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Welcome to tasse and emily's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. thanks for coming

Diary Entries

Sunday, 26 March 2006

Location: Israel

Greetings with love,

It is hard to believe that it has only been a month since I wrote a newsletter!

First of all, I want to thank you who have been praying for the Druse situation. They are no longer staying here. Two families went back to their village and two families went to stay in other villages where the persecution is not so great. One man gave an amazing testimony at our fellowship. About a week after he and his family returned to the village, a group of men came to their home in the evening, armed. One of the group started calling for him to come out and talk with them. He did not want to go out so he stayed in and watched from a hiding place. What he witnessed was amazing. As the group stood in his yard, they kept pushing one and another forward as if to approach the house with the weapon. Each one would start forward and then stop at what seemed to be an invisible line. This went on for about 45 minutes and then they dispersed and have not come back. Who prayed for the hedge of protection!! Your prayers were heard. Theses families are some of the sweetest brothers and sisters I have ever known.

We have a wonderful event in process as I type. Jenny Johnson, Emily’s sixth grade teacher, is here visiting for 2 week. Emily and Jenny are camping with Emily’s class in the mountains around Jerusalem. It is a yearly, 3 day event for these very dedicated teachers. It is cold this time of year in the mountains, so naturally I hope they are staying warm and having enough to eat. They are also hiking every day. It was an amazing packing experience because being a minimalist doesn’t come easy for either of them. Before the event Emily’s home room teacher wanted to meet Jenny, so we went over to her house one evening. She lives up in the Golan Mountains on a Moshav (gated, agricultural community) We had a wonderful evening. The next morning Jenny went to school with Emily. (catching the bus at 6:30 and riding for 25 minutes up the mountains.) Jenny spoke in three English classes about the differences in the schools between Israel and America.

Things are quiet here on the political front. Elections are in about a week (28th) Lots of signs around and people with literature. Hamas has been sending land to air rockets with great frequency into Israel from Gaza. They are aiming for power plants but have not yet hit one. Israel continues to supply power and water to Gaza, as well as give money for hospitals and schools. It is a strange relationship. Gaza is becoming more and more of a hot bed of terrorists. Please try to read other news sources than the Arab owned ones A.P., Knight Rider and others. Israel always sounds like the aggressive bad guy and the continual PA,(Palestinian Authority, which now equals Hamas) attacks never get reported. When you saw the bulldozers in Gaza that was per PA request to destroy the communities. Israel was only going to destroy the synagogues so their wouldn’t be desecrated.

Now with Samaria being poised to be given over to the PA. All for the goal of gaining peace and stopping the continual barrage of attacks. It seems Israel is a slow learner that their destruction is the only goal, not peaceful co-existence. If the Israeli government gives over Samaria, 200,000 Jews will be displaced and have to be relocated. The area is only an area of about 45 miles by 15miles. It is a strange concept that Arabs can stay in the Israel but Jews cannot stay in the PA territories. Where we live the population is about 50/50. No one is trying to move the Arabs from their villages.

You probably heard about the Jericho jail raid. It was a peaceful and safe ending to a day standoff in which the prisoners were armed. Only one death.

I better send this, the campers got back safe and sound. We are going on an adventure today. (It is our day off and tomorrow is Shabbat) We are going under the foundations of the Western Wall and will see the wall section constructed during David’s era. Them perhaps to the Garden Tomb.

Jenny leaves tomorrow evening. For any of you fence riders about coming to Israel. Let me sway you, please come!!

Here’s our updated contact information.

Beit Bracha
Box 345

Phone: 651-815-0522 (It is linked and a free call)

Travel log site

Contact thru e-mail:

Tasse and Emily

Sunday, 22 January 2006

Location: Israel

January 10th, 2006

Happy New Year!
The news from Israel has been especially concerning lately with Sharon’s illness, and seemingly added national instability. Lately Emily and I have been tuning into KTIS FM on the internet. Listening to news about Israel reminds me of a story about a Missionary doing public health training. The topic was house flies and how they spread invisible germs. The teacher carried on and on about germs and sanitation, complete with an enlarged picture of a fly. When the students were asked if they had any questions, one lad raised his hand and said “ I can see why you came to live with us we don’t have any bug that big, and ours can’t do invisible damage.

If the international news was my only source I would say to myself “I would be afraid to live there.” Being here really puts the news hype in perspective. Just as God’s eye is ever on Israel, so is the rest of the worlds. It is quiet here, people live in peace with one another. We have many Arab, Druze and Bedouin towns within five minutes of our house. There is political turmoil but life goes on and so does the country. I don’t mean to totally minimize things but the balance is so off.

