Israel, My Story – Part Six

The tunnels under the Western Wall, are something magical indeed. One needs to be ok in small, tight spaces, and be ok in a dimly lit space. I was sensing and picking up on all sorts of thoughts and feelings, the deeper we went. Having read so much about Jerusalem historically, and of course having read the Gospels in the new testament, it’s quite a buzz knowing you are walking on the actual stones that Yeshua would have walked on, and indeed travelled through the various waterways and archways. It reeks of history, and if you listen carefully, I’m sure you’ll hear the chattering of yesteryear.

Mt Ebal, which I have previously mentioned, is situated in what the modern world has called, the West Bank. In truth, even if this area is under the control of the Palestinians, it is part of the biblical heartland, and now solid evidence has appeared to show this fact. Many of you are aware of the recent discovery thanks to Aaron Lipkin and Scott Stripling, the curse led tablet that is causing a furore within archaeological circles currently. Good. They seem to hate it when biblical archaeology proves out the biblical narrative and text!

Never shall I forget the image of Phil running downhill past us, chasing after a bunch of schoolboys! I dare say it was the Carlton Beer he bought at the Samaritan Village for eight shekels that kicked in 🙂 His face ruddied red, mischievous grin, loose metal flying everywhere, and us ripping with snorts of laughter!! Oh bless him, he’s a good sort! It seemed amazing to me all the ruins that lay below and around the altar, and a shepherd riding his donkey, herding his goats, within the vicinity. All very normal of course. Sitting there declaring, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This place is beyond time, and we are so glad we got to be there and experience it, before it becomes a large visited tourist attraction.

Friends of Zion. This place really got to me, on a deep emotional level. Maybe it was the stories of my great uncle and grandpa that I was familiar with, them having been P.O.W’s in World War II, maybe it was again, that I have read some much about this time period of history – but whatever the reason, my eyes wouldn’t stop leaking and my heart was aching. I find it incredibly hard to fathom that Israel had to fight so hard to become a nation, and to this day, still has to fight so hard to remain a nation.

The itinerary said we’d have free time. We grabbed a taxi, went back to the hotel and freshened up, and then thinking we had plenty of time, found our way back. We actually were a little early, but no, everyone was there! I must say, the people who plan these itineraries cram far too much in one day. I think that’s why so many of us crash when we get home, or get sick upon our return home. Our bodies and minds have been exposed to such great extremes, and rest doesn’t really happen.

The farewell dinner was a supreme disappointment. The people who we were with previously, were supposed to save us a seat. They didn’t. The food was undercooked and most of us at our table couldn’t finish it. I felt ill after dinner, so we prayed, and I took some probiotics as a precaution. However, we got to sit next to Carl Gallups and share a bit of how we came to be on this tour. We mentioned being impacted by the programme he was on with Skywatch TV at the Jim Bakker Show. Carl is a deeply humble man, who seemed genuinely interested in us and our story. That makes a nice change.

When it was time to say goodbye to all the folks, some of the people we had spent the most time with, just buggered off without saying goodbye 🙁 Still, Neil and I went running to the buses, found said individuals, and made them hug us goodbye! You can’t leave like that, after experiencing such life changing moments together 😉

We spent our last evening in Jerusalem, with the effervescent Taylor. Or should I say, we ripped through the hotel trying to find a business card so we could call Charlotte, who left her purse on the bus. Or helping one of the ladies who was worried beyond belief that she didn’t have enough money for tipping (something we don’t do in NZ, it’s foreign to us), so we escorted her up to the ATM machine a few minutes up from the hotel. She hadn’t PIN numbered her credit card (who doesn’t do that?) so she couldn’t withdraw cash. We then crashed in the lounge bar and indulged in some divine Israeli wine, before heading back to our room one last time. The morning saw us saying goodbye and farewelling everyone off on the Jordan part of the tour. Most people thought we were going as well, but alas that will suffice for next time. Our time in Jordan nine years ago we keep in our hearts until we go back and have a good look, minus the food poisoning or the Jordanian guards trying to make a pass at me!

