War preparation for Hannukah

(From this time last year I wrote this, when war broke out with Gaza in November 2012)

Here in Jerusalem people are getting ready for Hannukah which is the end of November this year and buying doughnuts.

As well as this I got a few packages from work this week – gas masks.

We have to keep them in the sealed bags until there is a need to use them.    The reason being is the news has spoken quite a bit about more threats, this time not so much from Gaza (although there has been more rumours of shipments of FAJA-5 rockets from Iran sent to north Africa)     but this time from Syria.

Syria has had plenty of involvement with chemical weapons for sometime now, including Anthrax and different types of toxic gas including Sarin (stuff used by the Nazis)


Stuff on my dining table: 6 pack of 2 litre water which we would have to grab and take to the bomb shelter, thing in bag  is a gas mask, bible, mug of tea, room mate’s camera bag.   When the siren goes off, I have to have my keys, phone, bottles of water handy.   Or the other type of siren means stay in and put on gas mask.

For folks reading this in the UK or some other western country, you may find it hard to understand why I am still here in a country threatened by war from multiple enemies.    Some people I work with include New Zealanders living in cities shaken by earthquakes that have knocked their houses down so many times they have given up rebuilding them.    People in different nations have to learn to live with and be prepared for different threats.

A few dozen reasons Christians living in Israel is great

I could of called this list 20… or 101 reasons……   I didn’t want to stick to a particular number, here is many blessings I’ve experienced in the 52 months I spent volunteering in Jerusalem:-

Things I’ve discovered:-

  • Bus drivers don’t let you sit down before the start driving off
  • Using rep training means I can better represent this country to those not aware of Israel’s background
  • The Shuk is the most fun way of shopping
  • Understanding different types of anti semitism in other ways, some more discreet, not just from the Nazis and Islamic world
  • Seeing Barry and Batya Segal play Hebrew worship music live at my church
  • Finding that cooking chicken is dead easy when you have a slow cooker.
  • Sitting in garden during lunch break observing blackbirds, green parrots, woodpeckers and jays, and also an elderly bad tempered black Persian cat known as Mr Fluffy
  • Going on a Zealous young adults group around different parts of the country
  • Visiting Nazareth and Capernaum and imagining Jesus spent 17 years of his life in mostly secular work and bible study before doing ministry at 30
  • Going hiking in the Galilee, Golan, Mount Hermon or the desert.
  • Fixing an iPhone with a smashed screen with $15 worth of parts from ebay and watching instructions on Youtube from some else who did it
  • Hebrew worship music
  • Praying at the Kotel, aka the Western Wall
  • Watching how firemen use special tools on opening the doors of a rental car in the Galilee when someone locked the keys inside
  • Having my elbow healed from a tibular break after falling over onto snow in the UK
  • Floating in the Dead Sea
  • Seeing local Israeli live bands, then they recognise you as you have been to 3 of their gigs
  • Teaching friends how not to get ripped off by crooked taxi drivers
  • Sitting by the edge of the Kinneret
  • Learning Hebrew, mostly only enough to know how to buy stuff in shops, and read the signs in the bus station
  • Hanging out with friends drinking wine on my balcony
  • Sitting on Ben Yehuda with an Arab believer friend who loves Jewish people
  • Cycling to work past famous places
  • Watching Jerusalem’s first formula F1 race
  • Independence day parties
  • Got to know an Iranian believer who loves Israel on Facebook, and now praying him for to be released from prison, his crime is being a believer
  • Learning how to build a whole email infrastructure from scratch with a free certification from Google
  • Spying on Google, yep I saw the outside of their offices in Haifa from a train
  • Seeing flowers in the ponds and waterfalls of the Golan
  • Listening to street musicians
  • Sliding down the snow at Mount Hermon
  • Falafel, nuff said
  • Giving away an old laptop computer refurbished out of bits of two broken ones, to an Ethiopian community centre
  • Playing chess in coffee shops with friends
  • Visiting a friend in Switzerland who I met at my church here in Jerusalem
  • Watching the view from the Tayelet of most of Jerusalem
  • Then also watching the view from the Mount of Olives
  • Observing Yom Kippur and then getting something to eat to break the fast
  • Crossing over into Jordan and visiting Petra with the Indiana Jones music on my ipod
  • Inviting a American Messianic Jewish friend to sleep on my couch who I only knew from his writings in the internet
  • Seeing exotic coloured fish through a glass window into the Red Sea
  • Humous, the chilli or lemon stuff is the best
  • And of course, Shabbat, hosting or being hosted by others.

Disturbing toys for Arab children – Little Tykes Jihad


These were all taken by me in Jerusalem’s Arab quarter of the Old City, there’s often quite a few shops that sell toys and games here.  I mean Arabs and Jews have larger (5-10 kids is not unusual) families then Westerners.    This sign points towards the Al Aqsa mosque past this row of vendors of market goods.

P1070158I guess this mini laptop teaches Koran and Islamic theology to kids?

This below picture really is proof that teaching war and hatred to kids is very real problem here.   Look closely and this Chinese made toy has pictures of lots of Muslims bowed in prayer and kids dressed up in a costume consistent with Jihad terrorism.

After all many people in the west are only upset when the US, Israel and Europe take action against Islamic terror, when actually there are more people killed from Arab versus Arab wars.


I think mostly the world will turn a blind eye and think its someone else’s problem.

As a believer in Jesus, my God loves Arab people and children, more and more people today in the middle east and elsewhere are leaving Islam and finding a saviour that loves them.

