The Refugee Crisis: Stepping into the Story

As we slowly say good-bye to the Middle East, to Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Greece and head farther west, it’s impossible to not take time to reflect on the Syrian Refugee Crisis that has been intensifying over the past four plus years and affecting all of these countries and more. While in the above mentioned countries, we enjoyed the history, century-old traditions, the cultures, and delicious food.  And let’s not forget the fresh hummus, the lamb gyros and falafel, or the creamy Gelato.  Our memories are intense and we were at times overwhelmed by the… Read More

Day 393: The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

After the encouraging Easter service (The Beauty of the Empty Tomb), we took a walk through Old Town Jerusalem, dodging friendly shopkeepers and aggressive tourists.  We visited the Western Wall, and more specifically the Wailing Wall, which is one of the most sacred sites in Judaism.  I’ve often heard of the Wailing Wall but was not prepared for what greeted us as we entered the plaza and began to slowly descend the stairs. Before approaching the walls, we encountered hand washing stations used to ritually cleanse oneself prior to praying.  While I… Read More

Day 392: The Beauty of the Empty Tomb

On Easter Morning, we celebrated together at the Garden Tomb with Nick and Angel and about 1000-1500 other believers from around the world. It’s hard to describe just how special that experience was. As we viewed one of the likely spots where Jesus may have been buried and then risen on the third day, I marveled at the beauty and significance of the empty tomb!  For some reason, I had never thought through that before, but having the empty tomb with the words “He is not here, for He is risen” displayed just outside the… Read More

Day 390: Israel and Old Town Jerusalem

We have dear friends in Israel who invited us to visit them during the week of Easter, as they had some time off.  We were surprised by the timing, as we’ve wanted to visit Nick, Angel, and their children for several years now, as well as spend an Easter in Jerusalem.  To have the opportunity to do both at the same time was a wonderful and unexpected treat. Just being with “family” again after so many months on the road was its own kind of special.  Add to that the love and kindness… Read More

Day 380: Jordan/Israel and the Dreaded Border Crossing!

After enjoying a few days in Jordan, we headed to the Jordan-Israel border at Allenby/King Hussein Bridge, as we had opted to drive to Jerusalem versus fly into Tel Aviv. We found that the easiest way for our family of six to do this was by arranging for a taxi to the Jordanian side of the crossing from our hotel by the Dead Sea. It was so much faster, we thought…just an hour or two away to our destination from the Dead Sea by land.  Why go through the hassle of checking in… Read More

Day 366: Time Flies…One Year Already!

Unbelievable! Today, June 16th, marks our Round the World one year anniversary! It’s difficult to believe a whole year has passed, and yet here we are in Vienna, Austria, making plans for our return.  Over the last few days, I’ve been putting together a “Year in Review” with photos and commentary, but as I progressed, I realized it would take much longer than I anticipated.  Perhaps I will save that for our return. In the meantime, as I was reflecting on the past year, I was reminded of God’s goodness to us in… Read More