Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jerusalem, Israel 2011

We have returned to Jerusalem and the Garden Tomb.  

I (al) came over February 12th and Judy March 2nd.  

Judy remained behind to care for her brother who was dying.  Our daughter, Jennifer, wrote a wonderful tribute to him on her blog

She captured in words and pictures what all of us felt losing Judy's beloved brother, my brother-in-law, and our children's uncle. 

Judy and I are settled into our routine here in Jerusalem.  It is always good to be here.  I have had the privilege of taking over 1700 visitors through the Garden so far sharing the gospel with them.  

We have been blessed with groups from all over the world, including the Chilean Miners that were trapped underground in Chile.  
 They were our guests in the Garden along with their wives and at least one small child.  

We controlled the news Media (oh the joy of it all!), allowed only one camera in the Garden to film them.  Consequently their experience here was a tremendously worshipful experience for them.

Judy and I were off yesterday, walked over to the Garden of Gethsemene, visited "Mary's Tomb" - one of two... how does that work?  

Her other tomb is in Ephesus.  We went through the old city 
  to the Western Wall - prayed for our pastor, who was preaching a funeral service for a young man later in the day in Tampa.  We also prayed for many of you who are reading this blog.  We continued through the Jewish neighborhood of the old city, 
 stopped off for lunch, saw the remains of the city walls from the First Temple era (Solomon's Temple) 

and visited a museum that has a model of the First Temple and the city of Jerusalem in that day.  
 Very interesting.

As we draw to the close of our day in Jerusalem, it is with a sad heart that we  report that all is not well in Jerusalem...  We are reminded every day that this is a city for which Jesus wept and we are surrounded with a people that he loved, died for and wanted to come to Him.  Our daily reminder of that crushing need lies just outside our Garden... we cannot forget that it was for the lost that He came!
The Sun sets and the moon rises over our Garden and this city.  We are so thankful for the opportunity that is ours to represent the One who loved us here in His land!