Archive for the ‘studying abroad’ Category

Old Testament Jerusalem Walk
February 4, 2011

warming up with coffee on a cold, rainy day

Our first stop on a rainy Sunday morning was on the Western Hill in Jerusalem. Here we saw remnants of the bottom structure of The Broad Wall that was mentioned in Isaiah 22:18. This wall was eight meters thick and eight meters high and was built in 701 BC. However, the wall was rediscovered in 1970. This wall was built by Hezekiah as a means to further defend the city. Hezekiah still trusted in God’s promises to keep the city safe, but that did not mean that he was to sit around and do nothing. Hezekiah was a man of faith but had action to back it up, leaving the results to God and his faithfulness.



Out of Zion’s Gate to Western Hill we went to the traditional location of King David’s tomb. However, this is incorrect because the Byzantines originally misinterpreted the location as Mount Zion, leading others to believe that this was the resting place of David. The location was not much to look at. Men and women separated to catch a glimpse of where King David is supposedly buried; however, we know as we read 1Kings, that David was buried in the City of David.

the group in the traditional location for the Upper Room where Jesus and His disciples had the Last Supper

From David’s supposed tomb, we walked up to the traditional location for the Last Supper. This Upper Room was not originally the room where Jesus and His disciples were on His last night before crucifixion; however, it was in the general area. Here, we read John 13:1-20 about the Passover meal and how Jesus showed humility and a servant’s heart by washing the disciple’s feet. We also read John 14:1-4, how Jesus says that He is going away but will leave the disciples with something better, which is the Holy Spirit. After reading this, our group sang hymns, praising the One who would die for sinful men and women like us and thanking Him for grace.


Following the upper room, we went to a museum which housed a movie theater-like structure. Here we sat in crescent formation to hear a short lecture on the 1st temple period in Jerusalem’s history; this included the whereabouts and boarders of the City of David and later expansion of Solomon’s temple on the Temple Mount. After the lecture, we saw a movie which featured Jerusalem’s history and all the character and biblical meaning that make the city what it is today. Then we went to another room of the museum and learned about the burial practices and rituals of that time. Then we learned the transformation of Egyptian hieroglyphics to a more simple way to draw the pictures that eventually formed into ancient Hebrew, in which we wrote our names.

After this, we went to a Catholic cemetery which Horatio Spafford and Oskar Schindler were buried. Horatio was the person who lost all his children in a shipwreck, but still wrote “It Is Well With My Soul.” There were small stones around Oskars grave which signified remembrance of his life. He was the only person who was in the Nazi party to be buried in Jerusalem, but he was due to the fact that he saved thousands of Jewish lives in the Holocaust by his having them work at his factory.

After this freezing cold, wet and windy experience at the cemetery, our group headed toward the City of David where we saw remnants of old houses and structures to support what some believe was David’s palace. This was more of a wealthy area of Jerusalem because of evidence that there was plumbing and that the houses were larger than some found in other areas of town. Walking through the City of David, we went to the entrance of Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

before going into Hezekiah's Tunnel

Walking down to get to the tunnel was the best thing that happened all day because the underground structure kept the biting cold wind out and warmth in. The tunnel was built as a battle tactic in Hezekiah’s reign to protect the city from Assyrian attacks. The tunnel brought clean water to the city away from the already existing spring, Gihon Spring in case Assyria penetrated the city. The tunnel took about twenty minutes to go through and it was pitch black inside. The only thing that was able to help was our flashlights and headlamps to help find our way out the other end. However, at various moments, we called, “BLACKOUT” and everyone in our group turned off their flashlight so we couldn’t even see one inch in front of us. We slushed through lukewarm water most of the way at our knees, but at times, the water came up to our thighs. As we made our way out the other end of the tunnel, we walked toward the Shiloh Pool where the water came out. This pool is significant in the book of John, where Jesus spits in dust and puts it on a blind man’s eyes, telling him to wash it off at the Pool of Shiloh.

after coming out of Hezekiah's Tunnel

After the Pool of Shiloh we went up to another candidate for the tomb of David, however, Benj, our teacher, was a skeptic and had alternative views to where he was buried. After this, we hurried to the bus and headed back toward the warmth of the Moshav and a much needed hot sauna session awaiting us.


