So I meant to blog about this on December 10th, but I didn’t. So here’s my late post ….

On Decemeber 10, 2009, I wrote the following in my journal:

“As I wrote that date I realized it was 4 years ago today that I came back from Israel. Wow … what memories that brings back. I have to stop myself, because I could sit here for hours thinking of all my experiences that semester and how God changed my life. Thank You, Lord, for making that possible!”

I am so incredibly thankful for the semester I spent at IBEX. It truly was one of the greatest times of my life, for many reasons. The Lord taught me so many wonderful lessons, blessed me with new and lasting friendships, and burdened my heart for missions. I got to walk where Jesus walked, pick up stones where David killed Goliath, march around Jericho, wander the streets of Jerusalem, hike (and I mean hike – it’s steep!) the Mount of Olives, raft down the Jordan River, stand in a place where I could see 3-4 countries at one time, snorkel in the Red Sea, eat 1/2 shekel pita and falafel, make friends in the Old City, buy the most awesome t-shirts ever for a couple dollars, listen to gunfire, take pictures with Israeli soldiers, walk around the Temple Mount, go to church on Saturdays, float in the Dead Sea, see where the Dead Sea scrolls were found, listen to the jackals, and read the Bible where it was actually written (my first night there I was sitting outside reading my Bible with Mary, and I stopped and suddenly said: “Mary, we are where this was written!!!!”). That is just a sampling of what I did … I don’t have all day to write this. 🙂 Here are some pics, and I will be bringing part 2 to you shortly … Enjoy!

Ashkelon Beach ... and the burned down tower 🙂

Mary and Me with Egypt in the background

Need to make a phone call?

Nothing screams "Israel" like Elvis and ice cream

We kinda stumbled upon some soldiers outside the Temple Mount

Reading the Psalms of Ascent ... so awesome!!

Making wine 🙂

Roberto, typical Christian, me and Mary

The Dome of the Rock ... graffiti

Was this my first ever falafel?!? I LoVe falafel!