The Adventure Continues

Greetings from Israel!!

I have now been back for exactly a month, and am confident in saying that God has blessed me beyond measure, that he has truly shown me his love and grace over this time. It’s been an intense few weeks, settling into my new apartment, getting into a routine, learning how to best do the work I’m called to do.
Yet, in all the busyness, I’ve been doing my utmost to ensure that my time has been managed effectively. I look forward to coming home after a day of work to spend time in the word, studying, learning, and drawing on the amazing love and encouragement God has had prepared for me. The revelation received in this land has continued to change my perspective, changing the way I view the simplest of verses I mistakenly thought had no more to show me.
Something I have been re-discovering is my desire to read, rekindling the joy I once had for the feel of pages turning beneath my fingers. The way they would ignite my imagination, taking me to places far away from the comfort of my armchair. I’ve read several books during my time back, and am always looking for new suggestions.
The volunteering in the assistance centre has also been going well. This week alone the team packed over 300 bags that will be going out to the people in need. I also did my first pallet delivery to some organisations we assist. One organisation was a centre where adults with severe disabilities get dropped off to spend the day. It’s a wonderful facility, and everyone there was happy and content, some even doing some physical activities to keep themselves busy. One person that stood out to me was a young man with down syndrome. As we jumped off the lorry and began the process of unloading the food, he came to the front door, waved, and greeted us with a “Shalom” and the biggest smile I think I’ve every seen. The place is looked after by some really amazing staff who were so joyful and positive.
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This past weekend I also had the opportunity to go south of Israel, to the Negev desert, spending time in Timna, and Eilat. Its a crazy though to think that 11 months ago I was there as a zealous participant, and this time just as a young adult volunteer. It’s one of those bittersweet things. But Timna was, and still is a very special place for me. It’s so peaceful, one of my favourite things to do is get up early, climb the nearest mountain, and watch the sun emerge from its hiding place and fill the surrounding landscape with light and warmth. We then explored the park, visiting the oldest copper mine ever recorded, and spending time around the oasis there.
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We also returned to the shores of the Reed Sea, and snorkelled through the coral reefs there. It was amazing to see such vibrant life, swimming amongst so many types of wildlife, including puffer-fish, parrot-fish, lion-fish, eels, sea-cucumbers, and sea urchins to name a few. It was such an amazing time, and I’m was so blessed to be able to go and spend that time with the other young adults volunteering out here.
But now I’m back in my apartment, reading, studying, resting. I love how quiet and peaceful it is at my place. The only noise being the occasional bus in the distance, or the slight murmurings of my landlord upstairs as he too enjoys the stunning view from his balcony. There’s no place like home, and this place truly is my home.

Until next time,

Eilir-Wyn

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Also, none of this could happen without the support of some amazing people around the world. If you would like to support me financially please get in touch with myself through my personal email address below, or the Bridges for Peace UK office using the following;

Tel: 01656 739494

Email: ukoffice@bridgesforpeace.com

 

If you have any questions and want to get in touch my email address is

eilirwyntreharne@gmail.com

Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like to talk or if there’s some way I can be praying for you!

 

 

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It’s a New Season

So I’m back! I’m back to share a few updates about what’s going on in my life right now! After two awesome months travelling the UK, speaking about my previous year, and raising financial support; I have left yet again.

Last week I moved back to Israel for my second year of volunteering. This time I’m living in a city further north, called Karmiel. I’m finding it significantly more relaxed than Jerusalem, lacking the hustle and bustle often found there. In comparison Karmiel is a peaceful, serene, scenic haven; surrounded by valleys that wind their way through the mountain range.

 

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When I arrived in Karmiel I was met by some very dear friends of mine. They helped me with my cases and let me hang out at theirs before I met my new landlord. They have been such an amazing blessing to me since being here. Willingly giving up their time and effort to help me settle, get comfortable, and to really make the transition to my new home as stress-less as possible.

 

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This is the first time I’m living alone which is super exciting, and my new apartment is amazing. There’s lots of space for myself and my bikes (because why would I not have my bikes 😉). My landlord is a very chilled guy, and the process of signing the contract etc was very smooth. The view from my garden is amazing, I’m able to see the whole way down to Haifa, about 40 kilometres away. I frequently go and stand by the railing to watch the sunset or look down the valley to the port of Haifa and the Mediterranean, even for a brief minute.

 

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And as it was before, I’m here primarily to volunteer. This year I’m working on the food bank floor in our northern assistance centre. Its really a blessing, having the opportunity to see Bridges from a different perspective, in a different role. I load the pallets that get distributed to organisations focused on helping people in need. I also pack the food bags that go to children, and their families, who are in need through the organisation’s adoption programme.