Old City Jerusalem Overview
January 27, 2011

Today was the second day of my time in Israel and the group of 29 students loaded into the bus for a 30 minute trip to Jerusalem. from 8:30am to 5:00pm we walked all over that city for a brief overview tour to get to know the city better. First thing we did was go on top of a hostel and listened to our teacher(Benj) talk about the view of Jerusalem we saw from the Wetsern Gate of the city(Jaffa Gate).




Benj also took us on a walk about 10min to the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic man of 35 years.

The Hebrew name for Bethesda means” house of grace.






We also went to the Struthion Pool where Pilot presented Jesus to the Jews to have Him crucified in John 19 where Pilot says, “Behold the Man…”

Next we went to the wailing wall known known as the Western Wall, the girls and guys separated to there segregated section of the wall. When people went up to that wall they prayed and walked back and forth; once they were done they walked backwards out of respect for the holy of holies that was once behind the wailing wall. Some wrote prayers on small peices of paper and stuck them in the cracks of the stone. Me and some other girls I was with wrote a prayer on a paper and prayed at the wall for a while. However, it was sad watching Jewish women pray and cry, waiting for a savior, while they missed the one true Savior 2000 years ago. It was sad seeing them pray to a God that doesn’t hear their prayers because they don’t put their faith in the Great Intercessor, who intercedes on their behalf.


Next we climbed the Jerusalem wall from the southern part of the city to the eastern part to be able to see the Mount of Olives. Seeing the Mount of Olives increased  my faith by seeing the exact location where Jesus ascended to heaven after His resurrection and where He WILL be returning one day. God’s grace and mercy to Gentiles and to all nations just amazes me. His faithfulness and never failing love is what keeps me going, living just to know my loving Savior more.

Throughout the day we went to the Muslim and Jewish sections of the city of Jerusalem. There are also Aramaic and Christian sections too, where people live and work, segregated by their nationality.

this is the Muslim section of the Old City

The city was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, we could walk any where in the city within 20min. Also, the men in the city act as if they have NEVER seen a blonde girl in their life. So of course they looked at me as if I was an alien, here is a picture of some Israeli soldiers giving me the look I got all day…

January 3, 2011


It is thy will that I should love thee with heart, soul, mind, strength, and my neighbor as myself.

But I am not sufficient for these things.

There is by nature no pure love in my soul; evert affection in me is turned from thee; I am bound, as slave to lust, I cannot love thee, lovely as thou art, until thou dost set me free.

By grace I am they freeman and would serve thee, for I believe thou art my God in Jesus, and that through him I am redeemed and my sins are forgiven.

With this freedom I would always obey thee, but I cannot walk in liberty, any more that I could first attain it, of myself.

May thy Spirit draw me nearer to thee and thy ways.

Thou art the end of all means, for if they lead me not to thee, I go away empty.

Order all my ways by thy holy Word and make thy commandments the joy of my heart, that by them I may have happy converse with thee.

May I grow in thy love and manifest it to mankind.

Spirit of love, make me like the loving Jesus; give me his benevolent temper, his beneficent actions, that I may shine before men to thy glory.

The more thou doest in love in me and by me, humble me the more; keep me the meek, lowly, and always ready to give thee honor.

Title of the Blog
November 30, 2010

The title of this blog, “New Shalom” is based on of Lacrae’s “Rehab” album. The song New Shalom is about the new peace we as believers have with Christ by His new covenant with the Church(Ephesians 2:14-16: “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”

We no longer are enemies of God but have a right relationship with Him by the peace that Jesus Christ brings through His death on a cross. I thought it would be appropriate to name my blog, that is based on my adventures in Israel, on a Hebrew word that not only is a greeting in the Jewish culture but means peace, the peace that only Christ brings us.

I am counting down the days to when I leave for Israel…which is on January 22, 2011

I am so blessed God has provided for me to have this opportunity, it is a once in a lifetime chance. I can’t wait to see the Bible come alive!