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Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review

Since there are only a few hours left before the clock strikes 12, it's the perfect time for an obligatory end of the year post.

2012 started off slow and normal. It was the daily humdrum of school and work. It was routine, but it was pleasant. In May, sophomore year came to an end and summer break was happily welcomed. During the summer, my family took a vacation down to sunny Palm Springs and attended the Resolved Conference with our church.
At the end of August, summer came to a close and I boarded on a flight to Israel, and that's when the best memories of 2012 began. The semester in Israel was amazing, and adventurous, and stressful, and testing, and wondrously memorable. The people, places, and stories of the Bible came to life and the Lord taught me about His sovereignty, faithfulness, and goodness. I was blessed to spend three and a half months in the Holy Land with a great group of people friends {the Fall '12 crew is pretty amazing}. And in the middle of it I flew off to Europe and cruised the Mediterranean for a week...another incredible experience. I don't think it's possible to encapsulate my Israel semester in a paragraph, but when I think about it, I am overwhelmed by God's grace.
2012 ended with a pretty grand bang.

And with that another year has come and gone. Cheers to 2013. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas celebrating Jesus, who gave up the glories of heaven to come to earth. Amazingly grateful for Him who brought light to the darkness and endured death on the cross so that we could have life eternal. How great a gift and reason to celebrate!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reminiscing Israel: Power Outages

There are many memories from Israel that I never had a chance to write down, which is such a shame because now some of them have fluttered off into oblivion. In an attempt to savor the ones that remain, I'm going to try them down slowly but surely {and sporadically}. So without further ado, let the reminiscing begin!


We love our magnum bars!
#1. The time the power went out for a good 6 hours. It was during the festival of Sukkot (a Jewish holiday also known as the Feast of Booths). I remember all of us gathering into the sukkah, or booth, that we had built. Drops of rain were coming in through the leaf ceiling and it was pitch dark because we had no electricity. We ate our apple crisp dessert in the dark while our teacher gave a message via the light of a headlamp.

Around 11pm later that night, a couple girls and I were sitting in bed watching The Hunger Games, after all we couldn't do any homework without the electricity, right? All of a sudden we hear some voices yelling, "Free Ice Cream!" You'd of thought there the world was ending or something because everyone ran out of their dorms and up to the reception lobby to grab an ice cream bar. The reception had decided to give away ice cream because it was melting from the power outage. That night, mass gluttony ensued. 

#2. The time we heard a loud pop, saw a spark, and our room went dark. I looked over at my friend and she was laying on the bed her head buried in her arms. Turns out, our room was the only one in the dorm to fall prey to the black out. And ya want to know what caused it? Our fellow dormmate's hairdryer!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Home

I am officially back home in America!

It feels so good to be surrounded by family and back into the regular routine. Back to familiar streets, my college campus, McDonalds egg mcmuffins that are anything but kosher, back to my fluffy bed, the Christmas season, my phone {I haven't heard a telephone ring in over 3 months!}.

Yet I miss Israel too. I never expected it. If you'd have asked me if I would miss it, I would have definitely said no. But I take it back.
I could not have asked for a better group to spend the last 3.5 months with. It's only been 2 days, but I already miss these people so much.

I'm so thankful to have experienced the sights and smells of the Holy Land, the lessons learned, and for the friendships made there.

"Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies. " Psalm 38:34



Friday, December 7, 2012

The Moshav

Countdown: 2 nights and 2 days left in Israel.

I finally made the time to snap pictures of the "moshav" where we've been living for the last three months.

It's going to be sad to leave this little place, but I can't wait to get back to the comforts of home.

Welcome to the dorm.
Here's our humble little abode. We each got a third of a desk, two shelves, and half a closet which we miraculously managed to fit all our things into.

Our beautiful bathroom adorned with flowers growing through the window. After our week long trip to Galilee the branches had grown across the ceiling. It looked like a forest in there.

This is the dining hall where we eat all our meals. We've had our fair share of fish, kabob, cucumbers, and potatoes in this here restaurant.

The one, the only...classroom. We've written many a' notes on those tables, listened to 4 hour lectures, and memorized all the cities on the satellite map hanging over there on the left hand wall.

Last but not least, I just had to include our laundry "room." It's more of a laundry cave that sits underneath the dorm.

Oh, the moshav. Whether it's eating kabob & hummus every.single.day in the restaurant, or cramming into the dorm room and singing "22" at the top of our lungs, so many memories have been made on these grounds. I might miss this place after all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Last Week

The semester is winding down. How can it be possible that this semester is almost over?

{western wall & temple mount}
 On Friday, we had our last field trip trough Jerusalem. We walked through the city at night and retraced the steps that Jesus took on the night before His crucifiction.

This week I'll be dominating finals, or they'll be dominating me. Either way, I'll be happy to get them over with, although let's hope the former proves true.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Flying By

Oh my goodness, I've missed this ole' blog!

The semester has just flown by. Whether it's field trips, pie night, the bomb siren, a golf cart catching on fire, or the power going out, there's always something going on around here. Free moments are about as plentiful as the grass is in Israel...in other words, there's practically not a moment to spare.

As usual, time is ticking away.

