I’m actually watching the sunrise in Jerusalem from the 11th floor of the Leonard Hotel. A tear drops, I think of my mum. I know she’s in paradise seeing her own beautiful view. But oh how I wished to share this with her.
In all my years working as a Journalist with EMTV, I would never imagine being offered a fully paid trip to the Holy Land and to understand the geopolitical situation In Israel. It’s a serial moment, it’s 5:30 am but the sun is already out shining bright over the Holy Land.
I am a part of a 12 Pacific media delegation selected to visit Israel, Fiji,Vanuatu,Solomon Island, Naru, Samoa, Marshall Islands and Guam Journalist. I am representing Papua New Guinea and this trip is more than a work trip for me as I soon realize, thanks to my strong Christian belief, that this is God’s grace on me to say good bye to my loving late Mother.
Our delegation meetings being with the Isreal foreign affairs ministry, a briefing on the economy of the country, the Geopolitical situation between Iran and the Palestinian.
The official visit includes a visit to the parliament house known as the Knesset, a meet with a women member of parliament, a look at the agriculture and livestock sector and tours to very significant sights for the Christan faith.
I would like to share my experience when visiting the Old City of Jereuselm.
The city Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice over history and rebuilt. I’m carrying my Bible with me as our tour guide begins with taking us to the city of David. I have goosebumps throughout the tour as I can’t comprehend the fact that I am actually seeing with my two eyes things that are written in the Bible and how archaeological finding at the city of David is than cross-examined with the Bible.
From the city of David we walk across the road. Note: we haven’t entered the old city gates yet on top of Temple Mount and next to Mount Zion, across the road is a current archaeological survey being conducted on what used to be a car parking lot for the City of David.
There, we enter to an archaeological excavation something you only see on Discovery Channel. I take a deep breath, I can’t believe my eyes. Each layer is from a different reign, we enter an under tunnel built during King Herod’s reign for drainage for the city (old city of Jereuselm). We walk for 7 minutes and come out to the Old City next at the southern walls of the city. And as we walk on the path the tour guide says ‘look down to the bricks… these bricks are the same bricks that Jesus would have walked on…’
I’m shaking, tears fill my eyes and I get someone to take a picture of me standing on that path. I had put a passport picture size of my mum at the back cover of my phone, when they took the picture I swear I saw her smile.
She would be proud, I told myself, she’s smiling down at you I tell myself, heavy tears drop. I’m broken, I want to call her and tell her where I am. And just when I’m having a meltdown, I see it. The wailing Wall, men on the other side and women on the other. Christans and Jew’s rush towards it. I thought, how can I break through the crowd and pray. Our tour guide tells us we won’t pray here but inside after meeting the head rabbi. The head rabbi said something that I still can’t get out of my head, he said when you pray here it is said God listens extra carefully. I thought yes, I can talk to mum!! I can finally send my prayers to her knowing she would get the message. Who would of known a Jewish Rabbi comments would bring a Christian such peace.
They take us to a section of the western wall that reserved private For prayer. While I will not share my prayer, I can tell you that praying gave me peace. It had been three months since my mother’s passing and that one gesture of prayer at the Holy City was my divine intervention to keep me sane and continue doing the job my mum was so proud of me of.
While my job as a Journalist is very serious, I can say this job has helped me fight so many silent battles. I went to Israel thinking I would learn more about the country, I instead the country and it’s people showed me the power of believing and knowing your home.
I’m on my way home now back to where my family is, but I can’t help to sit and think of all those places I visited, but most of all being in Jerusalem and the people I met, Christan’s, Jew’s, Muslims and other religions living in the same place in harmony and worshiping together at the Old City of Jereuselm because their history of when there people reign is still so evident.