Our Trip To Australia

Ok here’s the post about our trip and how Father brought us here.

(typed last week posted this week)

Well as you may or may not know we were in Israel, and before that in Jordan because our visa expired. Our visa was about to expire again, and there were next to zero funds. A huge test for us. Its not like He hasn’t put us through that before but, it hasn’t gotten any easier through the years either.

We knew we could go to Jordan, how to get there and all that. We were just there 3 months ago. We had also had the thought of going to Australia. We knew the work wasn’t done, and I knew that Father was calling us back. But, because there were no finances to go, I figured it was my head and flesh wanting to go.

We all got ready for Jordan, got our brains around it, and started to figure out how we would keep ourselves occupied in an apartment for 3 months. I mean, like, because of the culture we wouldn’t be out much, we don’t know the language, the culture and all that.

Then around 6 days before we were leaving Israel, someone (who will remain anonymous due to privacy reasons) offered us the tickets to go to Australia. At first we weren’t so sure. Was this a test to see if we would go the easy route (Australia) or the hard one (Jordan). All this time we still hadn’t found a place to stay in Jordan. By easy, I mean, like: the same language, a place where I can walk and not feel censored because I wasn’t wearing a head covering, family, friends, a possibility of a drivers license, and much more. And by hard, I mean: not knowing the language, and it’s hard to describe but, if you’ve been in a Muslim country then you can understand.

Back to the story, so we prayed about it. Father had already showed me something a few weeks or so before but, I wasn’t going to say anything until someone else got something to confirm it. On Sabbath we got together as a family and made a decision based on what Father was showing us. We were heading to Australia, which required us to get our minds around something totally opposite of what we were prepared for.

Now we had to find tickets. When Sabbath ended Dad went on the famous –or is it infamous- airline ticket search. I call it that, because Dad’s airline searches can last from hours to days to weeks. In this case we only had a day, as we wanted to leave either Monday or Tuesday.

We contacted some friends (who will stay anonymous) in Queensland which we wanted to go see before we left Israel earlier this year, but it didn’t quite work out. They said that it was no problem for us to stay with them. So we got tickets to Brisbane.

A fellow we met in Israel (he makes the soap that my brother blogged about on “fromthericefields”) drove us to the train station on Tuesday evening. From there we caught the train (a double decker) to the airport. Everything at the airport went smoothly. And we knew it was what Father wanted us to do. He was with us the whole way. The lady at passport control even wished me a “Happy Birthday”. I’ve never in my whole life that I can remember been wished a happy birthday from a passport control agent. That just kinda made my day, my birthday wasn’t even until the next week!

Anyway, we flew out at 10:10 that night,

Afula, Flight, Queensland Australia 008 brighten, signed<Tel-Aviv at night>

to Seoul, South Korea, where we had a layover of 4 hours.

Afula, Flight, Queensland Australia 052<South Korea>

After we flew straight to Brisbane where, the wife of this family picked us up.

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We met 3 members of their family when they went down to Victoria, so it was really good to meet up with the rest of their family.

They took us to the Beach last Sunday. It was AWESOME! My first time in Queensland and my first Sunshine Coast Beach!

Afula, Flight, Queensland Australia 176 signedAfula, Flight, Queensland Australia 147 signedAfula, Flight, Queensland Australia 146 signed

We also went for a walk in the Sub-Tropical rain forest. But those pictures are for later!

So that pretty much covers it all

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Back Next Door

OK! So we are now back across the border!

We left Jordan on Tuesday (yesterday), crossed the border. Which was a really nice crossing. Everyone was friendly and smiling. It was really great. Of course Dad, Joseph and I had our bags searched, but that was because we had:

Dad

berkey (our metal water filter)

metal bowl,

Joseph

Multi tool,

canned food,

bowl,

but mostly cans

I

Multi tool,

bowl,

tin flute,

But the great news is! I beat Dad and Joseph packing up again. Dad says I take a long time to pack up, and that I need to work on packing faster. But I beat him! YIPPY! I felt like having a party at that moment, I almost wish I timed myself like I did with my sleeping bag before we left Afula. But that probably would be too much, especially at border security. It was great though. The whole border thing was good. Then we find out that the bus to Jerusalem wasn’t until 4:30 because of Rosh Hashanah, so we got a bit frazzled at that but Father used that.