The story of Israel, will never end for Neil and I.  We are currently making plans to head back in March 2023, but this time, we will have Sammy with us. That will be an absolute treat! Julianna was supposed to be joining us, but alas, she is growing our first grandbaby instead – we are going to be a Safta & Saba, and we cannot wait!

To Anne, Phil, Bill, Carol & Jerry, Charlie & Deborah, Carl, Taylor, Derek & Sharon and lastly Charlotte & Michael – we are so very thankful our paths crossed with you all. I cannot convey how much you all have come to mean to us, but the Lord himself knows. Also to Billy Dean & Dawn, and also Carol H, it has been wonderful being in touch, after the tour. I hope something of these blogs reminds you to pray for the shalom of Jerusalem, and know there are a couple of Kiwis here in NZ who love and pray for you all, daily.

שלום וברכה לך תמיד 

Peace (shalom) and blessings to you always
Sandi xx

© Sandi Wilson

Lockdown No.5 and Beyond

Cambridge, New Zealand

Hello Peoples

It’s been a while since I blogged and there sure is lots to catch up on!

I went down to Cambridge and spoke at a women’s meeting, which was lovely. It did something within me I wasn’t expecting – reuniting with a side of myself I’d left down there nearly twelve years ago. But also, it was wonderful driving through and reacquainting myself with the town that stole my heart back in 1999. This was a place I never thought I would leave, and a people who walked with me through my days of being a single mum. Very special and priceless memories – but oh boy, has life changed!

Dad was rushed to hospital after collapsing for the second time in three weeks, and that whole process was rather daunting. Spending ten hours in ED with your brother, husband and a father with dementia, who didn’t understand what was going on, that was something real indeed. Seeing dad so feeble and weak, laying there trying to sleep and yet opening his eyes, because he’s a people watcher and didn’t want to miss a thing; funny man 🙂 We still don’t know what caused the collapse, but I hazard a guess they may become more frequent. We celebrated his 82nd birthday, his heart is still strong, so who knows?

I’ve been finding such joy in writing my sequel to Mirabelle. Claudine starts right where Mirabelle ended, and takes on a new character, who has suffered a full psychotic breakdown. Loosely based on true events, Claudine becomes acquainted with Yeshua and is taken on many journeys within the spirit realm, helping to uncover the roots and the causes of said breakdown. Amongst all this time travelling, Mirabelle is on a grand adventure leading The Army alongside Joan of Arc, and other wonderful people from the first novel. Of course, as is my style, there are adventures to be had within the nation of Israel which tie into the storyline, so some of you (bearing different names) could be popping up shortly – fun times peoples!

For those who have been head down and busy with life, you may not know that New Zealand is in full level four lockdown again. Delta has shot over here into the community, and whilst I disagree with most things our PM says, I do agree with full lockdowns. I would even go so far as to say, I enjoy them! But in all honesty, as an ‘Aucklander’, it has become old hat, this being our fifth lockdown. My father’s home in the past 18 months, has endured EIGHT lockdowns, three of those for other things not covid related. So, this has become part of the NZ psyche now, and to be honest, it’s not all bad. Even good old PM of the UK admitted, ‘it’s not the vaccinations that are working, as much as it is, the lockdowns.’ Whilst you’re free to disagree, we still have lost under 30 individuals due to covid, so that speaks volumes really.

During this lockdown, I have been the sickest I’ve been, in the past decade. I’d like to take my proverbial hat off to my husband, who stepped into my role without a blink, and MADE me stay in bed for days! It’s not been easy being the patient, but it certainly has given me time to think and to reflect. I’ve been so busy being busy, I haven’t made time for the important things that I’ve been carrying for many years now. I’m definitely at a crossroads, and looking to a future that looks different to the current reality I am living. This doesn’t scare me, it excites me! How I long for more adventure, more mystery, more travel and times spent with my Beloved husband and kids discovering new things. Many months spent in this chair makes me realise, I’m not created to spend many more months sitting in this chair!

Well friends, I hope that wherever you are, you are well and enjoying life.

