Why We Do It

Pat, me, Edna, and Pastor Eduardo outside the Upper Room

My neighbor was having a gathering, and she had invited a gentleman that travels the country with a statue of the Blessed Mother. She had asked me to say a few words because of my journeys to the Holy Land. As I started to share, a strange man rudely interrupted me, saying, “We didn’t come to hear about your expensive travels; it takes a lot of money to go there.” I politely made my talk short and sat back down.

I know that there are always contrary sentiments expressed like that of the rude stranger. These convictions come from well meaning friends and family, who saying, “She’s going again, why do they keep doing this, and couldn’t they use the money to help other families in need here at home?”

After 19 hours of travel, including the bus ride from Tel Aviv, we arrived at our hotel at 6:00 A.M. We are not tourists, we are missionaries, and we rest for three hours. Our first stop was Bethlehem At the Church of Nativity, where we go to pray. On Holy Thursday we visited St. Peter’s Of Gallicantu, where I prayed for my nephew Mario. From there we visited the Upper Room, did our foot washing, and continued with our prayers.

Jesus falls the first time

On Good Friday, it rained while we carried the Cross down the Via Dolorosa. Though it was a gentle  rain, it was cold. At the first station the police barricaded our group for over half an hour. Bad weather conditions never detour us, but we were pretty soaked. I could see the stage blood of Jesus mix with the rain beneath me. As we proceeded, my steps met with numerous muddy potholes that soaked my feet, as I was in sandals. After Jesus fell the first time, right before he met his mother at the Fourth Station, I fell on my knees next to him in agony. The thing is that I am in my sixties and need assistance in getting up, so thank God for caring strangers.

We meet many people, and when I have eye contact with a crying stranger, I know that God’s work has been done.

I met a young lady from Florida named Amanda, and she wanted to be part of the pageant. The Israeli army blocked our  procession three times, holding us back,  so whenever we encountered this, we sang the “Divine Mercy” song. Amanda, a true millennial,  was searching for the words to the song on her phone. I told l her the song only has one verse, “For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion Have Mercy on Us and on the whole World.” As the hundreds and of flashing cameras went off, we knew that seeds were being planted. Because it was televised all over the world, we know that souls were and are being touched. We are never mentioned by name, nor are recognized for the work we do; we would not have it any other way, because we do it for Jesus.

Leaving the Lion’s Gate, no taxis allowed

After the drama, we met at a popular restaurant, because for years we have patronized this place, and the management has allowed our Jesus (Jim) to clean up. We encountered a dilemma because of the holiday as no taxis were allowed near the Lion’s Gate, so Jane, a team member, had to hike up to the 1st Station and arrange for transportation for our group leader Joanne, as she is wheelchair bond. A shop owner offered to get her to a taxi station.

Prayer request at my feet

On Saturday we visited the Western Wall, so many prayer requests on the ground, because the Wall was so stuffed with petitions. I prayed for all the requests and left them in Jesus’s care. All prayer requests left at the Western Wall, are lovingly picked-up and buried in a sacred place by the Jewish caretakers. The Jews consider them as sacred documents like the Torah.

The gardens at Mt. Tabor

On Easter Sunday we traveled north to Mt. Tabor. This is one of my favorite sites. We were blessed to be participate in a Mass. I had gone to confession at the Church of Nativity, so it was a special blessing for me.

Mt. Tabor, where Jesus was Transfigured
Easter Sunday Mass Mt. Tabor

We are back home, tired but spiritually stimulated. Thank you Edna for helping Joanne, Linda, our team leader in Fresno, Jane, the organizer of the trip, Carol, the strength of the team, Leggitt, the powerful intercessor, Pat, our singer, Robert E. and Pastor Eduardo both from Tecate, Mexico, and to Jim, our Jesus and rocket scientist, and Joanne our 83 year old leader, who started the drama over 35 years ago. Next year Jerusalem!

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