to be sharing our faith every day in the Garden. Please pray for us as we get ready to go, for traveling mercies, for our children and grandchildren especially (being gone for so long will not be easy for any of us), for the multitude of things that we need to get done before we leave and that God will help us develop relationships in Jerusalem.

When we retired, we purposed to serve Him for the rest of our lives. Why? Because we want Him to use us for his glory! God has given to us some pretty awesome opportunities to serve Him over the past 6 years. And we praise Him for each one of them.