Our Israel Trip 7 – 17 Nov 2013
Four Northern Irish ladies visit the Holy Land – here Olive Bustard shares with us the emotional and spiritual power they experienced as Christians when visiting the Holy city of Jerusalem.
From left to right of photo: Adele. Colleen, Olive and Thelma
I can say from the beginning, this trip was no ordinary trip! Last year when I felt the Holy One of Yisrael, Blessed be He, calling me to return to the ‘place’, the place where He has chosen to place His Name – Yerushalayim (the Holy city of Jerusalem), I knew by His calling, this trip would be somewhat different and as it transpired, it was!
While talking to friends it wasn’t too long before I found three others of like mind. So (4 ladies) had this same yearning and calling, and through the long months of waiting till our ‘D’ day, we met monthly to pray and seek the face of the Holy One for His will for us. Two of us had been 3 times, one of us 4 times and for the fourth member of the party it was her first trip! Apart from myself, there was Colleen Hamilton, Adele Tennant and Thelma Speirs – all from different parts of the Province!
We set off on the 7th morning flying from Belfast City to Heathrow, then an El Al flight straight to Tel Aviv. Being ‘covered in prayer’ we had very relaxing flights, easy exit through immigration and onwards transfer to our Hotel – the Jerusalem Gate Hotel (all ‘kosher’ food which was also a Blessing!). While the hotel is a little way away from the Old City there was a light rail system operating just around the corner that took us to our destination. In the basement of the hotel was a shopping complex through which we could take a short cut to the rail, so we were very blessed in the choice and location of our hotel.
We went to learn!
Having met previously or heard teach here in N Ireland, some of those we had arranged to guide us around Yerushalayim, we knew we would be receiving thorough and biblical-based teaching – fresh Manna! We feasted on the Word from a Hebraic perspective which impacted upon each of us and gave us the thorough grounding which each of us desired. We visited many places and at each one we sat in awe as we listened to those entrusted with His Word, as they imparted it to us! I can truthfully say, the pure Word is going forth from Yerushalayim – as prophesied!
Isaiah 2v3 And many people shall go and say, “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the G-d of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
We celebrated Shabbat
We celebrated our first Shabbat there, hosted by a Jewish friend and afterwards gathered together around His Holy Word with more teaching! We were bathed and cloaked in the ‘holiness of Shabbat’ – a real sanctuary in time! We tasted and saw that The Lord was good – we experienced, each one for ourselves ,what it is to enter the Shabbat of ‘Rest’ the Holy One of Yisrael, prepared even from the foundation of the earth. The Spirit of Shabbat descended upon us all and we entered into the fullness of what the Holy One, Blessed be He, had prepared for all mankind! Shabbat – a foreshadowing of the Shabbat of all Shabbats at the end of the age. We can have a foretaste even now – which we did! We discovered the importance of our Hebraic roots and why we should be returning to scriptural truths and away from the traditions of man!
We saw the fruitfulness of the land
It was just over three years ago that I had last visited Israel. In such a short space of time, it was wonderful to see the ‘fruitfulness’ of the land – it is blossoming! Leaving the airport at Tel Aviv the journey on the new highway was only 40 minutes to our hotel. Around Yerushalayim I was amazed – the Kidron Valley is beautifully landscaped with winding walkways and walls. The new light rail system is up and functioning and building continues – Praise The Lord! Indeed The Lord, the Holy One, Blessed and Praised be He – the Word coming to pass!
Jeremiah 31v4 Again will I build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Yisra’el: again shall you be adorned with your timbrels, and shall go forth in the dances of those who make merry.
I sensed a new, fresher air over Yerushalayim – while the battle still rages overhead and in the physical for control of Yerushalayim, I believe the fruitfulness around this great City of Gold – gold in colour physically, when the sun beams down, but a spiritually ‘rich treasure’ of gold to all who hold fast to the Word of Truth concerning her!
We prayed for the Peace of Jerusalem – in Jerusalem!
24/7 Prayer houses have sprung up all around Yerushalayim and we also had the privilege and honour to visit and partake in one for a two hour prayer watch which seemed to us, to only last for minutes! It was packed – both young and old alike praising, declaring, decreeing and petitioning the Holy One of Israel and no doubt as a result of these 24/7 Prayer Houses – the Holy One, Blessed be He, is moved to act as they had come into agreement with His Holy Word!
Our trip to Yisrael was enlightening for all the group! It has made each of us aware of the great and fierce battle being waged for the very soul of Israel! Prime Minister Netanyahu’s task is an enormous one and requires our steadfast prayer support in these difficult times! There are tensions within and there are tensions without, all seeking to destroy Yisrael! To wipe her out, to divide her, to stop her building, boycotts, divestment, sanctions, media lies and biasness, withdrawal of funding, anti-Israel resolutions and to stop the Jewish people from visiting their most Holy sites, to name just a few. All these are to get Israel to bend and give in to their humanist way of thinking, but as Bible believers we know the end from the beginning and no amount of pressure or threats will get us to change our stance regarding Israel and Her calling! Indeed this is what the Holy One, says:
Psalm 2v1-5 Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
(the very Breath of the Holy One has spoken these words)
We returned home on the 17th November very much wiser, enlightened, encouraged and with our hearts strangely warmed by our encounter with the Holy One of Israel as He revealed His passion and jealousy for His people and His overwhelming zeal for the land of Israel especially Yerushalayim – the place He has chosen to place His Name out of all the earth!!
Indeed such was our experience in the land, each of us are united with Ruth in our crying out:
Ruth 1v16-17 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17″Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”…
This is indeed our heart’s desire!
May you know His heart’s cry for you to really know and stand in unity together with these same words. May you know His calling you, to meet with Him there at His place, Yerushalayim!
I know I will be back!
Below are my sister’s individual reports:
Adele Tennant: Being my third time in Israel I knew that it would be different than the rest, and it was. It was an experience that taught me how to pray for the land effectively and what the citizens of the land experience day to day with the cost of living as well as being able to gauge the spiritual temperature of the land. Altogether, a wonderful trip and a powerful experience.
Colleen Hamilton: Israel is indeed a wonderful country and Jerusalem, that city on a hill, a wonderful place. My third time in Israel and second time to spend several days in and around Jerusalem – the only city in the entire world named by G-d Himself! A city on the move – we walked several miles each day and it seems everyone walks, though there is a good bus service and a new light rail system which is easy to jump on and off. Each trip to ‘The Land’ is unique and this one no less so. We met some beautiful people, ate delicious Israeli food and while shopping where the locals shopped and sometimes choosing to walk from our Hotel down Jaffa Street to the Old City, we were able to observe the locals and gain some small insight into local life. For me, the place I most like to visit when in Jerusalem is, The Mount of Olives. I love to look down over the Kidron Valley to the Old City and the Golden Gate. In summary – A very fulfilling trip.
Thelma Speirs: This was my first trip to Israel and I didn’t know what to expect! Being there, just took my breath away because I was in Jerusalem. I felt my heart was going to burst and my whole body was experiencing electric shocks! I felt like I was at and in my (spiritual) home! I have learnt prayerfully how to stand in the gap for my Lord’s people as well as pray for the dear soldiers who fight for, protect and guard, the nation of Israel – who really need our prayers! My desire is to go back if the Lord opens the door for me. I was really blessed throughout the whole trip and met some fantastic people. As I read the Holy Word of G-d, I can now understand more clearly about G-d’s chosen people and why they are the ‘apple of His eye’.