Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Make Hay While the Sun Shines" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (03/06/08)
TITLE: Jerusalem's Serendipities
By William van der Zande
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Then God ushered us into a new kind of ministry - we became long-term foster parents of mentally and physical challenged children.
When they were still young we took them along, even undertook some trips to Holland.
It was always like a military operation and never a relaxed holiday anymore.
Even a few trips to the North to spend a week on a Kibbutz was a challenge in itself, although we enjoyed the friendliness, the delicious food the swimming pool and horseback riding for our children.
Our compensation was that God provided us with ample finances and spacious living quarters, where the children and we felt at home even though we did not have a holiday in the real sense of the word.
Sometimes we had to accompany the children on school trips, which was great but also very strenuous for them and us.
School days were short and for my wife many days were filled with umpteenth appointments, while I had my work at the Christian Embassy.
We overlooked somehow that living in Jerusalem itself was an excellent spring board for small trips in and outside the city.
When our youngest child went to another school last year with longer school hours, my wife suddenly had more time on her hands to do other things!
She took a writing course, which worked for her like a Balsam in Gilead.
A whole new world opened up and more or less forced her to go and see more of the historic sides of this ancient country.
Slowly it dawned upon us that we were right in the middle of it. We explored several possibilities, and it worked - our hearts opened up like two barn-doors.
Since then, we have used many a Sunday morning to make a hike in the beautiful forested hillside around Jerusalem. And lo and behold, history is at our fingertips, because we see ruins of the past, hundreds of year’s olds terraced vineyards, and old wells. There are battlegrounds of recent history, like the fight round Castel, a strategic hill close by Jerusalem, or see the monument in honor of the prophet Samuel in Shiloh, or the city from which David and the Levites transported the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.
Recently we took a walk on the ramparts of the Old City of Jerusalem. We enjoyed the beautiful views to the surrounding hills, the Mount of Olives and the many historical sides inside the city. From the City wall we could see the Garden of Gethsemane, and we walked via the “Via Dolorosa” through the Old City to the Damascus gate. Not far from there we explored a century’s old cave called “Zedekiah’s cave”, 9000 square m of secrets and legends beneath the old city.
Yes, a new era has begun in our lives!
Our eyes have been opened and now it is serendipity time for us here in Jerusalem!
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