After almost 2 years of living in Jerusalem and volunteering with Bridges for Peace, I am moving back to the United States. All I can say is thank you. Thank you to everyone who supported me, encouraged me, prayed for me, and helped me on this amazing journey. My time in Israel is one that will shape the rest of my life and I am just so humbled by the entire experience. But most importantly thank God for His grace and mercy to change my life so much and to show me His favor as I got to live in His city.
Israel has impacted my life in several ways, but it is also because of how I experienced Israel. Living and working with Bridges for Peace I had an outstanding community that came around me and helped me mature and grow. Something that I really learned first hand is that you become more like the people you surround yourself with. I heard that said to me many many times, but I really saw the drastic change in my life by just being in a Christian centered environment with people who had the same beliefs and morals as me. Something I recommend is to get into one of these environments to grow your faith and strengthen your foundation so you can really press into the Lord and learn more about Him.
Being in Jerusalem I have felt the “furnace” as people call this city. To explain it there is a heaviness here and a pressure that is unlike anywhere else in the world. You either are refined and purified or burnt up by it. After two years I feel as if I have been more refined and pressed into and returning better than I came. My heart has now been tied to this city and this land as I have seen His heart here and know that this is His land.
This last month has been an interesting time because I haven’t left yet, but every day is basically preparing to leave. Whether it’s figuring out how to cancel my phone, donating half my clothes, figuring out how to get all my stuff back to the States, do I even have enough money to get back to the States, have I ended all my relationships on a good note, etc. It has just been a roller coaster of emotions, but I only have good memories and I look forward to this new adventure the Lord has prepared for me.
On my birthday a few weeks ago I went to my favorite neighborhood in Jerusalem and spent some time alone with God as I overlooked the Old City. I sat under an olive tree for almost 3 hours just writing prayers to God about how thankful I am, how much I’ve grown, praying for the future, and blessings over family and friends. Then when I stood up I could see in my head all the other birthdays I had and where I was during those times physically, emotionally, spiritually, and I was just so shocked to realize the progression of each year. The Lord is good that’s all I can say because there is a huge difference in who I was from 20 to 21. In that year the Lord pulled me out of the world and placed me back on His path that He intended me to be on all along. Now the future is bigger and better than I ever imagined it could be.
Moving forward from Israel I am already in the process of opening an American branch for an Israeli company named Elkeslasi. The American name will be ELK so American’s can pronounce it. This opportunity came solely from the Lord and I have prayed daily for over 4 months about this business and every time the answer is a resounding “Yes, it is from Me. Go and I will make it prosper.” So I have put my trust in the Lord with this business and I have already seen Him make a way for me which has been so humbling. Just this week the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis has been in Israel and Jerusalem promoting business between Israel and Florida. Every aspect of this business has been too coincidental as if it has already been planned beforehand.
Back in the United States, I have already made plans to get connected with a particular church, host Shabbat dinners every Friday, teach and do studies on Saturdays, and to keep all the feasts the way we have been instructed in the Word. God willing within the first year I will have my own property and will be able to host large events for Shabbats and the Feasts to share the way the Lord intended us to live.
Some goals that I have for the future is to build up the ELK branch to be a very successful business in the US and to even create a franchise model of it and start opening factories in multiple states within the next 5-10 years, during that time I hope to start working on an Israeli company or an organization of my own where we build communities and plant forests in the Negev desert, and to learn more about renewable resources and creating completely off-grid homes. Oh, I also want to start to move towards being a vegetarian gradually.
Within the last few days, I have been thinking a lot about destiny and it’s something I have never put a lot of thought into because it always seemed too much like a fairy tale. Slowly I have started to see a pattern or just realized all of these subtle nudges keeping me on a general direction that is being more refined each day. I’m starting to see the path that He has ordained for me before time began and it is truly humbling, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time. It’s as if the veil has been lifted off of my eyes, but sometimes I catch myself trying to put it back over my eyes. He can only push you as fast as you can grow and I have always been known to sprint before crawling and walking.
Sometimes I catch myself viewing myself from a separate perspective thinking who is this when did I get here how did I get here and the path that led me to here is just so incredible and every day is better. I can’t imagine what a life will look like if it continues on this path at this level. I don’t want to lose it, I don’t want to get comfortable and cut this connection and relationship that I have built with the Lord and every day I try to know Him more and improve my ability to hear Him and see Him move. When I talk to people about Him with this passion and energy I feel like I look crazy because they have never known Him and haven’t seen Him move as I have and it just makes me wonder why? Why me? I am grateful truly I am that I have been shown so much favor and grace, but why have I been chosen for this path? I pushed Him away and rejected Him for so long and yet He pulled me out of the world, He put me where I am today, He has opened all the doors, and yet I am undeserving. Sometimes it’s easy to just go on in the day and forget about all that’s happened to get me to this point, but I always come back to a place of total humility because I realize just how great He is.
If there’s anything that I can convey to you it’s that He is real and He wants to do so much more for you than you have ever even tried to imagine. At first, I thought I could only have this in Jerusalem, but then I went back to Florida and watched how much more He does outside of His city. With this fire and energy that He has given me it makes a much larger impact where His fire is not known. The things He is going to do with me is something I look forward to and know that through it all it is Him who deserves the honor and glory.
Thank you for being with me through this transformation that the Lord has done in me. Seeing the impact that He made through me and my blogs, videos, and photos have been so encouraging to me to know I have made a difference. This is my last blog from this chapter of my life and it is this chapter that I will always look back on. It was only possible because of each and every one of you, thank you.
The Changing Moment
The Start of Something Bigger and Better