2018 年我第一次到以色列給了我很大的啟發，在我心中種下了一顆渴望的種子，希望將全家人，無論老幼，都帶到以色列，而不是等到我們都成為空巢老人或退休人士。 吹號者事工 2022 年春天的土耳其之行使這次旅行更接近現實，因為有ㄧ次在用餐時我與我們的導遊Tina分享了這個想法。 令人驚奇的是，上帝實現了我的夢想！ 今年，從4月3日到4月13日，包括19個孩子（4到17歲）在內的13個家庭一起去以色列旅遊。
這次旅行並非沒有挑戰：就在我們旅行開始的前幾週，以色列發生了大規模的抗議和罷工，反對擬議中的削弱以色列最高法院權力的法律； 在這次旅行期間，以色列和周邊阿拉伯國家在該國部分地區發生了實際的軍事對抗； 我們團員中有年幼的孩子這一事實需要我們所有人保持警惕。 然而，在上帝的保護下，我們能夠以超出我們預期的方式完成這次旅行：
- 敬拜：我們每天早上在大巴上以敬拜開始，而且，當我們參觀不同的地點時，我們還通過唱詩、禱告和閱讀與該地點相關的經文來敬拜。 我們用中文和英文與三代人, 年輕人和老年人一起做這件事。 許多孩子的中文能力非常好，尤其是我們親愛的Ona(10歲 ABC)，她會讀中文聖經，這讓我很驚訝！ 我們也在加利利海的船上體驗喜樂的敬拜。 當我們穿過希西家隧道的水域時，孩子們自發地唱著敬拜歌曲時，使我最感動，這是一條黑暗而狹窄的石灰岩隧道，由以色列人於公元前 701 年手工鑿成（歷代志下32:30). 的確，“上帝從嬰孩和吃奶的口中建立了力量”。 （詩篇 8:2）
- 浸禮和重新獻身：我原沒有計劃這個，但在我們出發前幾週，一個九歲男孩的母親問我是否可以在我們到達約旦河時為他施洗。 最後，上帝使我們驚喜，共有 6 位青少年在約旦河受洗，另外 10位（青少年和成人）將他們的生命重新獻給上帝。 每個孩子分享的見證讓我熱淚盈眶。 上帝確實希望孩子們來到祂面前，而且，與成年人一起來到祂面前！ (後註：約旦河的水又渾又冷）
- 逾越節和復活節主日：感謝主恩旅遊組織了一場由（彌賽亞猶太人）拉比主持的特別逾越節晚餐，他還宣講了一個非常有力關於歷代志下 2:14 的信息。 拉比提醒我們，第一次復興就發生在耶路撒冷，而上帝正在為新的復興震動世界和教會。 週日，我們還參加了在萬王之王 King of Kings 舉行的復活節主日的晚崇拜，這是唯一一家獲得以色列政府許可的福音派教堂。 主任牧師查德挑戰我們為生活中那些“不可能”的情況向上帝祈禱。 在我們上帝之城耶路撒冷經歷這一切是何等的祝福！
- 家庭：雖然參加這次旅行的家庭來自美國各地，但我們因對基督的相同信仰和對家庭的重視而聯結在一起，特別是在以聖經為基礎的教育和在家教育中撫養我們的孩子。在旅途中年長的照顧年幼的， 許多父親和年長的孩子輪流抱起和保護我們最小的孩子。 我非常感恩我從來不需糾正任何人關於在手機上玩電子遊戲的問題，因為我們旅行中的大多數孩子都沒有自己的手機。 有一種比通過電子設備更好、更愉快的社交方式！ 我在酒店大堂觀察到許多猶太家庭只是簡單地放鬆，一起享受家庭時光，互相交流！ 一個額外的好處是，在每次用餐時間，我們都可以一起吃飯並分享我們的生活。 我感謝參加這次旅行的每個家庭。
- 導遊和司機：如果沒有兩位出色的導遊，我們就不可能享受這次旅行：來自台灣的好姊妹Tina和我們當地的導遊Awni，一位阿拉伯-以色列基督徒。 他們不僅分享了很多寶貴信息，還以愉快的態度和喜樂的精神照顧每一個人。 我們忙碌的司機 Heshan 駕駛技術精湛，特別是由於逾越節和該國持續的政治緊張局勢導致許多意外路障。 當我們下車時，他還徹底清潔了大巴。 我們感謝這三位在幕前和幕後，為我們提供了安全而有意義的旅行。 另外，主恩旅遊的創辦人熊兄弟全家也特別從伊斯坦堡來耶路撒冷與我們會面。 他們生命的見證，大大激勵我們，也祝福我們！
- 最後，訪問耶路撒冷使我們更接近上帝的心，並迫使我們為耶路撒冷的真正和平禱告，不僅為猶太人，也為生活在聖地的每個人，特別是在國家內部及其周邊地區的衝突時期 . 我們知道真正的平安只能由為我們死在十字架上的耶穌帶來，為此，教會還有很多工作要做。 我非常感謝，這次與 2022 年不同，我能夠在沒有任何健康問題的情況下完成這次旅行，無論是我自己還是任何團隊成員（旅行期間自然出現的輕微胃部不適除外）。 一同慶祝是吹號者事工的第四個號聲。 讓我們繼續吹響其他的號角：警戒危險，集結行動，最重要的是為上帝的國度而戰的號聲，使祂的旨意行在地上，如同行在天上！
My first visit to Israel In 2018 greatly inspired me, planting a seed of desire in my heart to bring whole families to Israel, young and old all together, rather than to wait until we are all empty nesters or retirees. Trumpeter Ministries’ trip to Turkey in the spring of 2022 made the trip closer to a reality as over one meal I shared this thought with our tour guide Tina. Amazingly, God has brought my dream to fruition! This year, from April 3- April 13, 13 families including 19 children (ages 4 to 17) went on a tour of Israel together.
