Award-winning Publishers Weekly Best-selling Author

What Every Tourist Needs: A Guide

by | Apr 4, 2011 | , | Holy Land Highlights | 2 comments

We looked at the map of Old Jerusalem to figure out where we were.

“I think we go left,” Jonathan said. We looked to the left.

Heidi shook her head. “Nope, it’s right.”

Susan and I looked at each other. I scratched my head. Which way was right?

Yup, we were lost in Jerusalem, without our guide. Now what do we do?

Our shopping day started in “Zion Square” where we spent lots of shekels. The square even included a McDonalds. Not what you would expect there.

Then we met up with others from our tour group and headed to “Jaffa Gate” to go through the bizarre in Old Jerusalem. Here’s where you have to learn how to haggle! We exited at “Damascus Gate” where we saw lots of beggars wanting money and vendors trying to sell merchandise. I imagined it was same in Jesus’ time. I could picture Him healing the sick and challenging those trying to take advantage of the unsuspecting.

Now we were on our way back to the hotel, but which way do we go? We decided on a route that finally got us there, but we passed through a side street and clutched our purses as we walked fast to get by the locals who were yelling at each other. We kept our heads down and kept going.

Then, our hotel came in sight. Phew. We made it safe and sound.

While our shopping day was fun, it made us appreciate having a tour guide throughout our trip.

Ofir (pronounced ‘offer’) was our amazing guide! He knew exactly where to take us, what to do and what not to do. Being in a different country, we had to make sure we followed their culture. We had to dress modestly and there were places where the men had to cover their heads. We wouldn’t have known this without Ofir’s help.

He guided us step-by-step in every place we went. He made sure we had hats, sun block and water to protect us from the elements. He knew what was ahead of us. We couldn’t have done it without him.

Ofir knew his country well and took us to the spots where Jesus’ walked. He read scripture in specific places believed to be the exact area we were reading about.

He was also an amazing storyteller. He captivated us as we hung on his every word sharing stories of Jesus’ day, stories of the land, as well as Jewish culture. He made our trip even better and we trusted him without question, as he led us on our tour.

Ofir was our guide, map, protector, narrator, and friend.

I think about life and how many times we get ‘lost’ because we fail to look at our “map” or trust in our “guide.” Jesus knows our big picture. He knows what’s ahead of us. So, why don’t we trust? Probably because we think we know the answers. Or we don’t want to go down a dark path for fear of the unknown. We’ve all folded the map and put it away because we thought we knew best. We’ve all put our trust in other things instead of our guide.

Remember Jesus is our light, our map, our guide, and definitely our friend.

Will you trust Him to lead you today?

Psalm 48:14 (KJV)

For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

Ofir – our amazing guide

Sue and Heidi with their purchases from “Zion Square”

Damascus Gate


  1. Heather

    Loved the pictures and enjoyed your story about faith and trust in Jesus, our guide.

  2. susan steeves

    I SO enjoy reading about our trip. You have a way to always bring me to tears as I reflect on that amazing journey. Afir was the ultimate guide. Love ya sis. Sue


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