Israel. The mere mention of the word conjures up a favorite memory for those who've been, and a longing for those who haven't. After being here three days, it's difficult to pinpoint that one "a-ha" moment. It might be because those enlightening moments have been nearly nonstop since stepping off the plane in Tel Aviv.
Our group of seven has stood in the river bed where David picked his stones to slay Goliath, spent time in the Dead Sea, climbed the hills where David hid from Saul, explored the ruins of Masada (Herrod's palaces) and had a special military escort take us to the Jordan River where we baptized each other at the spot where it is believed John baptized Jesus.
Those are just a few of the places we've laughed, cried, praised God and felt a stirring deep in our souls. Imagine trying to cram 48 hours' worth of sight-seeing, Bible reading, emotional hugs, and mere minutes of sleep into 24 hours. Well, that's been us for the first 72 hours.
Starting in the desert might have seemed an odd place to start our journey. Yes, a journey. This is more than a visit. Coming to Israel is more about seeing sites, standing where events in the Bible took place, or walking where Jesus walked. Traveling through this small, yet powerful nation awakens something inside you.Those who've been understand. They are quick to share that one big moment, the revelation that changed their life.
For a sampling of life-changing moments, check out the October issue of Charisma for an article on the "10 Ten Places in Israel You Must See Before You Die."
While that one big moment changes a person's life, the series of "small" moments shouldn't be overlooked. In nearly everything we've seen, every place we've been, the Lord has pricked our hearts, our spirits. We've walked away changed. On many different levels. You can tell by the deep contemplative looks on faces, followed soon by a smile of enlightenment. The look of joy and pure adoration has never looked better.
Keep track of the last four days of Larry J. Leech II's travels in Israel by following him on Twitter or becoming a friend on Facebook.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!