My thoughts on Jerusalem
As many of you know, I have only been overseas twice: once to Gafcon in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013, and now to Gafcon in Jerusalem, Israel. After my two-week visit to Nairobi, I summed things up by saying: I want what they’ve got, but I don’t want to live there. How would I sum things up for Jerusalem (as I am now an expert – NOT)? I am most mindful that some of us here at TGS have visited Jerusalem, so these are simply some of my first impressions, before I sum my thoughts up:
+ Jerusalem is dirty.
+ Jerusalem is an intensely religious place.
+ The streets are deserted on the Sabbath – things shut down at 3pm on Friday for preparation of the Sabbath at sunset.
+ In Jerusalem, men and boys are distinctively men and boys, and women and girls are distinctively women and girls.
+ In Jerusalem I don’t think political correctness exists.
+ In Jerusalem I certainly don’t think WHS exists.
+ In Jerusalem, everyone obeys the ‘walk’ or ‘do not walk’ pedestrian crossing signs, but no one obeys the speed limits or uses blinkers.
+ In Jerusalem, children attend school from 3-18 years old, and most, including women, also do two or three years in the military.
+ In Jerusalem, the streets are regularly lined with security people, who have a machine gun in their hands.
+ In Jerusalem, you run electrical wires on the outside of buildings – they hang everywhere.
+ In Jerusalem, there are distinct boundaries (walls) between the Jews and the Muslims, but they also mix to a degree – but only just.
+ In Jerusalem, in the old city part, tourism is rampart.
+ In Jerusalem, in the old city part, Christ Church, Jerusalem, has a wonderful ministry.
Yes, they are some of my first impressions of Jerusalem. Next week, I will write a Minute from a Minister concerning the actual conference (Gafcon), and how it went. In summing up, Jerusalem is a complicated place, and the old city of Jerusalem reflects that, with the Jewish, Armenian, Muslim and Christian dividing quarters, let alone the rampart tourism that surrounds it all. Yes, in summing up, it is very hard to sum up Jerusalem. I think I will leave that to the Messiah I know – the Messiah I know has already come – to the Messiah I know will one day return: Jesus!
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