 

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So, I guess to summarise, life is amazing, it hasn’t been without its struggles and difficulties, but God is good. He’s looked after me so well and given me what I needed when I needed it. Whether it was an extra bit of finances, somebody swinging by for coffee at random times, being invited for a meal, or a certain conversation when needed.

 

If you have any questions and would like to get in touch my email address is

eilirwyntreharne@gmail.com

But feel free to shoot me and email if you would just like to talk or if there’s some way I can be praying for you!
Alternatively if you would like to support me financially or by other means please get in touch with myself through the above email address, or the Bridges for Peace UK office using the following;

Tel: 01656 739494

Email: ukoffice@bridgesforpeace.com

 

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Welshman ,

Eilir-Wyn

 

P.S. If you’re on Instagram follow my unique hashtag  #welshmaninisrael

 

 

Bomb Shelters and Big News

Currently the news is flooded with various reports about the activity going on within the borders of Israel. Over the past few days over 35,000 Palestinians have been protesting against their ‘catastrophe’, the day Israel became a nation, in 1948. The BBC refers to the organisers of this protest as ‘Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas’. The issue with this is that Hamas is a designated terrorist group by countries such as the UK, US, EU and other powers. Under its agenda is the annihilation of Israel. Regardless of your political, religious, or personal opinions the complete destruction of a group of people should be morally wrong in any language or culture.

 

The Prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu stated

“In order to have peace, Palestinians should abandon their fantasy of occupying Jerusalem and destroying Israel. They should abandon the fantasy that Israel will disappear. IT WILL NOT!”.

 

This week the home repair team in Jerusalem went up to Karmiel in the north of Israel to work with the team on the bomb shelters. The public bomb shelters in Karmiel are a large part of our work in home repair to serve this land, and could potentially be vital in saving the lives of many people.

 

The first bomb shelter we went in was on the ground level, it was full of old cupboards, files, shelves, and other pieces of un-useable items, all covered by a thick layer of dirt and dust. No person had been in there for a long time. We began the process of removing everything for collection. While we were doing this my ‘Red Alert’ app began making a terrific noise, warning me that rockets had been fired yet again into northern Israel. Thankfully it wasn’t our area, but it served as a grim reminder of the reality of life up in the north, made increasingly real by the work we were doing.

 

After that we wiped down the walls, swept the floors and cleared the dust before the task of painting began. We all had a role in the painting, some of us rolling, others were cutting. We flew through the first coat of paint, all of us motivated, focused, and full of energy, allowing us to move on to the next shelter.

 

The second shelter was underground; it had items that were a lot larger, like old stereos, an oven, a disco ball, it seemed like someone had been having a party down there a long time ago. There was water everywhere that had flooded in so we had to drain it, but we managed the first coat by the end of the day.

 

The second day we were there we had begun work before being told to drop our brushes and head upstairs to the vehicles. We drove to the emergency command centre to meet the director of the emergency operations, Moshe Levi. He gave us a tour of an underground bomb shelter with 14 monitors showing surveillance of Karmiel, and also a command room, with a full terrain map of the city. It had the location of all the bomb shelters, divided up into three categories; public (for anybody to use), private (for hotels etc.), and then the emergency refuge (for people who need support after an attack, able to care for 2000 people).

 

Moshe talked to us about his role, and how important the work Bridges for Peace is to him, and Karmiel. He said that he could sit here and talk to us for 2 days at least about his gratitude and the impact we were making, that we could ‘not even imagine’ how grateful he was.

 

He finished by saying several times that we who volunteer with Bridges for Peace, and support Israel, were angels.

 

Over the time we were in Karmiel we completed three bomb shelters. Those are places that are now clean, fresh, and ready should they be needed. The people have somewhere they can go that leaves them feeling as comforted as possible during what could be a very traumatic experience.  It is a hope that they will never have to be used, that it would never come to the point where they would be necessary.  However should the need arise we know at least, that those three that we completed over a few days are ready. That those shelters will save lives.

 

 

 

I also have BIG news for you all out there!!

 

*insert dramatic music here*

 

It has been confirmed that I will be staying in Israel for another year!!

I will be keeping my job title but relocating to Karmiel, to continue the work up there in a children’s home, and in the bomb shelters!!

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am for this coming season, and would like to ask that you keep me in prayer and join me in my prayer focuses.

