Did you ever dream of going to Israel? Me too! For years I longed to go, thinking it would be an impossible dream. Then three years ago, my rabbi approached me about a tour that he was leading. Thanks to the generosity of many friends, I was able to take that tour.
Last year he was going again. Only this time, I knew I didn’t have the money but really wanted to return. I just couldn’t get it out of my head.
You see, when I was at the Wall, I prayed, “Lord, please bring me back, and let me bring people with me.” So here I was, with this strong desire to return haunting me.
My friend, Maria, asked if I was going on the tour. I said I wanted to, but didn’t have the money. Then we got to talking, and Maria shared how it didn’t have to cost that much. Well, before you knew it, we had our plane tickets booked and I was heavy into planning the itinerary.
It turned out that the total cost for everything – flight, food, accommodations, transportation, and sites came to about $2,400. Now, if someone told me I had to come up with all that money at once, I would have left the trip on the table.
However, when you put it together a little at a time, it becomes doable. And now, I am planning my third trip to the Land! This time, there are nine people going with me.
Planning a trip for 10 is a little more involved than planning for just 2. But it is a challenge that I am loving!
The best part is that I am not stressing. For those who know me, this comes as quite a shock. As hard as I try, when putting together events, I start going stark raving mad! My kids learned long ago ‘run for the hills’ when Mom is preparing for company. (Not that I’m proud of it.)
But for this? There is a lot of prayer and dependence on God.
Well…I have to be honest. Every now and then I do start losing it, start panicking – especially when Booking.com cancelled half my hostel reservations! But God. (My two favorite words.)
But God provided a way, with the overall cost remaining the same and having all the hostel stays under one booking, where they were spread out before. So things worked out better than they were before.
Another challenge was the flight to Israel. Last year I was able to book a pretty direct flight (only one stop with a short layover.) This year, we started with a 7 hour layover, that turned into 8 1/2 hours. I was not a happy camper. But God.
But God reminds me of how he took care of Maria and I every step of the way last year, and I wait for his provision. And he never fails.
Turns out the layover is in Amsterdam. I was talking with my friend Marissa, she told me that Anne Frank’s house is there. I looked into it, and sure enough, we’ll have enough time to go see it.
Right now, there is a wait to get tickets. They only sell two months in advance and go fast. So I’ve set a reminder to check on it a week before the two month mark, but I have to remember that if God wants us to go to Anne Frank’s house, he’ll set it up. If not, he’s got something better planned.
What’s the lesson in all this?
Don’t let your dream of going to Israel fade. Pray and trust that God will make a way in his time, in his way. And it will be better than you ever imagined!