There are many wonderful places I have dreamt about visiting since I was a child. God has allowed me to visit so many of them, such as the beautiful beaches along the Caribbean Sea, theme parks like the ones in Orlando, amazing creations such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Machu Picchu. All of these trips are memorable experiences that have brought joy to my heart.
However, I can truly say that God allowed me and my husband to make the best trip of our lives this year; a trip I had dreamt about, longed for with all my heart and prayed about for many years – a trip to the Promised Land, to Israel. When the Israeli ambassador to Bogota visited our international conference in January, he briefly explained the importance of visiting that nation. That was when I received the conviction of the Holy Spirit that we would go… But how?
God started to move miraculously, providing everything we needed for the trip. We were counting down the days until the much awaited departure date arrived – April 1st. We were so excited because our co-servants, friends and pastors were also making the trip to the holy land; what a privilege! We arrived at the airport early where we met over twenty pastors who would also be travelling on the same flight as us. In total, the group visiting Israel numbered 230. It was a long but fun journey and we finally arrived in Tel Aviv. When my feet touched Israeli soil and I saw the Israeli flag that said ‘Welcome,’ I felt a great joy in my heart because I understood the importance of Psalm 122:6.
The adventure was only just beginning. We went by bus to Netanya, a city beside the Mediterranean Sea. It was modern, well-organized and beautiful, and I liked it a lot. We enjoyed spending time in a modern mall with our Pastors, Cesar and Claudia Castellanos, until the rest of the group arrived. Very early the next morning, we set out in five buses, headed for the valley of Megiddo. We also visited Mount Carmel where the prophet Elijah confronted and put to death the 450 prophets of Baal. While we were there, Pastors Cesar and Claudia led us in prayer and we received the anointing of intercession and spiritual warfare.
In the afternoon, we went to the Sea of Galilee where we danced together and ate a delicious lunch of grilled fish provided by the mayor of the city. After a tour around Galilee which included a visit to Peter’s house, we received the anointing to be fishers of men and the anointing of multiplication. Our nature changed in that place. On the third day, we went to Caesarea Philippi. It was impressive to see the place where Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples as the Son of God and where He told Peter that upon this rock He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it… amazing!
The fourth day was so special because we visited the River Jordan where we were baptized by Pastor Cesar; the heavens opened and we all entered into a new level. We visited Masada and then floated in the Dead Sea. We also visited Nazareth and Capernaum before finally going to Jerusalem where we would spend our last three days in Israel. The places we visited changed the way I read the Bible because I was actually able to visit the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus conquered humanity’s redemption, as well as the Pool of Bethesda, the City of David and David’s tomb, the Via Dolorosa and the tomb in the garden where Jesus was laid before rising again on the third day. With a new revelation of Jesus’ perfect work on the cross, and a new love and respect for the Jewish people, this trip also changed the way I see Israel, a place where water, milk and honey literally flow in the desert land.
I should also mention our visit to the Wailing Wall, a place of prayer and intercession where I clearly heard the voice of the Holy Spirit and where I received the spirit of prayer in a greater level of intimacy and worship. There were so many places, so many experiences, and God did so much in our hearts that it is difficult to mention just a few of them, but I can truly say that it has been our best experience as pastors, as a couple and as Christians. I think all believers should visit that nation and, of course, pray every day for Israel, for the Jewish people and for the peace of Jerusalem.
I am so thankful to God and our pastors for motivating us to take that step of faith and go as a team of pastors to receive that new wine and the fresh anointing that the Holy Spirit released during our time in Israel.