 

  • That this year of discipleship would end as incredibly as it started and has been through the year.
  • That the planning would go well for the next group of Zealous participants.
  • That my search for an apartment would go smoothly, that one would present itself in Karmiel, and that the finances would be available for said apartment.

 

If you have any questions and would like to get in touch, my email address is

eilirwyntreharne@gmail.com

But feel free to shoot me an email if you would like to simply talk or if there’s some way I can be praying for you!

 

Alternatively if you would like to support me financially or other means please to get in touch with the Bridges for Peace UK office at the following number or email address

Tel: 01656 739494
Email: ukoffice@bridgesforpeace.com

 

Blessings,

Your friendly excited Welshman 🙂

 

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I Love Israel

I love Israel.

There’s no better way for me to put it.

I love Israel.

Every day I wake up excited to get started. I can’t wait to get out of bed and read my bible, have my breakfast, and leave for work. I love every aspect of what I do daily, especially the opportunities my role gives me.

Only this week I was able to help a holocaust survivor who was able to escape the nazi death camps as a boy. Now he is over 80 years old and helps support a number of people in his local community by distributing food.

Something I love doing is going into the city centre and watching the hustle and bustle that is going on around me, people rushing around, trams flying by, horns honking in the near vicinity. I’m sure vehicle horns are part of the Israeli anthem! Not really, but they should be. Only this week I was passing through Tzion Square and had the opportunity to watch a large group of young people dancing in the middle of the street. The energy they had and the joy on their faces was something special to behold, there were some dressed up as cows and sheep, it really was bizarre, and a lot of fun! There is always something to watch.

One thing I love doing very much is going out on my bike, whether that’s in the day, giving me a opportunity to do a dangerous dance with the other cars and buses on the road, where a waltz can turn into a whoops very quickly. Or during the night, when all is quiet. An awesome place is the shuk, it is one of the craziest places during the day, being the market that everyone goes to to buy a portion of their groceries, like fruit and veg. If your trying to be polite and wait for everyone to move your progress will be slow, my advice when visiting the shuk is to stretch, warm up those arms, legs and shoulders, and prepare to power through. This is something I must admit I enjoy greatly, but in all seriousness the atmosphere in this place really is something incredible, sights, smells, tastes. However, at night, the atmosphere drastically changes, it becomes one of the most peaceful, serene places you can find. I love it at night, when I can ride where I want without the need to force my way through. The streets are clean and empty and you’ll pass the occasional person, the night time really is peaceful in Jerusalem.

A specific time of week I love to ride is on Shabbat, for me personally it creates a feeling of peace and contentment. When I went riding this week it was on Shabbat, and I saw so many couples, just hanging out, and families, with their children riding around on scooters without a worry.  I can be riding in many different parts of the city and have some random person shout “Shabbat Shalom” to which you reply in kind. People are genuinely happy to be out and spending time with their families, and other families in this time of rest.
On a personal level I’m doing very well at the moment, I feel like I’m growing more and more every day. I’m feeling healthier and stronger, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I’ve been facing many challenges as living in another country would present. Or to be honest as you would expect in life in general. But you take them on one step at a time and keep trusting that through every trial there is a light at the other end.
I also recently celebrated my 20th birthday and was surrounded by some amazing people that I appreciate and am very fond of. We went bowling, and I went to a spa with a few of the guys which was awesome, and much needed.

If I had any prayer requests it would be that you would keep myself and the rest of the zealous group in mind, that we would be encouraged in this time of realisation that we have a few months left, and what the next step will be.

Thanks to all you guys praying and for your continual support and encouragement!

If you would like to get in touch with any questions or things I can be keeping in my prayers for you my email address is

eilirwyntreharne@gmail.com

Alternatively if you would like to support me financially (or in chocolate) or other means please to get in touch with the Bridges for Peace UK office at the following number or email address

Tel: 01656 739494
Email: ukoffice@bridgesforpeace.com

 

Blessings,

From your friendly Israeli Welshman 🙂IMG_0082

Incredible people

——–The people who influence you are the people who believe in you – Henry Drummond———

Some of the people we meet on this journey called life can leave a significant impact. This month, for me, that has been very true. I want to tell you a little about them.

I’ve said several goodbye’s lately to some incredible people. They came, they volunteered, they left, but not before leaving a part of who they were behind. People with incredible values and attitudes, that have truly caused me to look at my own life.

