Thursday, March 06, 2008

I'm Back

I had a terrible time getting home from Israel. Worse than the trip in January. We arrived just fine (although a little late) into NY JFK airport on Friday morning. The flight from Tel Aviv was long and restless --- I just don't sleep well on a plane. I had gotten word in Tel Aviv that my flight had been changed from an 8:30 am departure, to a 3:40 pm departure, but I had no idea why. Getting to NY I found that the early flight was canceled do mechanical issues. I asked if there were any other flights and they said "NO". I was then stuck with what to do? I had not slept much for the past 40 hours (I had gotten up early on Thursday to go to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre). I knew that I could not sleep in the terminal (I had my camera bag and laptop), so I decided to buy a day pace to the American Airlines "Admirals Club". I found a nice corner and went to sleep for about three hours.

Once I got up, I started making phone calls. I was scheduled to preside over a funeral service the next morning in Munster. I had not met the family, (it was the grandmother of someone Lindsey and Haley babysit for) so I needed to gather some information. I was hoping that I would be able to swing by the funeral home before going to the Theater to see "La Cage Aux Folles". Well, my plane decided to be delayed --- by 2 hours, so I did not get home until 9:00pm. The amazing thing is that I somehow caught the bus, otherwise it would have been 10pm before I got home. Needless to say, I made it to neither the funeral home nor the theater that night! Nancy was not a happy camper having to go to the show without me.

The good news was the nap at JFK helped me to get over my jet lag pretty quickly. Unfortunately, I caught the bug that was going around our bus on the last day and it was starting to kick in.

Since getting home I have had three people die (funeral tonight and another one Saturday morning). We also have a couple of people who are pretty close to dying as well. Crazy times here at Ridge Church.

I really enjoyed this trip. It was very different for a number of reasons. First we were in different hotels and used a different travel company than I have traveled with before. Second, the guide was excellent (even if he was WRONG sometimes). But he was much more even handed in his dealing the the Palestinian people. Don't get me wrong, he was very PRO Israeli, but he seemed to have some compassion for the Palestinian people's plight. Third, I got to visit some places that I have never been to before. Finally, the group of pastors I was with were AWESOME. I met some really cool people.

I am trying to get my pictures on line. Hopefully I will get a few more up today and finish it up over the weekend. I will also retrace my steps and talk about each day a little. So stay tuned . . . more will follow.

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