Be blessed,
Sandi xx

Let’s Begin

I have had the most intensive, remarkable, gorgeous, stunningly beautiful weeks, here in this new office space. I knew I was about to enter a new season, and I knew I needed to be surrounded by a lighter atmosphere that would help inspire a deeper sense of creativity, but I never envisioned THIS.

“What is THIS,” I hear you asking? Quietly and ever so shyly, I can only say, “Him.

The One.
Yeshua.
Lover of my soul.
Keeper of my heart.
Him.
Divine truth.
Divine creativity.
Playfulness.
Beauty.
All that is Good.
All that is Holy.
Abba Father.
Holy Spirit – Ruach HaKodesh.
Him.
The I AM.
Him.

The One my soul has longed for and not experienced, in the longest of times. And yet, He chose this time to meet me and adorn me in His loving Grace. Yes, Him…..

Those of you who knew me pre 2011, would have remember how different life was back then, for me. You would remember someone who lived in two very different worlds, and who had two very different lives.

One world was where I existed with Yeshua. In divine intimacy. A student of love, of the Word, of mysteries and wonder. Someone whom had been romanced, courted and taken into a world that was so extravagant and other-wordly; one can’t describe in terms magnificent enough, all that Yeshua shared with me.

The other world, was this one. Tough, mean and brutal. Always struggling to make ends meet. Failing dismally at being the woman of God I thought I was supposed to be. Pressure; never ending cycles of poverty, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Alongside uprooting me from the place I thought I would be forever, and away from my spiritual parents and home church; this world was hard. Living up here in Snells Beach (in the beginning) was like mourning every day. The wonder, the exuberance, the love of life and the peace I encountered, were all gone. It was just me and my three kids. Until. Until a man came along and swept me into a world of dreams that were foreign to me. It was all so wonderful, but where was Yeshua now?

My deepest desires had come true. My hearts cry and been heard by my Abba, and here was the man I was destined to be with – although our path has been fraught with trials and tribulations that many wouldn’t cope with, we found our way, together and with the Lord.

I sit here now, elated and yet wounded. Deep sobs have wracked my body for weeks now. A repentance that is so soul shattering, and yet in the shards and fractals of light, I am experiencing Yeshua again, outside of time and space, and in the arms of an ever loving Abba.

How did I get it all so wrong? How did I go from the deepest of intimacy, from hours spent in His word, to dealing with mental illness, dementia, autism, dyspraxia, anxiety, marriage, separation, illness, fatigue and simple exhaustion?

Where was HE in all of this?

That’s the joy in this great tale – HE was always here, beckoning me, calling me. Giving me dreams in the deep of night, giving me hope in the early morning shards of light that would fall upon my face. He was here speaking through His word still, calling me through creation. The kereru that would fly over and sit upon the palm tree, so I could watch in wonder. The miracle of seeing a butterfly EVERY DAY for two years. The tui that come to our tree, and sing with their two voice boxes. The love of three beautiful children who have filled this house with untold hours of joy, raucous laughter, magic and delight. The husband who delights in me, who speaks so much love into my soul, who cares for me so tenderly. Yes, I am blessed and I know He has been speaking.

But until recently, it had been through others, and not face to face like it used to be.

THE yellow chair

And now? Now when I sit in my yellow chair, His presence comes and I am undone with wonder. I joy in Him. I delight in Him. I minister to Him, as I was created to do, and I worship Him in spirit and in truth. I meet with Abba and ask Him what very few do, “How is YOUR heart Abba? How can I minister to you today?”

“Take me past the outer courts
Into the Holy place
Past the brazen altar
Lord I want to see your face
Pass me by the crowds of people
The priests who sing your praise
I hunger and thirst for your righteousness
And it’s only found one place

Take me in to the Holy of Holies
Take me in by the blood of the Lamb
Take me in to the Holy of Holies
Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am
Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am.”

©Lyrics by Kent Henry.

I know a tiny snippet of where this journey is taking me, however I also realise that it is different to times in the past. Imprinted on my heart and mind are the magnificent verses from Isaiah, that I am now starting to live. Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it spring up; do you not perceive it?”

He is SO good. So very, very good.

Him. My everlasting love. Ishi. My beloved kinsmen redeemer. Him.

Much blessing
Sandi 🙂