We went to stay at a hostel in Eliat named The Shelter. It’s a christian run hostel, and I would recommend it to anyone. If you have a family, great, its near a big playground, if you come as a group or by yourself, there’s always great people to talk to. The beach isn’t that far. It’s just all around great!

We rested up, then today we got on the 10:00 bus and went to Jerusalem, then caught a bus to Afula. We are now back at the same house that we house sited last month, but down in the apartment. Only for a couple of days though. Its been a good day.

When we arrived back in The Land, I found that I connected with the land but not with the people and the culture. After being over in Jordan, I see how much Israel is like North America. How people act and dress. Its nothing like Jordan. Of course Israel is a country all of its own. It’s a awesome country, but it doesn’t really have a culture. Its not middle eastern nor is it totally western. Its just kinda in-between. I still love it here, not for the culture, nor for the way things are here, but for the land.

Its great to be back. And its going to be a great fall!

My Week!

Shabbat Shalom!

Let me catch you up to speed on this week.

So, nothing big happened earlier this week, but we did go on a day trip to see Little Petra on Thursday. We drove the Kings Way, and through all the mountains. Saw Bedouin camps, and so much more!

The drive was Beautiful, who knew that a place as rugged as this could be so beautiful.

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We had the windows down and the wind blowing in our hair

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It was really neat! It’s smaller than Petra, and archeologist say that Little Petra was probably an important suburb. At Lil Petra you can climb and go into the caves, but in Petra you can’t go into them all. It was really a sight. And if Lil Petra was this good I can only imagine what Petra looks like!

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The people that lived in Petra called the Nabataeans, they were originally from the Saudi Arabia (the Arabian peninsula), and then moved up here 2200 years ago. The Nabataeans controlled a big part of the trade routes. They tolled and protected caravans. Their empire went all the way up to Damascus, to part of the Sinai and the Negev. It wasn’t easy because the Greeks were fighting for this region also. So it was difficult to hang on to it. But despite this they held on and thrived. Until they fell, to the Romans. It didn’t help that because of the spread of Christianity that the trade of frankincense and myrrh were down. As this was their main export. And eventually Petra and other Nabataean towns and achievements were in ruin.

In little Petra, there were many high places where people would sacrifice to other gods. There was even a spot where they did human sacrifices. I didn’t get to see it but my dad and brother climbed up there, and saw it.

It was over all a good day!

Then yesterday we went to see some people, who had a roof garden. Which was awesome because they had flowers! And its been a long time since I was able to take pictures of flowers. So I was happy.

But before we went there. We went to see a lady who showed us a satellite map of Israel and Jordan. She showed us how things that were said in the Bible, such as the first prophecy of Yahushua. About how the serpent would crush His heel and the seed of the woman would crush its head. It has a literal picture of it in the layout of the land. Its really quite neat! I can’t describe it you would have to see it the map. She also showed us about the stars and how Yahuweh taught Job from them. It is really quite interesting. And you never woulda guessed, and I can’t explain it, its just Wow! Every night we look up and see the stars and its actually the whole story of the Bible! Who woulda-thunk-it!

Anyway its just been a good week. Learned lots, got lots of sun (we’re proof of that because we’re sunburnt), and had lots of fun!

This was typed on 9/15/2012 but will not be posted until a later date.

1 Tim 4:12

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This was taken in Israel but I forgot about it until today. We are still in Jordan. And it’s been good. I like the people here too.

Here’s a verse someone sent me from a Bible Verse Swap Email.

1Ti 4:12 Let no one make little of you because you are young, but be an example to the church in word, in behavior, in love, in faith, in holy living.

