Farewells are Never Easy

When love of Israel grows deep and friendships grow strong, farewells are never easy.

As we spent our last afternoon and evening in Jerusalem following our deeply moving experience at the Garden Tomb, the impending sense of departure set in. We had a bit of free time in the Jewish quarter of the Old City where many purchased meaningful keepsakes or gifts for others. There was a sense of joy among our weary tour guests.

Before leaving Jerusalem for the last time, we gathered for our farewell dinner at a nice restaurant overlooking the city. Dressed in the glow of light, Jerusalem sparkled like the city on a hill that it is.

In tender, contemplative moments, one-by-one shared their thoughts and highlights of their experience. Smiles and tears of joy were expressions of pilgrims whose lives will never be the same. The land of Israel has that effect.

Aa we departed Jerusalem, our fantastic bus driver, Guy, blessed us with the same song he played over the bus speakers as we entered the city. It is a special song best left a mystery until one visits the Holy City, but it certainly provides deeply moving introspection of the prophetic significance of the Holy City.

Upon arrival at the airport, our connection with friends from 4 countries and 5 US states was about to end as we would separate to different flights home. Hugs and tears mingled with the hustle and bustle of Ben Gurion International Airport. Then we parted ways.

Indeed, we have established deep, meaningful relationships for a lifetime. New friends across the US and around the world.

Now, nearing the end of our 14 hour flight from Tel Aviv to San Francisco, we are suspended between time zones 10 hours apart. We’ll say goodbye to our California friends there before our final leg to Phoenix. Then begins the process of overcoming east-to-west jetlag!

To those who have followed family and friends on this journey, I hope you have felt a small part of our experience. Thank you for your prayers and your love. When your loved ones return, they will have plenty to share! You will want to know their “favorite” place, but don’t be surprised if they are unable to come up with one! Perhaps they can give you a list.

I’ll tie up loose ends in the next day or two, but I also extend two invitations to you. First, feel free to continue following this blog as I share about Israel, current events, end times, and the significance of Israel to us as believers.

Secondly, why not experience Israel for yourself? I will announce our next tour soon (hint: it is in October), and I invite you to join us on a trip of a lifetime!

Stay tuned for final wrap up of this tour.

Blessings and shalom!

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