There was one gentleman in particular who inspired and challenged me and I wanted to tell you guys about him. His name is Barry & is from Australia. He kinda reminds me of a more wiry Walter from the movie Crocodile Dundee. Every single day he would be at work with a smile, always cheerful, hair always in place, talking and saying good morning to everyone. The integrity, humility, wisdom, caring, and generosity he possessed really set a standard. He was always helping others, be it buying plants for one of my roommates to take care of and grow in the Bridges for Peace headquarters, or helping me with projects where I lacked knowledge. No matter what he was doing he would always come and help straight away, no questions asked. I’m missing him already and would truly love to see him again soon. How blessed I was by his company!

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It has been a full and busy month. We celebrated Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles. It is an eight day holiday where the Jewish people live in temporary houses (sukkah’s) to remind themselves of the time they dwelt in the desert after God brought them out of Egypt. We went to several Sukkah parties over this period with several of the Bridges for Peace staff and other friends. It was such an amazing time. In the guys apartment we also built a sukkah, it wasn’t a traditionally correct one but we did the best we could using the bookshelves, sheets, and the encyclopaedias we had! IMG_0025

One of the many other exciting things that happened this month was the Solidarity tour – a week long gathering of christians being tought and given indepth insights on many current topics. All the National Directors come, along with staff from all the global offices, and all centres in Israel. It was an incredible learning opportunity with lectures from mayors, Israeli diplomats, university lecturers, founders of organisations, and CEO’s, on a wide range of topics. Each of these people had a vast depth of knowledge and I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed the week. We also went to Kfar HaNokdim, the Bedouin camp, and rode camels. We had a talk on Bedouin culture, and slept in a large Bedouin tent! A few of us took hammocks and slept in those which was very comfortable and a lot of fun!!

In short – life is good, Israel is amazing, work is great, and the people are awesome! I’d like to thank all of my supporters that are helping make this incredible journey possible, and also the people who keep me in their prayers – it means a lot! If anyone has any prayer requests that I can pray for you please don’t hesitate to shoot me a message or an email!

I am also going to begin including in this blog things for which I would appreciate prayer for the coming month. The first being that the relationships I have with the other Zealous members continue to grow stronger, and the second is that those who support me will be healthy and be blessed.

If you would like to get in touch my email address is

elirwyntreharne@gmail.com

Alternatively if you would like to support me financially (or in chocolate) or other means please to get in touch with the Bridges for Peace UK office at the following number or email address

Tel: 01656 739494

Email: ukoffice@bridgesforpeace.com

Blessings,

From your friendly Israeli Welshman

So It Begins

——– Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change ———

I was contemplating what to write for this first blog. There’s so much that has happened in the short time that I’ve been here in Jerusalem. I’m still getting over the fact that this is now home – a country that is 2365 miles away from the place I’ve spent my whole life. Yet, this new chapter, this huge step, fills me with excitement and anticipation. Thinking about the things I’m going to learn, the relationships I’m going to build, and for the person I’m going to be at the end of it.

So much has happened since I arrived. I moved into my new apartment that I share with four other awesome guys. I’m playing worship music on a regular basis. I also have the privilege of meeting new and interesting people in the community through my job. One of the days that stands out to me the most was the day we went to Beit Shemesh, one of the communities Bridges for Peace is active in. Those of us delivering food were able to meet the school children we would be giving food to and see the work of the school and the programmes it runs for these children. It was such a blessing to see first hand the result of all the hard work done by the different departments in Bridges. On that day we also got to deliver gift baskets to holocaust survivors for the holidays. It was such an incredible opportunity to be able to talk to them and hear fragments of their lives. There’s are so many experiences similar to this and yet unique in their own way. Each and every person has a story.

One of the parts of life here that I love the most is the atmosphere of family, both within bridges and those outside the organisation. We’ve been very blessed in that we were able to host people we work with and their families and spend time with them. Also going to others’ homes, enjoying good company,  good food and a lot of laughs.

Then there’s the people you meet in day to day life. Whilst cycling today I ran into a father taking his three sons on a bike ride and somehow managed to keep running into them all over Jerusalem. We began talking and he suggested a lot of interesting biking routes around Jerusalem and was trying to arrange a holiday to the UK to visit family and do some biking there. We exchanged details and I hope to meet up and bike sometime soon.

I’m going to be honest though, living here has had its challenges, there’s definitely a language barrier. However, despite our differences, I’m slowly learning how to speak American – we’re working through it together 😉

It has been absolutely amazing so far! I would like to thank my sponsors who are making this journey possible for me and those that keep me in their prayers! If you do have some encouraging words, or feel you can help in other ways (chocolate is good!) please feel free to send them my way. Also if you do have any questions about why I’m doing this, or about my daily life here just send me a message!! 🙂 🙂

In His precious name,

God bless,

Your friendly neighbourhood Welshman!!