Slalom from Jerusalem! I have arrived in Israel and am spending my first day recovering from the 17-hour trip and getting out to enjoy the sites and sounds apart from the typical tourist spots. It is my sixth trip to Israel and this time I’m staying with a friend to get a sense of what daily life is like in Israel.
If you are a Facebook user, perhaps you saw my post last night when I arrived in Israel. The airport greeting is always a welcomed site.
This trip had some excitement, as I was sure I would miss my connecting flight to Tel Aviv. Once boarded in Phoenix and about to push back from the gate, an instrument panel in the cockpit blew, and we were told it would be fixed shortly. We all know that “shortly” in airline language means “who knows when!” An hour and a half later, we finally took off.
My scheduled layover in San Francisco was about 1:45, so do the math! According to my airline app, they had rebooked me on the same flight the next day (Saturday). However, when we landed in SFO and I emerged from the jetway at about 9:00pm, I asked a gate agent if I could still catch my 9:15 flight. With a smirk, he said, “I don’t think so, but you can try!” That’s when my college athleticism kicked in and I took off running for the international concourse!
I arrived at the gate just as they were closing the doors, but very thankfully, a supervisor yelled down the jetway to hold up, gave the order for security personnel to “hurry up,” and before I knew it, I was seated on my flight to Tel Aviv! Praise God!
Most of the 14-hour flight was spent sleeping (or trying to!), but there was plenty of time for meeting and greeting seatmates as well. As God would have it, I met a very interesting Israeli who is a high level exec for Check Point, a very well-known cyber security firm. I am familiar with the company brand, but had no idea it was an Israeli company! We had a great time talking about Israeli ingenuity, and he was very personable. BTW, I was flanked on the other side by an American tech whiz, so it was a very interesting flight!
Then, on the ride from the airport to Jerusalem, I sat next to a Jewish man from the U.S., returning for a visit with his family. He told me he left Israel because, as a Jewish believer in Messiah (Christian), it is very difficult to live here, as even family shuns him to a large degree. That broke my heart, though I was glad to hear he comes back 2-3 times a year to visit them anyway. Pray for this man and his family, and that his testimony of the Messiah would draw them to a relationship with Jesus as well.
I’m looking forward to my time here and immersing in the culture. Tonight, Lord willing, I will worship with the believers at King of Kings Congregation and meet up with some other friends.
Follow me here and on Facebook (Looking for the Blessed Hope). Blessings, friends…and Happy Lord’s Day!
PS: Miraculously, even my luggage made it to Israel with me!