Day 20: Matchmaking, Mosh Pits, & An Ex-Sniper.

by Alexandra Rutkowski

Today’s destination was Jericho. Yes, Jericho! We met with an ex-PLO sniper and youth army terrorist who accepted Christ and who is now serving the Lord there in Jericho. Just like he, most children who are recruited come from refugee camps. That’s where his story began. God has truly transformed this man and given him a miraculous testimony. What an honor to spend the afternoon with him. A true servant of the Living God. After hating the Jews as an Arab all his life and being afraid of the Bible, in 1993, something changed. A Christian man who had befriended and helped him in America took out a Bible. The Arab man, named Tass, was terrified by it. After reading John 1:1, all Tass remembered was shaking and the next thing he knew was he was on his knees, hands raised in the air, praying to accept Christ. His Christian friend was shaking and crying and Tass thought something was wrong with his friend. It turns out that he’d never seen anything like what happened to Tass in his life. As soon as the Word was read, he started shaking violently, was lifted up above the couch he was on, and it was like he was physically fighting something. He was then brought to his knees and his hands were lifted up into the air. He began speaking in an unknown language and praying. Worshipping God.

I hope I got the gist of the story right. Listening to his testimony touched us so much. It was so powerful. This is a man who sacrificed so much to follow Christ’s call on his life. Obviously, as I’ve stated several times before, Arab’s are not allowed to convert to Christianity. The penalty for that is death by beheading. His own brother sent assassins after him for 11 years. Now he’s in Jerusalem and has created a school and youth center where Arabs and Jews can grow up together in peace, planting a seed of hope for the future. Pray for him and his ministry! He showed us the Mount of Temptation where Christ was… well, tempted. And the tree that Zacchaeus climbed to see Jesus. It’s still there!

Kabbalat Shabbat today. Woot woot! We all went to the Wailing Wall, and boy oh boy, the men’s half turned into men’s mosh pit. It was everything you’d imagine at a crowded bar mitvah, just multiply it by a hundred and that’s the Wailing Wall during Shabbat. It was a party over there! The women’s half was solemn. I was on my knees praying at the wall and just worshipping God. Not asking, just worshiping. My God is beautiful. So, so beautiful.

Jewish gas stations. Just like American ones. Except with camels.

You know what’s funny? Jewish matchmaking. The woman who owns the hotel just happens to own a matchmaking service as well. All of the appointments take place in the hotel lobby. It’s hilarious to just watch these arranged Orthodox couples from a distance. You can watch from across the room and see which ones are going well and which are completely disasters. Oh joy. One of the best pastimes here!

Tonight was the first night any of us watched a movie all month. Tangled. As Joseph said at its conclusion, “Now that’s Shabbat!”

Shabbat Shalom! –Alexandra 

God has really had his hand upon me today. It was a day with a distinct attack by the enemy but God came though. This is the time when Satan strikes, and this is the time when God’s grace shines. Amen. Thank You, Daddy.