Thursday: our first full day in Jerusalem. In the morning we join Bart Repko with his walk on the Jerusalem Wall. Bart and his wife Joke are Dutchmen who through their ministry ‘Never Be Silent’ go on the walls every day to proclaim, prophesy and pray for Jerusalem and the people of Israel. I was quite curious to see how this would go. Sure enough, when we get to the meeting point there are some acquaintances from our former church in Amsterdam!
We buy tickets and get up on the wall at Jaffa Gate. It is a beautiful day, and the view is great. Bart starts with explaining some of the background of his calling, and there we are: Bibles in our hands, looking over the old city of Jerusalem. After a while, people start reading Scriptures (mostly from the prophetic books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel) that speak of the Messiah, of Jerusalem, of Gods promises to his people. We walk on, but the tone is the same: God is not finished with his people, and he calls us to be there for them and to bless them. And indeed, looking over this special city, seeing the Valley of Hinom (Jerusalem’s dump, that Jesus refers to as Gehenna, the hell) and the Mount of Olives on the other side, there is something very significant about this place and time. At the same time: I do not feel completely involved in what’s happening here, and I have the feeling this is also true for the others in the group. Maybe it is just the fact that we arrived only the night before, that we feel more like tourists than prayer walkers, or maybe it is a little bit more than that.
Near the end of the trip, we get to talk to Bart a bit about his ministry. The questions that came up last Monday are still paramount: how to call for unconditional support and love for Gods people without putting down others, especially the Arabs and Palestinians? And where does Jesus fit in the picture, apart from mentioning his return on the Mount of Olives? It is clear that we need to do a little more thinking on this… Altogether, it is a special experience. After the walk we take a coffee, and we have the opportunity to talk a bit more on personal issues. Wonderful to see people with such a strong passion!
(Israel picture album here)