I want to blog all of this before I forget it. God is great.
So… wheree to begin? Last night I experienced God touching me while I slept. It was quite nice, but unusual, like getting an electric shock, but made out of light. Heh. Anyway. I ate on the run this AM having decide to “do” the Mt of Olives.
Well… as if my life is EVER that straight forward. Never ever. I think I’m going *this* way, and He takes me *that* way. It’s VERY hard to plan things, you know?! You know that verse about not knowing which way the wind blows and Jesus said it’s like that for people filled with the Spirit too – it’s a bit like that for me most of the time. It probably drives frends crazy. It drives ME crazy too, but I’m used to it now. hehehe.
Anyway, so I wake up and find that my roomies are also Christians (excellent!) and I go to Damascus Gate to catch a bus (75) to the top of Mt of Olives. Breakfast is artificial frozen juice and a felafel, which I eat on the run in the heat. I don’t get another meal until 5pm.
Exploring Bethany and “the wall”
As I get to the top I get distracted by an arab taxi driver who offers to take me to Bethany, where Jesus spent his time. I’ve always wanted to walk into Jerusalem from there, through the Mt of Olives. But the Bethany is just a built up place, the illusion was shattered.
The “wall” is everywhere and the taxis have to drive aimlessly down a road and do u-turns everywhere. And the “border” where you go between Palestine and Israel is pretty much open (unlike last year August), so the wall is pretty much voided IMO. Houses outside the wall (in Palestine) are abandoned. Empty. Really nice communities are simply empty, it’s obvious as you drive by.
So we return to the Mt of Olives. Along the way I discovered by taxi driver is a “messianic” which results in him giving me evangelistic literature! HOW COOL IS THAT?! He gave me a book on The names of the Holy Spirit and a bible study called Jesus brings new life (bible studies to help you begin the Christian life).
In what I consider a bizarre twist, I didn’t tip someone enough (I think it was his friend) and I watched that man give my taxi driver a verbal sand-bagging, so he (the arab-christian taxi driver) got into the taxi and lectured me on “treating others as I’d like them to treat me”. I know what that means… give him a bigger tip! Muhahahahahaha.
In the end this taxi driver ripped me off by inflating the taxi fare and left me with absolutely no money in my pocket, far away from home. I walked along and played with kids – they didn’t believe that my pockets were empty. I was thinking… silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee. Or something like that. I wondered if I had much of God inside of me to give them, could I say “in the Name of Jesus Christ walk”? Hmmm. Anyway, they got something, they took my bright yellow bracelet that Amy the evangelist gave me.
So I was walking along with no money. Ah well, no worries… as my taxi driver would have said “God is good all of the time”… the guy let me into the Ascension chapel for FREE! and at the end of the day the bus driver let me come back to Jerusalem for FREE! It’s like when Jesus needed to pay the tax and the money was in the fish’s mouth. Who needs a money-belt money when you have God!? WOOOHAA!!
The taxi driver told me about a “house of prayer” nearby and dropped me off at the chapel of the ascension. Wooooha, did you say a house of prayer?! Do you remember that I said I was hoping to meet other Christians and pray with them for Jerusalem?!
Anyway, I went into the chapel and was underwhelmed. I lay there on the cool floor and wondered about what Jesus said, that the temple is now in *US* (destroy the temple and it will be rebuilt in three days) and that’s why I consistenly find that God is on the OUTSIDE of these buildings, He’s where we are, where we use or faith, when we gather and worship… rather than IN buildings. That was my discovery in my last trip too. So I prayed for the place and moved on.
Finding the prayer house
After relaxing in the chapel, worshipping in the coolth of the thick walls during the mid-day heat, I get to thinking about finding this mysterious house of prayer. The taxi driver had pointed in a direction and said the local people call it “the big house”. Hmmm… I set out to find it. I walk along and then see some steps up. It could be anywhere, but I go up those steps. At the top an arab women pops her head out her house 2nd floor window and I ask her where the place is. She doesn’t speak english and then her friend joins in and they decide the house I am looking for is… TWO houses away. I walk around to it, going along a garden path that leads to a back entrance to this house. I climb over a wooden stile to get in.
Ok now. I’m in. I feel like I’ve broken in almost. A guy with a fantastic Christian t-shirt (who I woul later pray with) looks STUNNED to see me. I wonder why. As it turns out, this place is MEGA fortified. High walls, barbed wire, big chained gates, only people who book ahead of time get in and they are volunteers and they have invites and letters from their pastor… etc. And so they wondered how on earth I got in there. hehehehe. I cimbed over the stile, just as the lovely guy from uganda did when he went for a walk.
The people are kind and friendly and considerate. The man in charge begins to tell me that it’s only by pre-arranged and done by country and he’ll fill my water bottle and essentially I’ll have to leave. At this point God quietly says to me “I have brought you here” so I relax, wondering how THIS will work out. Mysteriously the guy listens to me a bit and then say it should be no problem praying with the team on the next watch. Ohhh yeahhh! WOOO!!
Then I go inside this very normal house and I go up to the third storey and guess what? “What” I hear you cry! It’s a place I had seen on Revelation TV in London just a week before I came here AND it’s the same place where they are having a prayer thingy from the 14th that I absoluely wanted to attend and is actually the REASON I came here… but I had NO IDEA how I’d find them. I was shocked an stunned to suddenly find myself in THE RIGHT PLACE. God is THE MAN!
So I joined in, met wonderful people and worshipped (the first and last CDs they played are my ABSOLUTEL fav worship CDs) and prayed and commanded and interceded and stood in the gap and repented… hallelujah. I just knew that this was the reason for His touch last night, for the prayers I was praying then (at that time).
Churches and praying in Jerusalem
If anyone needs it, here is a list of Churches and times in Jerusalem.
Why I like prayer
Prayer rocks because… it works and it affects real people’s lives and the people benefit from it… even if they never ever know you prayed for them.