Day 19: Taxis and Creepy Cats. God Uses Them All.
by Alexandra Rutkowski
A cat saved us today. A cat with a piece of toilet paper stuck to it. But more on that later!
The day began with a deep discussion on the significance of the number zero. Did we discover or invent it? Yes, that’s the kind of stuff we talk about on the side. No comment. We met at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Fun stuff, right? (He spoke about the issue of Bedouins smuggling weapons and drugs in from Egypt and helping the Hamas. Christian persecution is rising and the government is trying to do something about it. But it’s pretty much out of their hands. There is absolutely no tolerance whatsoever for Evangelical Christians from Arabs. Just thought I’d remind y’all about that.) The table we were sitting at was stocked with cookies and drinks in the middle, but on one dared touch them cause there was a TV crew covering most of it. But I can assure you, the second they left, everyone ‘causally’ reached over for cookies and cakes. It was actually a pretty hilarious picture. After a few hours of meetings and briefings, we had a buffet lunch at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That was one of the most beautiful meals I’ve had here in Israel. What a treat. Just a side note, at the end of our visit, I got a friendly invitation from an armed IDF soldier to meet in the city. Good memory.
Afterwards was the fun part: shopping on Ben Yehuda Avenue. They’ve got everything over there. Had some pretty interesting experiences haggling. Joseph recorded my first success! Yes, I bought some Jasmine style pants. Ah, happy day. After some more tries, directionally challenged Joseph and I got lost and couldn’t find our way back. We didn’t panic, we just had NO idea which street to go on. They were all obscure Hebrew names. We had five minutes until our meeting time so we ran down a random street. All of a sudden I spotted a cat sitting in the same place it had been two hours ago… with the same piece of toilet paper stuck to it. We went in its direction and after a very graceful descent to the ground on my part in the middle of the street, we were victorious! After the bus left, we stopped for a moment and realized we were one person short. Earnest! Dear 36-year old Earnest was left on Ben Yehuda. Haha, we found out about an hour later that he was waiting patiently at the completely wrong bus station for us. Haha.
By the way, check out the article in the Jerusalem Post!
We met with a Messianic Jew who made Aliyah when he was 8, who is passionate about enacting his father’s apostolic vision among Jewish believers. Oh yes, his name is Freddy. He’s been leading Jewish missions trips, discipling fellow believers, and has been working to raise awareness about human trafficking victims. We were all incredibly touched by his testimony and were blessed by his company. After a time of worship and prayer together, we made our way back to the hotel. While a few of us went by foot, a small handful took a sketchy red taxi back to the hotel. I found out later that the taxi ride ended up being a divine appointment where the students got the chance to intercede and pray for the driver who truly needed it and was encouraged by their presence. It turned into a taxi ride full of prayer and the Holy Spirit’s anointing. Tell me that isn’t crazy! God uses us in the smallest things. God can use a taxi ride to completely revolutionize someone’s world. I just find that absolutely incredible. God’s creative. And what a story!
I’m pretty sure Israel’s the only place where mall’s have security checks by armed guards and full body scans and metal detectors at the door. Safety’s big here. After a quick trip, my friend and I had an intense time of prayer. The rest of the night was probably one of the hardest nights of my life, but God came through. The Lord’s hand was upon me. One thing’s for sure, God hears prayer. And God is there. Amen.
Shalom from Jerusalem. -Alexandra.