Hi it's Rachel again - CR&W grad student just back from directing our project in Israel, and I've got a few stories to share. Above you'll see a photo of the temple mount - that's the walls of King Herod's temple from Jesus time, but filled to create a high mound where the Dome of the Rock sits today.

Legend has it that the holy of holies in the Jerusalem temple sends out ripples travelers can still feel today. You cross a ripple when you enter Israel – the whole country is a holy place. You pass another ripple at the walls of Jerusalem, and as you move closer and closer to the most holy place beneath the temple mount, you wade through more ripples into a more and more sacred space. That’s why, so the story goes, people feel different in Jerusalem than anywhere else in the world.

Jerusalem was certainly different from my home in Portland, Oregon. The air smelled tangy and fresh, like an open market. White stones in the streets were polished and shining from two thousand years of footsteps, and, when we stepped out of our taxi on day one, we heard the sweet song of a Muslim Imam, chanting the call to evening prayer. This was a new and wonderful place. But, most of all, I felt different. I felt alive, supercharged with excitement. I’d known for a long time that our filming project would be a challenge. Now I felt like God was saying “You’ve planned enough. Stop worrying and go do it.”

I was in Israel for twenty-three days. Three million heartbeats. Forever. No time at all. Exactly as long as God needed to do something amazing. After a trip like that, I just want tell someone what happened. And, over the next few weeks, that someone is going to be you.

Love always,

-Rachel

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