bike theft and modern day Samaritans

Later on Monday afternoon I went to meet up with a new friend who is Australian born but living in the the UK I got to know from my church, he is just a casual visitor here on holiday, and him together with some other (two Scots, one Aussie, one Danish) people from the hostel he was staying at, we got to do some Easter sightseeing.  A quick visit to the church of the Holy Septelcur, before meeting up with the other guys, some fairly random circles around the city seeing as the narrow streets get a bit disorientating sometimes.  Seeing the Via Delarosa, the street where Jesus carried his cross after being sentenced, then grabbing falafel and ice cream and just a lot of chatting.

Here this tourist lady has borrowed a cross to get a feel how Jesus would of carried, on the Via Delarosa.  His cross would of been much larger, and the fierce heat and the severe wounds from beatings before hand would of made this unbearable.

When I came back to where my bike was parked, I was horrified to see it in bits still locked to the railings opposite the Jaffa gate, I looked around hoping it was someone elses and mine was some distance away, no, I had been a victim of a crime.   I parked it here, as being such a big famous part of the city where thousands of people pass through a day, that it would be safe.  It was chained up, but because it has quick release levers for the wheels, someone had tried to steal the wheels, but then abandoned them.   After depressingly mumbling to myself and to the people next to me that this was not fair that had decided to take/damage something that wasn’t theres, the couple offered me a lift home, I turned around and the man operating the kiosk of fresh orange juice (they have boxes of fruit and mechnical press to sell drinks)  said he chased away someone who was trying to steal parts of my bike.   So they took my rear flasher light, the levers of the wheels, theres a spring and one the brakes had broken off, and noticed one of the spokes is bent, but its otherwise all there.

This put a really bad ending on what was a really nice weekend, but I had two different lots of people who were my good Samaritans, the couple (who were bike enthusiasts anyway) who let me strap my bike to there 4×4 which had two other bikes on there, and two Arab kids about 12 who quickly knew how to fix my rear wheel back on and got the chain in the right place, this meant I could carry the bike one handed on one wheel back to their car.   I gave the children a 10 shekel coin each I had in my pocket.  I also got approached by a man asking for money for food, as all my small change was gone, I told him I was take his number and see if Bridges for Peace’s food bank might be able to arrange something.   I also got to chat to the kind couple about the organisation I was working for, what I was doing in Israel so far.   Anyway I was also hugely grateful of them being able to get my home rather have to find a big enough taxi or walk home with the bike in bits for 5kms.

I took it back to the shop today, they are replacing the nuts and the brake pads which got damaged, this should be around 100 shekels which isnt too much, but this is an expense I could do without.   Anyway I am thankful the Lord provided some ways of making this situation less bad than it could of been.

Easter weekend & Pesach

Spent Easter sunday and monday wandering around the old city.   On sunday there was an early morning worship service at the Garden Tomb. Some of my friends went to this, but it was 6am and I slept in, so I got there later in the afternoon only to find it shut (it doesn’t normally open sundays)  After the early morning service there done by my church (King of Kings Jerusalem)   there was several other services in French, Spanish, Swedish and Arabic by some other Christian organisations.  I then went to a conventional service at my church in their regular building.

Not to worry, I got to visit the tomb today (Easter Monday)  as its the last day of the Jewish holiday of Pesach as well.  Its really easy to forget as gentiles, but Jews wont eat anything with yeast in on this time, so going to the bakery near my work place was shut for the weekend, as any conventional form of bread, cake or pastries are not available.  At this time Jews eat Matzvah which looks like an oversized cracker bread instead.  So stick some hummus or jam on it, and its pretty good.

The tomb was quite busy today of course, with Christian visitors from all over there, the garden looked very pretty too.