So for us youth, this is a good verse to think on. Just because we are young it does not mean that we cannot be mature in our faith, and that we have to follow what the world says teenagers do and rebel against our parents. Yes as a teen we are trying to find our place. But it doesn’t mean that just because Mom and Dad said to be home by 10:00 we push the limit. As teenagers we need to start taking responsibility and understand that if we stay out later than 10:00 we most likely are going to get up late tomorrow, and be late.

Last night Mom, Erin and I went to help a single mum get settled in her apartment. And while we were out cleaning the front porch, the neighbor hood kids came over and started speaking in Arabic to us. But of course we have no idea what they were saying so when they figured out that we spoke English they tried to communicate with the little English they knew. It was asked every 2 minutes “what’s your name”. They also knew how to count to 10 in English. It amazes me that these kids between the ages of 6-10 knew this much English. I am guilty to say, I only know how to say “thank you” and “no” in their language. But they were friendly and it didn’t bother them about the communication barrier.

We had a good time. We dusted the furniture, swept and scrubbed the floor. The lady has 2 children and is 6 months pregnant. So she could use the help.

Shabbat Shalom, have a good, peaceful Sabbath.

And remember that just because we may be young, we are still the next generation, of those who will serve Him.

Short Trip Out of Town

Today my brother and I went with a friend to the Jordanian University, here in Aqaba. It’s just outside of the city, near the Airport. An international Airport, but it’s quite small for one.

Anyway on the way there, I was looking around, and I was surprised to see all these boulders/big rocks, lying around everywhere. And these rocks would fit perfectly together with out having to hammer or chisel them into shape. It made me understand how easy it was for the Israelites to build and alter. I mean to find the stones to build with, not picking them up and stacking them. I doubt I could even move some of them. Well, I would be weaker than most of their senior citizens, so…..

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Sorry but it’s a bit blurry. Over by those hills is Israel.

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This is the front entrance of the university. Classes don’t start until the 19, Sept. So there aren’t many students there.

Our friend is a friend of a computer professor. So he showed us around and answered our questions.

We had a good time. We found out that Jordan has about 25 universities. 20 of which are private the other 5 are government funded Universities. Jordan University is based in Ammon, but has one branch in Aqaba.

The difference is for example: at a government Uni for a certain class you would pay 3000JD, where at a private Uni for the exact same class you would pay about 6000JD. And to get into a Government Uni you have to have good grades in high school. So its Study hard or pay the price. Literally.

Also Jordan has a high number of college graduates. But not enough jobs. There are approximately 150 people per job. So many leave the country, to get better jobs, better salary, etc, etc.

So that is my very brief description of the University, and our time there.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Follow Up Post

Here is a follow up post to the other one.

We moved from the other apartment. Yahuweh said that we were not supposed to stay in that one. So now we are in a smaller apartment, in the 3rd area (they don’t use street names much just areas). We used to be in the 8th area.

This apartment, yes, is smaller but closer to the shops. It’s in a nice neighborhood too, and so was the other one, it’s the same in that aspect. We are also not far away from the China Mall. I’ve not seen it yet but everyone else has (my own doing). I’ll see it soon though.

Aqaba is really nice. Once you get past the initial culture shock. I can’t say that I immediately loved it, no at first felt like -and I still do feel like-, as Abraham said “I am a stranger in a strange land”. I feel like a fish out of water here, but in case you didn’t know there is a fish that can live out of the water for a while. Then there are those flying fish…. So it is just a matter of feeling out of place.

It is quite different in some ways. In the western world, most people don’t openly stare. Here it’s a bit different. Kinda unnerving too but you get through it. It isn’t as bad as I put it out to be. As I’m not really used to the outside world, and I usually duck for cover when I see people coming, which, is what I did for years. I can’t do that anymore, with all the traveling we do. It’s just a different culture here, I’m almost getting, not the word used to it, that sounds too.. well…. used it it. Lets just say it doesn’t make me want to go hide and never come out anymore. My family knows I‘m notorious for that.

