Day 20: Twelve days of bliss

Boooo! Hiss! Boooo! Why do such good things have to end?

I have only 1 night left in the middle east and I am in Israel waiting for my flight tomorrow. I was going to do stuff today, but I really felt to just collect myself and relax, soak in what I’ve seen and done.

Sinai – it was one of those times in my life where I sat in the various places and soaked in the sights and sounds and smells… I begged myself to remember every detail.

I love the misspellings in this part of the world

Here are a few favs 

  • milk cheek (milk shake)
  • bedwin (bedouin)

Most useful phrases I learned

  • La, shokran (a very firm “no… thank you” to people selling things)
  • Salaam (“peace”… a greeting)
  • Meia-meia! (very very nice! “100% perfect”)

Overall things to remember

  • The absolute goodness and kindness and gentleness of the God who sent us His Son Jesus
  • I want to remember how He intended the world to be – at peace, not the mess we have made it
  • That I want to be a Mary and not so much of a Martha… just love Him, not working for Him so much
  • The lovely people here: muslims, arabs, bedouin… all and they respond to the love in us, the goodness that we shine out
  • The unloveliness of some of the people who had “jihad” written all over them.
  • Our authority over Jinn sets us apart from their belief system, where they have NO authority over Jinn whatsoever.
  • God is not in the buildings, He is in me and you and us… the third temple is NOT a building, it’s in US! He is building His bride into radiance and it’s a process.
  • In the original language Jihad apparently means personal/internal struggle to be with God, not a war with unbelievers (or so I was told). The difference between old style believers who believe in a good God and the new generation of angry believers is so clear and so stark.
  • 10% of Egyptians are Christians… let’s pray for them to increase and to reach out!
  • So many road check points in the Sinai
  • Egyptians think I am Egyptian and at the Sinai check points they don’t ask for my passport but they GRILL the others in the taxi – including the driver! But not me… the drivers all told me the reason is because the police assume I’m Egyptian. And Israelis think I’m Israeli! Muslims think I’m Turkish and greet me with “Merhaba”. As a result, I think it’s going to be SO EASY to minister in this place – when I have learned the languages. (hehehe! Go God!)
  • The astonishing desert-ness of the place. Not a single blade of grass. Not even a bush. Israel by comparison is blooming with bushes.
  • I want to remember the lovely muslim man who talked to me about God (from his perspective) and made me some paintings. He was so kind to me that God blessed his socks off with sales. He (the man) told me that… sort of, in a way. He and I knew that he knew that something (an understanding) was passing between us. I think his faith was challenged.
  • Don’t catch taxis, try and catch mini-busses by simply standing on the side of the road. There is always space and the cost is usually L.E. 30 to wherever you are going.
  • The currency is “L.E.” and that is “Egyptians Pounds” which is commonly pronounced “bowen”… don’t ask me why, I don’t know.
  • Watch the face of the guy telling you the price. If he says “30” and then freezes up, he is lying and the real price is lower. Call his bluff and say firmly “No, it’s 20!”.
  • Almost everyone tries to rip you off. Be under no illusion. If they dislike you, they will rip you off big time. If you are kind to them, they will be kind back and not rip you off. And then some will smile back very very kindly and STILL rip you off. hehehe.
  • Women, don’t travel into the mountains alone even if you really really trust the bedouin guy you’re with. I heard a story from two sisters, one of which was groped by a guide who had been RECOMMENDED by the very nice place they had been staying at.

The places

The next few posts are some impressions of the places I have been…

So tomorrow I leave the middle east. And yet, I had a feeling two weeks ago as I stood in the Ben Yehudah mall that I might never leave. I don’t know what God is up to, but I’m wanting in on it!

4 responses to “Day 20: Twelve days of bliss

  1. Traveling mercies to you, Mark. I am enjoying reading these posts so very much. You are a true light, my friend. You remain in my prayers.

    May the almighty and merciful Lord direct you on your journey; may He make you prosper and maintain you in peace. May God set a hedge of protection around you and may you return to your home in peace, joy, and health.


  2. Hi Gail

    Thanks a mill for checking up on me. I’m alive and well, no need to contact INTERPOL. I am *so* looking forward to seeing you in lovely Melb!

    Bless you,

  3. Glad you posted. I was ready to send out an APB for you!!! Don’t have the time to read tonight but I will tomorrow. I was just checking to see if you were alright Mark. Talk to you tomorrow. Goodnight from sunny Melbourne ( 20c!! )

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