BCC411青少年2019年7月以色列之旅见证 — Julia 姐妹(年轻人)


      In the beginning, I did not plan to go to Israel over the summer. When my mom told me about this trip, I thought, I have already been two times, and I am also studying for classes this summer. However, this trip was always at the back of my mind and I somehow organized my schedule to be able to fit a 9-day trip to another country. However, I still was not convinced that I should go. I even told another friend, Joanne, about this trip’s details and asked her what I should do. At the same time, my mom had also asked Joanne if she wanted to go, too.
      Finally, on the morning of the day before the plane was due to fly out, I decided I wanted to go. I was ready, but I needed the last push, which came from an Instagram post by my friend who was at an Israeli restaurant. After seeing her picture, I was convinced that I should indeed go. I asked my mom if it was too late, and she said no, but I had better hurry. My mom also somehow got Joanne to go on this trip as well, especially since her mom had wanted her to go on a trip like this, too.
      The day after I decided to go, we flew out from Houston to Newark, and then Tel Aviv. Initially, there was a 3-hour delay for our Newark flight, but thanks to God’s grace, we did not have to wait the full 3 hours and made it on time to the Tel Aviv flight, no questions asked.
      In Israel, we went to a lot of archaeological sites, some of which I had gone to before, like the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane, but also some of which were new to me, such as the Friends of Zion Museum and Tank Museum. Each day was packed with activities, which started with morning prayer at 6:30, buffet breakfast, the bus, and coming back to the hotel for buffet dinner and conference/prayer. Getting up at 6 in the morning was a struggle, especially since I sometimes had homework to complete or stayed up late (around 1-2 AM) either talking about the trip, our experiences (Joanne was my roommate), or reading messages from my friends who were still in Houston. We sometimes walked for quite a while, and I would sleep on the bus with the curtains drawn. I brought an umbrella with me this time, since I knew the sun was going to be strong there, but thankfully I did not get that much tanner and there were oftentimes cool winds that blew whenever we sat down and talked about the historical significance of the place or prayed.
      Another interesting thing that happened was when we walked out of the Israeli Independence Museum, it started to snow in the middle summer. That was unbelievable.
      In terms of my own experiences with God’s power, I remember the second night of the conference I was moved by a Chinese song during worship and started lowkey tearing up. Later, we were asked to go pray in front. I prayed that I wanted to be like Jacob, who held on tightly to God and didn’t let Him go. I prayed that I wanted to feel God’s presence in Israel, or else I didn’t want to let go either. That was when I started crying really hard, and it got to the point where I couldn’t breathe out of my nose. When I got back to the hotel room, I saw that the pores around my eyes had become red. On the fourth night of the conference, which was the final testimony night, I did not yet go up to talk about what happened. However, after the conference ended, Minister Ma reminded me that I had not yet given her the check for the trip. I hurried back to bring her the check, and at that time, Minister Sophia was there, too. They asked me how my trip was, and I told them about what happened on the second night. I had just gotten to the part where I was talking about how I wanted to feel God’s presence, and I began to cry all over again. It was really embarrassing. They then started playing the Chinese song that I cried to, and I cried even more. This went on for a while, and I could feel my right leg shake. Afterwards, we went back to our hotel rooms. I felt kind of bad since it was already pretty late, and the two ministers had to wake up early the next morning too.
      All in all, I really did find that I enjoyed this trip, and I think that God put it in my heart to reserve a space and time for His chosen land this year. I did end up craving some Asian food after all the Mediterranean food we ate. The grapefruit limeade was really good, though. The fish at St. Peter’s Restaurant was also better than I remember.