But you should see how they drive here! It’s Awesome! Makes me want to get my drivers license, but then again makes me not want to get behind the wheel. Almost every time I get in a car here I’m laughing. This may sound very immature to you all but, I even smile about it now just thinking about it. They are very civilized in their driving though. And the drivers here have got to be pretty good. To keep their cars on the road. LOL

The people here are quite friendly. I like them, they are courteous and nice, but business like as well.

Here is a view from the main street in Aqaba.

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Across the water is Egypt, well actually the Sinai, I think. And just to tell you, no, I’m not standing in the middle of the street, I’m in a car. If I was I don’t think I would be in the apartment at the moment. LOL.

They don’t always stop for pedestrians and at times they will speed up to get you moving.

This post is late but pretty much up to date.

Journey

Well here we are in Aqaba, Jordan. It was quite a trip to get here! Ben and I were up by 3:30 in the morning (I went back to bed for 1/2 hour), then everyone else got up by about 4-4:30. We had our boots on by 6:30, and out the door by about 6:40. We caught our bus, got down to Jerusalem. It was great to be there again, even if it was only in the bus station. By 11:00 we were on another bus heading to Eliat. Now that was a trip to remember. We had never been in the south, so it was neat to see it.

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We were on the bus for about 2 1/2 hours. Before we got to the Dead sea and Masada, we saw Jericho. One day I would like to see the Dead Sea, and Masada up close!

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I now understand what they mean by the plains of Jericho. For all around it is hills and on the other side mountains!

DSCF8720 sharpened and signed The Dead sea is in the background. There were old mud houses nearby and made for an interesting shot

DSCF8733 croped and signed Again the Dead sea. Now you will have to excuse the glare and blurriness, these photos were taken from a moving bus.

DSCF8727 signed Masada, you can see a squiggly path going up. That is a trail you can take if you don’t want to take the lift (cable car) up.

It was hot down there! The land was quite empty. There were not many communities from Jericho down to Eliat. We made a 1/2 way stop after the dead sea. Then continued on for another about 2 1/2 hours.

We arrived in Eliat about 1 hour early, and had an early supper. Then we headed to the border. It wasn’t difficult to get through. But by the time we got through we were exhausted. Some friends of a friend came to pick us up and the taxi drivers became very upset, and took the husband in for about 1/2hr-1hr. During that time other people came to pick people up and the taxi drivers had no problem with them. So, that just added to everything. Then we went to look at an apartment, we stayed here for one night but not sure about the rest of our time here. We might go sight seeing. We’re also not sure about where we should be staying whether we should do the apartment thing, or just stay in hostels on our way around.

Here is the view from the Apt.

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This post may not be posted for a couple of days.

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

DSCF5745 scripture verse and signed

This was taken at Lands End in Cornwall, UK. It is a beautiful place.

It was very windy so we were very thankful for our coats.

Since that trip so much has happened. Not only in my family’s life but in mine too. My faith has grown stronger as a result. It was a real trial that trip but blessings have come from it as well. I have grown in my faith and at this point I think it is the strongest it has been since I started my walk. I trust my Abba Father more now, than I did before that trip. Yes there was a lot of difficult points, and at times it was just plain horrible, but He was right there. Nothing happened to us, we got to where we needed to go no problem. Even though it was our first time backpacking, and our backpacks were twice as heavy as they should have been, we did not injure ourselves (aside from lower back pain). And that was truly a miracle!

The whole trip was a miracle! He was everywhere! He prepared everything, yes, it was still difficult. Especially when He only tells us to just move. Move where!? To this place or over here? WHERE! It happened quite often. And believe me it was not fun. It was a big step in faith for my entire family.

I changed after the trip some for the better and some for the worst. The worst part was my own fault, and the better, well that was all Him.

I can’t begin to describe how much Abba was in that trip. He guided our every step.