I make a habit of praying over Muslim children that I see here, that they wouldn’t be brainwashed into any kind of hatred.   Matthew 18:6 warns of harsh consequences of those who abuse children in any way.

Jordan trip 2013

This was my second trip to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a nation next to Israel which the two enjoy mostly good relations.   Jordan effectively became a new country taking the eastern two thirds of the British Mandate of Palestine in 1946, two years before the creation of modern state of Israel using the other third.

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Petra is a big national park, we spend a day and a half there which was just right to see most it.  Getting around is done by donkeys, horses and camels, the standard mode of transport for the traditional Arabian people.

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The terrain here is stunning, there are hundreds of caves, narrow passageways and hill tops to explore.   These Roman soldiers were a nice touch and didn’t remember seeing them last time.

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There are people selling stuff everywhere, mostly traditional style jewlery, its almost like the vendors go to a special bedouin sales school, as they tend to use the same phrases to trade, “its happy hour, special price!”  was heard at almost every hour of the day.  Coke machine in the desert!    Sadly you can’t buy ice cream here, as it appears the vast expanse of the place means everything runs of a generator, and freezers are too difficult to run this way I think.


This is the iconic temple carved into the rock used in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, although it doesn’t get more than a minute or so exposure.

I’ve always wondered if George Lucas might of had coffee with the then King Hussein of Jordan, seeing the movie put Jordan on the map for film loving visitors to the Middle East.

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Some of the sellers of items we ignored with the intention of making some deals in the way back down the hills, these coins were interesting as Roman heads can be seen on them.  By the time we came back down to take a better look at these items, the traditional Arab woman was half asleep smoking a marijuana joint, and her 7 year old girl was running the shop!    Theres a small number of feral cats here, I’m sure there descended from the felines brought over by the British to keep the mice under control.  This kitten we fed with some left over cottage cheese from our lunch seemed happy.

Petra is an unforgettable experience, and without a doubt one of the wonders of the world.

Jerusalem F1 event – the holyland’s debut as a track for motor sport

This is something exciting I got to view back in June;

Monaco, San Marino and Bahrain and small mini countries which are used as a race track at times of the year, even if it maybe a bit of an inconvenience for the local people, heck let them have a day off for a couple of days.


Exotic cars are a rare in Israel, people aren’t really into cars here, they prefer to drive something boring like a Mazda.    So its unusual to see this Aston Martin, these cars that were here also have Israeli licence plates.   Think all the other exotic cars include the non-road going F1 cars have all been shipped in from elsewhere.


Me and some British friends here get to check his race out.

The track made me a bit nervous, I think getting hay bales is difficult in this country, so there are simple barriers and some opt to buy tickets to sit a proper grandstand in a park close to Yemen Moshe.

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This event is very much a test, so the cars are driving around fast enough to make a decent bit of noise, but not as quick as a lot of races.

I have to say, its a really odd choice using Jerusalem for a race track, here the cobbles and hills mean a car with a tiny gap between the floor of the car and the road seems not very practical.


Usual famous spots like the YMCA and the King David hotel are being photographed as they were like the cafes and hotels in Monte Carlo, Monaco which I saw back in 2005.

Aha!  a Ferrari in the ‘wild’   I’d imagine there can’t be more of these cars in the whole of Israel than can be counted on one hand.

If anyone from the government is watching this, or, anyone interested in motorsport in Israel, I have an idea, there’s plenty of empty space in the desert which occupies most of the bottom-half of the country, there must be enough space to build a dedicated track that nice and big and purpose designed for a new attraction in this country, visitors could stay in a city like Beer Sheva and take a bus down to the track, and provide jobs and tourism for the less visited low bit of this nation.

Cycle art in Jerusalem

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P1060945I spent sometime with my very dear friends Peter and Deanna from Canada the other week, on the way home were these strange bicycles recently added as a mechanical art thing.

These contraptions don’t go anywhere, they are bolted to the grown, and pedaling provides kinetic power does one of several tricks, either make a big electric fan, plays music or, make a bunch of plastic flowers pop out on a spring.

Its a sort of cartoon type exhibit made by mechanical design, folks will think is rather clever or a may seem a waste of money to some people.

I’m sad this lovely couple have left now, I have worked with for 3 years, but I got to spend as much time as I could at the last few weeks here.

Now I have an excuse to visit Canada, a nation I have not visited yet, and I also hope to show them round Portsmouth and popular and less well known historical parts of southern England.


Jerusalem Knights event 2013

I was really pleased to go to this popular event in Jerusalem’s old city:-


This big crane was by the Jaffa Gate, this was holding two cage like structures, as you can see these three women doing this gymnastics on wires event, looks very difficult!!   On top of this, the top cage, contains a man playing the drums!!


A short walk on, and we are entering the Armenian quarter of the old city, I am not sure if these men were Jews, Arabs, Armenians or foreigners.   These people were playing a small ukelelle, a regular guitar and bag pipes!!


This man is playing a horn – in reverse!!  not sure what this is, it makes a flute type noise.


These are my new (ish) friends from work.  I’ve seen some of my other really close friends who have been here for sometime have now left, but these guys are great fun to explore with from Canada, South Africa and Japan.   This was an arm extended self-shot which I didn’t get myself in, oh well.


These people are funny, looks more like Elvis on stilts!!

P1070153This event was maybe a little bit smaller than last years event, but still really enjoyable.   Theres about three events like this a year, which turn the old city into a vibrant out-door theatre.

here’s a post I did about 2 years ago:- https://britinjerusalem.com/2010/10/22/jerusalem-knights-outdoor-holy-land-theatre/