Tor nach Zion e.V.

By Maria Hoffmann

This year eight women travelled together to Israel. They came from different Christian congregations in Dresden and Leipzig.

The main focus of our journey was the Negev desert and Jerusalem. A women’s meeting of Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters in Sde Boker was the highlight of the time in the desert.

We made a hike in the Wadi Zin. Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit the Bedouin woman Magdalena due to the heat. But each one of us experiences the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in a very special way. We visited the Desert Home of Ben Gurion, his tomb, Masada, bathed in the Death Sea and were deeply touched by Rick Wieneckes ‘Fountain of Tears’ in Arad.

In Jerusalem we met the Holocaust survivors Josef and Karla. It is a special blessing to spend time with and experience how God is healing their and our hearts. We visited the museum ‘Friends of Zion’ in Jerusalem, we had an inspiring city tour on the walls of the old city of Jerusalem and prayed at the Wailing Wall.

One day we spent in the North of Israel: at the baptism place Yardenit, the Sea of Galilee and the Golan heights. At the end of this day we visited Avishay and Chava Golz in Haifa and met at their home Ileni, Yona and Ruth.

The last evening in Jerusalem was the beginning of the feast Lag Baomer. The cheerful exurberance, the burning bonefires, music and singing took us into this exuberant feast of happiness.

Each one of us, no matter if they have been in Israel before or not, was touched by God and returned home full of experiences.

Voices to our journey: 

Ursula: I have been the first time in Israel. Maria has planned everything down to the smallest detail, has impressively shown and explained to us the country with its culture and history. This holiday was not designed for tourism, but quite individual and multifaced. The most precious moments were the encounters with people and Holocaust survivors. Every encounter was like a pearl on my life of chain. From close up we were allowed to immerse in the history and the life fates of Holocaust survivors. Our fellowship was a blessing to all. Maria was in my opinion not a tour guide, but a link between the land Israel and the people that live there. I can already say, and if God wills, I will not have been in Israel for the last time.

Vaska: A journey with Maria to Israel is a very special trip. You do not feel like a tourist or a stranger in the land, it is more like visiting friends. Everything is very personal and individual designed and Maria is patiently attentive with to the wishes of the participants. It was very special to met with Holocaust survivors and the talks with them. Also important were the conversations among the participants during which the travel impressions could be processed. Christian prayers were an important part of each day. We’ll see us at the Jewish week.

Kristin: It was an exhilarating experience that I would like to repeat, despite the heat, sometimes the hustle and bustle on one hand and the on the other hand the calm and profound encounters. I especially liked the Negev desert with its many facets, which by no means seems boring and monotonous. On the contrary, in the desert we were allowed to experience the kindness and grace as well as the preservation by God. In my personal life, I have lived through a long desert walk of grief and got in the desert again the feeling of the special proximity of our Saviour. I must also emphasize the encounter with Dafna Wienecke, which has had a lasting effect on me. Her husband Rick Wienecke has very poignantly portrayed the dialogue between Jesus Christ and the Holocaust survivor. It touched me very deeply to see and hear that God has counted the tears and not forgotten them as well as all of what these people had to experience. And that Jesus Himself wants to pay back what was stolen from us. There is no better way to show this. The combination, which we were allowed to experience with Maria, consisted of hiking, shopping, praying, serving each other, marvelling, recognizing and relax. What more do you need?