There are only 11 more days left in the semester. This week, then finals week, and then I'll be HOME! I cannot wait.

This past week was our travel study break. Five fellow friends and I went on a cruise from Barcelona, to France, and Italy! I still can't believe I cruised through the Mediterranean. It seems like a faint, but glorious memory and I can't wait to share all about it.

{cathedral in Barcelona}

Barcelona was amazing and beautiful.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chilling by the Sea

Currently, I'm sitting in my little villa, looking out onto the Sea of Galilee. Our week is nearing an end. Just one more day to enjoy this beauty of the sea and the land where Jesus lived. The land where Jesus performed miracles by healing the sick and casting out demons.

It's been such a full week and there is so much I want to write, but it'll have to be for another time.

Here's just a little snipet from our boat ride from Tiberius to Ginosar. While on the water, we read the account of when Jesus calmed the sea. "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?" Matthew 8:23-27
And later we stopped off on the side of the road to observe the most magnificent sunset.
The Lord is good, all the time. Let me never forget His majesty.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Midterm Week

Midterms week may have been the most brutal week of my short life.

Sunday: Studied all day for Monday's crazy History midterm. 100 short answer questions, never again please.
Monday: History midterm and class until 6pm.
Tuesday: 6 hours straight of class. Study for Archaeology midterm.
Wednesday: Field trip to the Shephelah. Gone all day from 8am till 8pm. Study for Archaeology midterm until 2am.
Thursday: Archeology midterm along with 6 straight hours of class. Write 3 page report and study for Land and Bible test.
Friday: Land and Bible test. Four hours of class. Shabbat dinner and service. Study and take Jewish Culture test. Start packing for Galilee trip at 12:30am.

We defintely put the "study" in study abroad. It was a rough week, but God is so faithful. Tomorrow we head out to Galilee for an 8 day trip. I'm so excited I could barely sleep!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Staying Afloat

in the Dead Sea!
and smothering ourselves in Dead Sea mud.
Can it get much better than this?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Count by Number

4 Classes. Land and the Bible, Archaeology, Jewish Culture, History of Ancient Israel. I'm up to my eyes with reading assignments and studying! But I'm here in the Holy Land, taking Bible classes, and reading God's Word for homework, #blessed.

1 Beach Day. Tel Aviv and the Mediterranean ocean. Waters so warm and blue you never want to leave.
 While in the city, we stumbled upon this precious Italian restaurant. Made to order pasta! My dish of choice: tomato sauce on whole wheat pasta, yummers.

2 Lovely Roomies.

1 Holiday. Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year. Yon Kippur is this Wednesday, hooray for no classes.

5 field trips. 4 to Jerusalem, 1 through the Benjamin Plateau.

On the temple mount.

4 Shabbots. Shabbot is the day of rest in Jewish culture. On Friday nights we get all dressed up for a special shabbot dinner and service. On Saturday we attend church in Jerusalem and spend the afternoon in the Old City.

8+ nasty bug bites. Thanks to all you mosquitoes and other biting things for leaving those red, itchy welts all over my legs. Perhaps shorts at the dusk campfire wasn't the brightest idea.
4 Weeks Down. 11 to go. Time flies here. Every time I blink, another week has gone by.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Snapshots

Little moments captured via snapshots.

Shabbot in Jerusalem. Every Saturday we get dropped off in the Old City to meddle around the marketplaces, eat Israeli cuisine, and lounge in coffee shops.

Just hanging in the hammock doing homework. Relaxation at it's finest...even if it involves homework.

 I was this close to the wailing wall. If you look close enough, you would see scraps of paper stuffed into the crevices of the wall. It was so solemn there.

 The roomies and I. And the heart shaped leaves that look like they came straight out of a disney movie.

Hezekiah's tunnel. There's actually water in there. And it's pitch dark. And every once in a while you'll smell something terrible and know that someone dealt it, and you'll laugh and try not to breathe. And then there's the crevice that perfectly fits one person who will climb in only to jump out and make the next person scream in freight.

"As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?" 2 Kings 20:20.

 The Bible came to life right before my very eyes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The New Norm

It is so different being here in Israel.

I am still trying to find a new normal in the midst of all this craziness. I'll admit to missing my family, sweet friends, and cozy bed. But as I begin my third week here, it's beginning to feel a little bit more normal, a little more settled. I think I can get used to this.

Wednesday is field trip day. So far, we've toured Old City and New City Jerusalem. It's kind of mind-blowing to know that we are walking where Jesus walked! I hope these sights never lose their wonder.

And the food, oh the food. It is different, but I kind of like it. There is lots of fruit for breakfast and veggies and meat for lunch and dinner. All our meals are kosher which means that each meal either has dairy or meat, but not both. No cheese burgers for us!

Typical breakfast. {Chocolate cake, fruit, and eggs.}

An encouraging truth:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. {Proverbs 3:5-6}

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Here!

16 hours in the air + 10 hour time difference = I'm finally in Israel!
Today, we walked up to the top of this hill and saw the site where the Arc of the Covenant once resided.

There is a crazy, unbelievable amount of history here.

Can't wait to learn more and saok up these sites.

I hope you all are having wonderful beginnings to your semesters!