U hebt mij onder in de kuil gelegd,
in het duister van de diepte.
Uw toorn drukt zwaar op mij,
uw golven slaan over mij heen.
Bekenden hebt u van mij vervreemd,
afgrijzen roep ik bij hen op,
ik ben ingesloten en zie geen uitweg meer. […]
Mijn beste vrienden hebt u van mij vervreemd,
mijn enige metgezel is de duisternis.
(uit Psalm 88 NBV)
Vorige week stond ik in de kerker onder ‘het huis van de hogepriester’ in Jeruzalem terwijl deze psalm werd voorgelezen. Ik had me nooit gerealiseerd dat er een halve nacht zat tussen het verhoor van Jezus door hogepriester Kajafas en de voorgeleiding voor Pilatus, en dat Jezus deze waarschijnlijk in de kerker onder dat huis had doorgebracht. Nog minder had ik gedacht aan psalm 88, een psalm van het genre dat ik niet dagelijks lees.
Well, there is one prayer answered today! It is raining from early morning to late at night. We set off for Lake Galilee, where we want to spend some time today. Getting out of the city is quite a challenge, but after a while we find the right road: first down to Jericho and then north along the Jordan river to Tiberias. We notice how … Lees verder In the footsteps of Jesus
We return to the hotel to have dinner close by, in an Arab place recommended by our friends. It is a good place, and we all enjoy the humus and eggplant salads. We have made a list of topics to discuss: personal life, future of the ministry, movement building, and Agapè Europe. When we start talking it turns out that they are not so easy … Lees verder Dinner talks
While on the walls, we saw a Bar Mitswa taking off. It is Thursday, traditionally one of the days that Bar Mitswa’s are celebrated at the Western Wall. So we set off to see what’s going on there. It turns out to be one big photo opportunity – the sunshine, the many colourful people, the traditions… it is almost too much to take J. We spend much time at the Wall, watching the celebrations. Things we know from books are reality here: men dancing together, kissing the Torah, fully into tradition, while modern-dressed and stylish women stand behind the fence cheering and taking pictures. Inside the closed part of the Wall to the left, we enter into yet another world: there are men everywhere reading and citing Torah, some sitting down, others standing in reverence. We walk out again, and notice an increasing crowd on the square. Many children (boys!) are around, entire school classes are together. As we don’t know what is happening, we walk out towards the City of David. When we asks someone what is happening, it turns out that there is indeed an event happening: school classes are gathering to pray for rain – which is much needed. We can hear the citing and singing all around the place.
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!
Today is the day: I’ll be flying to Israel for a 6-day trip together with 5 colleagues from different countries. I have an early flight, and even before take-off Jerusalem is calling again. This time it is my Arab friend, with whom we will have dinner tonight. We set the details and I am off for Vienna. There I meet Greg, who is National Director … Lees verder Israel arrival
This Wednesday I will travel to Israel for the first time in my life. Expectations are skyhigh. I still have to meet the first person who thought I would not like it. I will be there for only a few days, but with an interesting group of people: leaders from 5 different national Agape-ministries. We will be meeting people, traveling around the country and trying … Lees verder Calling Jerusalem, Jerusalem calling