The trip was not without its challenges: just days prior to the start of our trip, there were protests and strikes in Israel expressing opposition to the proposed law to lessen the power of the Israeli Supreme Court; during the trip itself, there were actual military confrontations in parts of the country between Israel and surrounding Arab countries; the fact that we had young children in our group required vigilance on the part of all of us. Nevertheless, with God’s protection, we were able to finish the tour, in ways beyond our expectations:
- Worship: We started each morning on the bus with worship, and, as we visited different sites, we also worshiped through singing, prayer, and the reading of Scripture related to the site. We did this together in Mandarin and in English with three generations of young and old. I was surprised by the excellent Chinese ability of many of the children, especially of our dear Ona who read the Bible in Chinese! We were able to experience joyful worship on the boat on the Sea of Galilee. I was most touched by the resonance of the voices of our group’s children as they spontaneously sang worship songs while we walked through the waters of Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a dark and narrow limestone tunnel, hand-chiseled by the Israelites in 701 BC (2 Chronicles 32:30). Indeed “out of the mouth of babies and infants, God has established strength.” (Psalm 8:2)
- Baptisms and rededications: I didn’t plan this, but weeks before our trip, the mother of a nine-year old boy asked if I could baptize him at the Jordan River. At the end, God surprised us with a total of six youths being baptized in the river and ten others (a combination of youths and adults) rededicating their lives to God. The testimony each child shared brought tears to my eyes. God does want children to come to Him and, moreover, to come TOGETHER with adults to Him! Note: the water in the Jordan River was muddy and cold!
- Passover and Resurrection Sunday: We thank Grace Tours for organizing a special Passover seder conducted by a (Messianic Jewish) Rabbi who also preached a very powerful message to us on 2 Chron. 7:14. The rabbi reminded us that the first revival happened in Jerusalem and that God is shaking up the world and the church for a new revival. On Sunday we also attended the Resurrection Sunday evening worship at King of Kings, the only evangelical church licensed by the Israeli government. Senior Pastor Chad challenged us to pray to God for those “impossible” situations in our lives. What a blessing to experience this in Jerusalem, the City of our God!
- Family: Although the families which joined the tour were from all over the United States, we were united by the same faith in Christ and the emphasis on the family unit, particularly on raising our children with biblically-based education and homeschooling. The older ones watched over the younger ones. Many fathers and older children took turns to carry and protect our youngest one. I am most grateful that I never had to correct anyone regarding the playing of video games on phones because most of the children on our tour did not have their own cell phones. There is a better and much more enjoyable way to socialize together than through electronic devices! I observed in the hotel lobbies how many Jewish families simply relax and enjoy family time together, interacting with one another! An extra bonus was that during each mealtime we were able to eat together and to share about our lives. I am thankful for each family which joined the tour.
- Tours guides and driver: We could not have enjoyed our trip without two excellent tour guides: Tina, a wonderful sister in Christ from Taiwan, and Awni, an Arab- Israeli Christian who was our local tour guide. They not only shared many insights but also took care of everyone with a pleasant attitude and a joyful spirit. Our busy driver Heshan drove with excellent skill, much needed because of unexpected road blocks due to the Passover and due to ongoing political tension in the country. He also cleaned the bus thoroughly when we disembarked. We are indebted to these three individuals who behind the scenes, before and during our tour, provided us with a safe and meaningful trip. In addition, the whole family of Brother Spade, the founder of Grace Tours, came to meet us in Jerusalem. Their lives are a shining testimony that inspire and bless us!
- Lastly, visiting Jerusalem has brought us closer to God’s heart and compels us to pray for the true peace of Jerusalem, not only for Jews but also for everyone living in the Holy Land especially during times of conflicts both inside the nation and in its surrounding areas. We know that true peace can only be brought by Jesus who died for us on the cross, and for this reason, the church still has much work to do. I am so thankful that, this time, unlike in 2022, I was able to finish the trip without any health issues, either of my own or of any group members (other than small stomach discomforts natural during travel). To celebrate together is the fourth trumpet sound of Trumpeter Ministries. We continue to have other trumpet sounds to blow: to give warning, to call for assembly, and most importantly to fight together for God’s Kingdom, that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
2 thoughts on “2023 聖地之旅 Holy Land Trip”
Wow, 谢谢牧师分享. 太惊彩的体验了