A recent headline read A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies. There was a picture of an Arab woman hugging a tree with a menacing Israeli tank and soldier in the background. The claim was that the Jews who left the settlements had destroyed olive trees. You may have seen the photo, it was a hoax. It was set up by anti-government Jewish young people. The tree had been trimmed ( they do so in the late fall) and they cut them back significantly ( we did it here too). Do not believe every photo and always read the second to the last paragraph to get a few of the real details. One of my favorite news sources is a column by Caroline B. Glick in the Jerusalem Post. (On-line) I usually see it on Fridays so I don’t know if she writes everyday. She offers a well balanced perspective.

My sister was here over Christmas. We had a gas. We spent most of our time in Eliat, in the Red Sea. She is a big scuba fan, Emily and I were very happy on the surface watching the sparkling fish and beautiful coral. We enjoyed the site just over the border in Egypt the most. I had snorkeled there 25 years ago, it was fun to share it with my sister and daughter. Emily and Artemis went to Petra Jordan also. Petra is an ancient city on the Nebetean trade route, it is cut out of rock and the building are very ornate and well preserved. I stayed back and helped Santa with some gifts for Emily and others. Another highlight was a camel ride into the Sinai, afterwards our Bedouin guide made bread and served goat cheese. It was a little touristy but we all enjoyed it a lot. We had such a nice time together, we were sad to see her go.

Christmas eve Emily and I were in a Christmas play here in Migdal at a nearby Christian Guest house. We think it was the first ever in thin community. We invited anyone who was interested to come and watch, later we had cookies and egg nog etc. It was very fun to share our traditions with them. Much thought and prayer was put into it. We then had a gift exchange with the members of the cast. It was new but a very wonderful eve. Santa found his way under our tree and we had a sweet Christmas Morning.

Emily is going to a formal high-school dinner this month. It has been fun finding and dress and boots for her to wear. We’ll try to post a photo. Please let us know if you are able to get to the web site. we have had some trouble with that lately.

The Director and his wife are coming back on Feb. 12th. We have really enjoyed our freedom to run the place in a more relaxed style. (We keep up standards, don’t worry)
They want us to move back into the flea spray house. I will not be able to do that. (I am feeling much better, very mild chest pain, the numbness is almost gone and I have had the energy to run on a few occasions) There might need to be some changes, please pray for us to have wisdom and direction.

We are really enjoying our time here with all the challenges included. This weekend we may go Skiing on Mt. Hermon with an Israeli family. I hope it works out.

Much love,
Tasse and Emily

Saturday, 17 December 2005

Location: Israel

Merry Christmas from the land where it all began!!

We had the pleasure of driving over to Nazareth to listen to a Christmas concert presented by two Arab churches and an Israeli congregation. It was a delight to be with our brothers and sisters in the Lord from many cultures. It also served to help us get ready for the season. Sunshine and date palms do exactly do that for Minnesotans.

Life has offered some fun and interesting events lately, Emily partially melted her retainer so going to an Israeli Dentist was new. The fit is quite different. Emily also joined a volleyball team. We never quite get the practices right but time and effort will work that out. I was able to deliver food vouchers to those in need within the Tiberias Social Service network. It is always interesting going to their homes and having a chance to hear each of their stories. That is quite rewarding work. We also drove to Haifa to go to the church over there, it was beautiful!. It is located in a Christian Druze village, so of course we went shopping and used some of the money that has been donated to us to buy new and very much needed bedspreads. The Druze have very beautiful fabrics.

The Druze are a people group in Israel, they are of Semitic origin, they have their own religion that is quite secretive. Only the Priest in the religion know exactly what all the beliefs are. There is historically a segment of that society that is Christian. They are often quite persecuted. Just recently a fire a bomb was thrown into the house of our friends neighbor. Arabs from a near by village have recently come into their villages and rioted. Please lift up Fiek, his family and their small fellowship, they are having a difficult time right now. Thanks.

My sister is coming tonight to spend Christmas with us. We are thrilled. She comes in at 1:15am. (we are not so thrilled about driving 2 hours to and from the airport, but it will be great to have her here. We will travel to Eliat together and stay at a time share she traded for down there. We have guests right now so she will be with us a few days before we leave.

Our flea problem has lead to us moving again. I kept having a reaction to the smell of the pesticide. We are now in two rooms in the lower house. I hope we can stay put for a while. It has been fun to run the place on our own, we make mistakes but none too serious. Yesterday I had a chance to lead a tour to Capernaum, Beit Saida, the Church of St. Peter (where Jesus asked him 3 times if he loved him, after Peter’s 3 denials), we walked in the Valley of the Doves ( the main path from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee). All and all it was a fun day. Tomorrow I will bring them up to the head waters of the Jordan where Peter stated” You are the Messiah, Son of the Living God”, and also to the Gates of Jeroboam, the alter he constructed and to the gates of the Canaanite city of Laish (Judges 18). Gates that Abraham probably walked through. I hope I am whetting the appetite of some of you to come and visit Israel. It is far more than a vacation!

Lots of love to you and yours and Merry Christmas!!

