Made the flight from Grand Rapids to Tel Aviv in good shape. Plane was packed. Got a seat in the middle of the middle of a 777. Sat next to a young Jewish mother with three very small children. Youngest was less than 2. Don’t know how she survived the trip (the mother, I mean) Must have gotten up and down a hundred times to help her children.
Woke up at 2:30 this morning because of time change. But had enough rest. Sort of. Besides, today was my day to not have to work and just get adjusted.
Met the rest of our team for breakfast. They’ve been working here for a week now with Michael Rydelnik, Professor of Jewish studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Michael did a video series for us in which he told his own personal, “My Search for Messiah.” I think it’s a very compelling video, and can be streamed from our dod.org website.
Was raining, windy, and cold in Jerusalem when we left the hotel, so decided to head east, down, and south to EnGedi along the western bank of the Dead Sea. When it’s raining in Jerusalem we usually have a chance of getting some sunshine in the Jordan Valley.
When we reached EnGedi, it was windy but not raining. So I got a chance to look for some wildlife in a dry stream bed while Michael and the team worked on the rest of his video on the covenant God made with David. EnGedi, as many of you know, means “Spring of the mountain goat” and is a place that David hid from King Saul who wanted to kill him (1Samuel 23:29-24:1).
As you can see, I saw at least one Ibex (mountain goat) and a coney. Actually saw some baby Ibexes too and our team saw some baby conies (see Proverbs 30:26). Also got a picture of a really big three legged Ibex that was getting along. But figured that might be more than you want to see.
It actually rained a bit in the valley which is something I’ve never seen before. But am guessing no one in Israel was complaining except us tourists. Was told that the water level in the country’s reservoir is at a critical low and they have stopped pumping water out of the Galilee which is Israel’s main water supply. We’re planning to get up to the Galilee in a few days. Will try to get some pictures of the water level.
Actually saw evidence of the drought even in the Dead Sea area. Have never seen it so low. Huge expanses of dry land where we usually see far more water at the worlds lowest spot. As we drove along, did catch this bad picture though of a sign that made us smile. It says, “Danger of Drowning” and is supposed to be on the shore of the Dead Sea. But as you may be able to see, there is nothing but dry ground on this stretch.
OK, I know this is getting a bit long. Here’s one more picture which shows that the weather actually cleared for us while we were at the Dead Sea. We considered it a provision from the Lord and Michael and the team were able to get a good day of “shooting” in. I like Michael’s approach to content and presentation. He knows the Scriptures and is very clear in his presentation.
Jimmy DeYoung is in the country doing a tour. He left me a phone message, but haven’t seen him yet.
Tomorrow we are scheduled to put Michael together with two other men who, also have Jewish roots, while being followers of Jesus.
PS Have to show you one more picture of either an Israeli geyser, or volcano. You’ll have to tell me. Well actually it was a funny shaped cloud that I caught just at the right moment. Actually do have things to do. Tomorrow should be a busier day… :-)…