He brought us to the bottom, to build us back up. That trip was a breaking point for me. After that trip I was either going to build a better relationship with my Abba and His Son, or I was going to fall farther away. But by the time it got closer for us to come back to Israel, I knew my faith was going to be stronger than ever.

Let me tell you the story of us leaving Australia.

My Pa, Nan, Uncle & Aunt, oops, we can’t forget baby J (hope you don’t mind me calling him that Uncle A), drove us to the airport. We had already changed our plane tickets once so this time we had to go. We get there and wait for the lines to open up. When they open up we go and line up. We go to get our tickets but because we are flying to Israel, it said that “a return ticket may be required”, they would not give us the ticket because we didn’t have a return ticket.

The lady sent us over to the desk, where her boss was. He gave us 2 choices

1. buy a return ticket (we didn’t know if we would be returning to Australia at that time)

2. buy an onward ticket (doesn’t make any sense to buy 6 onward ticket if we aren’t going to use them)

We knew both of these choices were not what He wanted us to do. Our family was standing over to the side wondering what was happening. We were just getting a bit frustrated because we knew that we were going on a one way ticket, and that was how Abba wanted it. After a while they came over and asked us what was wrong. We explained the situation.

I kept asking Abba what we were supposed to do, and you would have thought I would be scared (as I usually would be) and nervous. But I was clam and I had a peace that I knew was His. He also kept telling me to trust Him and that He would get us through.

Finally the man come over and gave us one more choice, they would give us our tickets to get to Jordan (our flight went from Aust-Qatar-Jordan-Israel). Then it was up to them to give us our tickets. The reason why Qatar airlines wouldn’t send us the whole way was because if we were rejected entry to Israel they would face a penalty of $5,000. When he explained the third choice all our faces broke into smiles. We knew that was the road to go. We said yes, even though there was a chance of us being stuck in Jordan.

We got on the plane, and they joy that I felt in my spirit was unexplainable!

When we got to Qatar He looked after us. A stewardess showed us the cafeteria where because we had a 6 hour layover we got a free breakfast and lunch.

While we were flying to Jordan I did get a little worried because the people in Australia said that we had to go and pickup our bags, then recheck in.

So when we landed we needed to find someone to explain to us what we needed to do. There was a guy there that was yelling Tel-Aviv Tel-Aviv. We thought he was talking about a bus or something, so we told him no. He told us to go to the desk, the people there told us to go with that man. By the time it was all figured out. And by the way we were at the point of falling asleep on our feet! Finally it was explained to us that they would be bringing in everyone’s luggage and would be searching it. Because we came through countries that were hostile towards Israel, and some one could have slipped a bomb in some ones bags. The man that was in charge was really nice and helped us in every way. When it was our turn to have our bags checked. He took us into a nice quiet corner. Where he helped us check our backpacks. He was really nice and friendly about it. Then a lady came over and gave us all a glass of cold water. It tasted SO good. They then gave us our tickets no questions asked and we got on the plane.

When we got there everything went smoothly. There was absolutely no trouble about the ticket. And we were even one of the first ones through, which is a miracle in it’s self.

We caught the shurut with our bags, and went to Jerusalem. It never looked prettier in my eyes it is truly the city on the hill.

So that is my version of the trip over here. He was in the midst of it. And He makes a way where there seems to be no way. He wanted us here and No man could shut that door!

He is faithful in everything.

Have a good Shabbat.

Arrived!!

