Israel – My Home Away From Home

by Martha Mellinger

Forty six years ago while dreaming of our future together, my fiancé and I both expressed our hope that one day we would visit Israel. We decided to save quarters so that we would be able to make the trip in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary.

The quarters were soon spent, but the dream persisted and eventually our 25th anniversary was approaching. We told our grown children then that this was our year – no weddings, no graduations, no grandbabies, etc – only our dream trip to Israel. They didn’t listen and so between their two weddings we made the trip anyway.

Flying in over Tel Aviv, with cheering and clapping all around us, the tears came to our eyes! How can we explain that we felt like we were coming HOME!  Everything seemed familiar…

Well versed in the Scriptures, we saw the Biblical stories and events all around us. Knowing the history and the prophecies of the Land and its people made this was our story and these were our people. Knowing that the money we were paying for the trip was being poured into the Israeli economy made us feel like we were a part of rebuilding the land! And knowing that the God of Israel was hearing our prayers at the Kotel was like partnering with the Divine on behalf of this nation.

How could we have known that this trip was just the beginning? We went a second time Martha with Valentina and Dmitry (Small)and a third – different tour groups and different tour guides brought out different insights.

Then I began to volunteer with AHI in Israel and made more trips to visit in homes and build friendships along with the touring!  Now I am taking small tour groups of friends to see and experience it with me. Now anticipating my seventh trip,  I sincerely hope it will not be the last. Israel, my beloved home away from home!

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