Tasse and Emily

Saturday, 17 December 2005

Location: Israel

Nov. 23, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving!!

We hope that you will enjoy your day that is set aside to give thanks. Israelis really like this holiday, it made front page on the Jerusalem Post Newspaper today. I am not sure why that would be front page news when Ariel Sharon resign yesterday and is wanting to start a new party and called for early elections. It looks like chaos to me but every one takes it in stride
Emily and her school mates had to go into the bomb shelters today, they said it was a drill but I have been hearing jets flying over head all day. There is something going on at the Lebanon border with Hezbollah firing rockets on the kibbutz’s there. Yesterday civilians were carrying machine guns around Tiberias. When I asked why someone said it was the Brinks men (delivering money) go figure. It is not scary , and there is no reason to worry but it does make for an interesting life here.

Some of you may have heard that I was in the hospital for 3 days. I was having chest pain and shortness of breath. I don’t take that lightly although I did wait for about 3 weeks to do something about it. I had a bunch of test including a angeo-gram. Things checked out pretty well with some minor things. I think in retrospect it was related to all the poison that has been sprayed in our house to get rid of the fleas. Emily was a trooper, though I sure it was scary for her. She told me she had been having chest pains earlier but didn’t want to tell me. That confirmed to me that it was most likely the flea spray. My Hebrew really got challenged. One of the doctors only spoke Russian and Hebrew. I was very fortunate to have one of the leading cardiologists in Israel on my case. People wait for months for him I heard. If I had not had him on my case I would have been put on heart medicine for the rest of my life. There was a big discussion in the procedure room, and he prevailed. As it is he wants me to get checked yearly. There were many people who wrote and said that I had been brought to their mind to pray for and they wondered why. The Lord is good and moves on hearts before I had a chance to ask. Thank you faithful pray-ers.

Ruth and Earl are in the U.S. for a few months. I am looking forward to things being a little more simple and calm. We had a very busy month ( unfortunately I was not well for part of it). It is quiet now with only a few guest, not a full house constantly. Emily and I finally have our own rooms now. It was nice sharing (the Lord must have given both of us a lot of grace for it) but it is nice having space too.

We are spending Thanksgiving with friends who live near us. We are having a progressive dinner. Three houses involved. I am making pecan pie and carrot soup for two of the courses The olive update is that we put up 24 gallons of olives to cure for three months.

It is getting colder here, Our source of heat is a wood burning stove. There is an electric space heater that blows the breaker out. I think I will get to know the system better and things will get more easy.

We have been invited to a bon-fire tonight. Emily is over there now getting help on her algebra. School continues to be a challenge, she seems to be enjoying more friendships lately.

That’s all for now.
In Him,

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Recent Messages

From Michelle
HOORAY! i'm leaving a message on your website. hehe. yesss! i'm so excited, i found it! i'm really hyper this morning. i don't know exactly why. maybe cause i'm listening to good music. (Coldplay-Fix You) :) the house next door has been sold. you should see our downstairs. it will be completely finished when you come home! :) wow huh! not even mellie or gretchen have seen it. its been so messy. and the kitty...poor cat. ok i think i'm typing a bit too much. so i will quit and send you an email.

love you--Michelle
Response: i love you too
From ba
emily, aren't computers great. School has started here as well, kids are not excited, weather is cool, and we have 3 new kittens. rained at the state fair, but fun,
Response: preety cool r the kittens cute to bad bout the rain
From Hite
Hi Tasse and Emily,

I was just checking out your blog here and I figured I ought to leave a message and say hello. I'm very impressed with your use of technology. Sounds like things are going well, which is great. How are you liking the school Emily? Are the kids nice?

Response: hey hite our site is that impressive but thanks i do like school but maybe i woldnt like it so much if i knew what they were saying the kids r really nice
From Wayne & Darlene
Hey Emily, thanks for the info and pics. Keep them up!
Brie says "hi". I took her goose hunting yesterday. I didn't bag a goose for her to retrieve but she still had a good time. She's a good dog!
Response: i am happy u took her hunting say hi to her from me
From Uncle Dan
This is my first visit to your site; keep up the good work! Maybe you are preparing for your future as a roving reporter.

Response: thanks
From Mary Ehrlich
Emily, this is great. I didn't realize that you were doing a website. What a great idea. Do your friends at home looke at it? (how do you know how to do it, by the way?) It is amazing to think of you going to school in the Golan. What a beautiful place to go every day!! I assume the school is in Hebrew. How do you do that? Is your Hebrew good enough to understand math instructions in Hebrew?

Love, Mary
Response: the golan is so pretty but it is really funny that i hear cannon practice every day today i heard 30 i dont understand hardly any hebrew so i just sit there but i am glad i am going
From House of Dreams

Did you guys make it?! We are waiting to follow your travels on your log.


p.s. for Emily - check your spelling young lady!
Response: we made it sorry i will work on my spelling