We have arrived! We arrived last night at 10:15 in Jerusalem. We departed from my Uncles house at about 6:00 Tuesday night. Then we drove from there to Melbourne airport. There we ran into a little trouble… we had booked one way tickets to Tel-Aviv and on the Qatar airways screen when we went to check in, a warning appeared on the computer screen saying “a return ticket is required”. If there was no return ticket, we could be deported and Qatar Airlines would be fined 5,000 dollars. So because of that they would not check us in. All because of the word “is” and the chance of losing 5,000 dollars. Finally after much discussion, Qatar airways said that they could check us in as far as Ammon, Jordan, then we would have to collect our baggage and recheck in so it would be Royal Jordanian who would make the decision to take the risk and be responsible if we were deported. So we said our goodbyes, which was very short due to our late check in. We arrived on time and were not late. The customs officer was very nice and understanding. We took off from Melbourne just before 11:00. We then landed in Qatar at 6:00 in morning. We got assistance even though we never asked for it, they just gave it to us (probably due to having Deaf in the family). But it was because of that we found out that we were entitled to a free breakfast and lunch by Qatar because our stay was longer than 5 hours. And after six hours in Qatar we got on a plane to Jordan. It is really an odd feeling when most girls and women around you are wearing a head covering, and a good majority only had their eyes showing and a few were also wearing the veil.

When we arrived in Jordan we had no idea what we needed to do. There was a guy there who was yelling out Tel-Aviv, Tel-Aviv, he asked us if we were going there. We didn’t know what he was up to so we told him no. Another guy asked us if we were going to Tel-Aviv and he was more official looking than the other guy so we said yes and tried to explain our situation he told us to go to a desk, we did and the people told us to go with the man. So after that confusion we did go. And they took us and the other people that were going to Tel-Aviv downstairs. They explained to everyone that they had to search everyone’s luggage, we tried to inform him that we didn’t have ours and that we needed to pick it up then recheck it in. He said that they would go get our luggage and bring it to us. And we found out just a while later that they had to bring everyone’s luggage too. We were all exhausted from the plane rides and waiting in Qatar, we could barely stand and if we could sit could not stay awake for more than a few minutes. When ours arrived, he took us to the side asked us questions and then took us to the front/side of the line. THEN we had to take apart our backpacks piece by piece, we didn’t have to say this is my flashlight, that’s, my shirt, hat etc, etc, etc, we just had to recognize that each item was ours and the big bulky things were just put through an X-ray machine. But it was all for a very good reason, and the people that inspected things were very nice and kind. They had to inspect all check-in luggage because we had gone through Qatar and Jordan and there are many people that would like to slip something inside our luggage such as a bomb, poison, things that are sold on the black market, and basically things that should not be on a plane or enter a country. They were very kind during the whole process, and gave us a glass of cold water afterwards (Very refreshing after having to drink airplane water). We got checked in (no questions about one way ticket) everything went smooth. After that we found out that Israel had sent a team to Jordan to make sure that nothing bad would happen while we’re getting on the plane.

When we got on the plane I don’t think I stayed awake for much more than take off and landing. Erin didn’t even stay awake for take off! I don’t understand how she could sleep through that.

After a 45 min flight we got to Tel-Aviv. There were no problems with customs letting us through, we were one of the first to get through (unusual for my family) there were no problems. We got our bags alright. Then we went outside to get a shurut (I don’t know how it is actually spelled). The driver was nice. It was neat to see Jerusalem sitting on a hill with electric lights. You know how big cities look at night with street lights from far away. That’s what it looked like, but just sitting on hill.

Off topic thought: What would King David have thought if he saw Jerusalem like that?

We finally got to bed at 11-11:30, So it was a late night on top of the fact that we were already exhausted. And guess what……… nope we didn’t sleep in until 10:00 in the morning…… We got up at 6:00 in the morning. We had breakfast at about 8:30, then headed out for a walk. It was like as soon as we stepped out onto the street and started walking our feet just moved on their own and we walked down the same path we did almost everyday when we were here last time. Then after lunch we went to the temple institute but we didn’t go through the museum part, only the gift shop. It had some neat things.

It is so good to be back!

So now here are the pictures

DSCF7785 Sunrise

DSCF7796Hostel (looks worse than what is actually is. the mess on the beds is because we just got up when I took this)

DSCF7828 Taken at the wall of the old city over looking the Kidron valley

DSCF7844 Background Mount of Olives, Buildings just off the Temple mount.

Yahuweh gets the credit for everything. It is because of Him that we got here. So He gets all the Glory and credit