Dawn and I met as wee lassies through a Christian kids program called “Awana.” The program strives to provide children from “every background and cultural setting a place to belong, build confidence and grow in faith.” It is a youth group, of sorts, for children of all ages, toddler to high school. It was a place for kids from all over the community to come together, make new friends, learn about Scripture, play games and eat snacks. Truth be told, I can pretty much guarantee you-I was there for the games and snacks. While Dawn and I were acquaintance friends back then, it was not until our adulthood that we became good, close friends.
Over the past five years or so, I have been blessed with the opportunity to really get to know this lady. We have laughed together, we have cried together, we have been angry together, we have worshipped together, we have challenged each other and we have watched each other chase the heart of God like our lives depend on it. Because we believe our lives DO depend on it.
Dawn longs for Heaven to come to earth. She longs for God’s Kingdom to be present and active. She has a strong memory in general, but she especially does when it comes to the Bible. She has the incredible ability to make correlation between current circumstances and Biblical example.
Dawn and I share a crazy heart for adventure. She is always up for visiting a new destination, trying a new food or exploring a new hidden gem. Her excitement for adventure motivates me to push beyond my own adventurous boundaries to try new things I might normally shy away from.
She has been a huge cheerleader for me as I have been on this journey. She understands my calling and continuously reminds me that I am not called to mainstream travel. I am called to venture off the beaten path to discover less frequented areas of beauty. In moments when I struggle with who I am on this trek, Dawn is there to refresh my memory and encourage me to keep pressing forward. What a blessed friendship.
As soon as Dawn knew my trek was going to actually happen, she immediately began saving money to be able to meet up with me somewhere. We did not know exactly when or where or how, but the unknown did not stop her from preparing. With less than a month’s notice, she decided to come visit me in Israel in December, just before Christmas. In so many ways, this became a huge miracle and blessing for the both of us. She can share with you how work schedule and personal obligations appeared to be stacked against her and yet, the door opened. She can fill you in on how this life long dream of standing on the same ground as her Savior came to pass. It was not something we planned ahead of time but at just the right time, God’s time. His hand was all over it down to landing a hotel in Israel for three nights for a whopping $25 (If you did not know, Israel is a REALLY expensive country. This cost was a ridiculous blessing for both of us!).
I could write about all the places we visited around Israel, but instead, we took a lot of videos. The main goal was to walk some of the steps of Jesus with a few other sites. Feel free to browse your way through the videos. They are mostly in order of when we visited them.