Hannah and Je together

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Fifty Eighth Day – Flight Back

After I arrived at the airport Terminal 3, I waited several hours because they allow only three hours prior to the flight.  I went through the initial security check at 2am (my flight was 5am).  They just x-rayed my check-in baggage and asked just a few questions such as if anyone gave me anything, if I have a weapon or something sharp.  That was it.  It was very easy.  Then I checked in my baggage, and I went through the second security check.  The line was not too long at that time of day, but it moved slow.  A guy in front of me complained that it is too slow.  The guy looked like from East India but I cannot be sure.  The young lady staff set him aside, and eventually he got the security check after me.  She said to the guy quietly but firmly, “BEHAVE YOURSELF!”  The security check was very easy, they were all smiling at me, and I was joking with them too.  They had a strange thing, a light blue stick.  They rubbed the tip of the stick on all my belongings such as backpack and laptop which are pretty much all I had then.  And they put the stick onto a machine to analyse.  I asked the lady what that was, and she waved her index finger, smiling and said “secret.” Oh, the guy who was not behaving eventually went to a separate room, and I saw him two hours later at the gate. It looked like he was just released right before the flight.

It is always good to see the windows error message in public

It is always good to see the windows error message in public

McCormick group flew with Lufthansa, and we know that only Lufthansa uses terminal 1 while all other international flights use terminal 3.  Ben Gurion Airport gave the German airline its own terminal.  The security check at terminal 3 was normal, almost same as in America.  That of terminal 1 which is for Lufthansa was extremely terrible.  It looks like that Israel gives German airline very hard and difficult security check only for them.  So, my advice is not to use Lufthansa when you go to Israel.

What other airport has this easy chairs?

What other airport has this easy chairs?

When I went to my gate, I could not believe my eyes – the easy chairs.  So I rested two hours on one of the chairs.

Playground at Ben Gurion Airport

Playground at Ben Gurion Airport

Ben Gurion Airport has very good facilities including this bigger playground for kids.  The picture above is only part of it.

I flew to Zürich airport, and there I transferred to the airplane to Chicago.  As I had the emergency exit seat on the way to Israel, I also got that seat on my way back home.  It was very pleasant flight.  The best thing of flying with SWISS air was that they gave us ice cream as dessert.

One thing Chicago Airport does not have

One thing Chicago Airport does not have

It was not too difficult to find a power outlet in Ben Gurion Airport, and it was very easy in Zürich airport.  The power outlet is one thing almost impossible to find in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

The immigration line at Chicago Airport was a bit different from last time which is January 2014.  If I remember correctly, there were three different lines – for US citizens, for US green card holders, and for anyone else (in other words visitors).  But this time, they had three lines, but the first line was different.  It was for the citizens of US and Canada.  Why American immigration treats Canadian citizens as their own?  Are the two countries going to do M&A?

It was very good to be home, and I realised why everybody says “Home Home Sweet Home.”  It is because there is my sweet honey.

Another story. Egypt Story

When I planned to go to Egypt first time, I booked at a travel agency in Israel.  Not like the trips within Israel, the agency requires at least two or three people to do the trip to Egypt.  And because of war between Israel and Gaza, all other people cancelled the trip, and I alone left which resulted in the automatic cancellation of the trip itself.  Of course I got refunded.

I was digging at Megiddo at that time. I had no idea how and what to do.  Then my co-volunteers told me that we had a guy from Egypt.  His name is Remon Nabil Samuel, and he was actually a square supervisor, and I talked to him about it, and he was kind to help me.  He talked to several of his friends back in Egypt, and one of them was willing to help me.  Her name is Dina Jacob.

She told me to just come and she would guide me all about Cairo for a week.  And of course I trusted her.  We talked through the Facebook messenger, and she also gave me her cellphone number so that I can call her once I got to Cairo.  At that time, I had no idea to visit Luxor.  But two days before my departure, Shirly Ben Dor Evian, the supervisor of my area and squares, strongly suggested me to see Luxor.  So I booked a day trip to Luxor from Cairo for the first day.  Because Dina Jacob, the friend of Remon in Cairo, told me that she would be flexible, so I thought I would see her from the second day.

I went to Cairo from Israel’s Taba border by two buses.  First night I messaged Dina Jacob with Facebook messenger, but my messages did not go through.  And I realised that she blocked me on Facebook!  So I called her by the number she gave me, and nobody answered.  I felt like I was lost in the space, but soon I realised that I had a day of buffer or cushion because the first day was already booked for Luxor trip.  For that night and next day, I googled crazy, called many places crazy.  So I successfully managed all of my days in Egypt – some I used travel agency and some I travelled by myself.

If I did not booked Luxor trip in advance, I would have spoiled and wasted most days in Egypt.  I have no idea what is wrong with Dina Jacob, but I did not complain to Remon.  Knowing everything, God let my supervisor suggest me Luxor, I believe.  Thanks be to God, and also I personally thank Shirly, my area supervisor and the mother of two beautiful girls.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Church Tour: Latvian Church in Chicago

It was Sunday, 20th of May, 2012. Hannah’s parents were coming back home from Mission trip in China. For someone who does not know, Hannah’s father is ordained minister and currently serves as Mission Pastor at a Korean Church here in Naperville, Illinois.

And on that day, there was a marathon which blocked around the Church. We tried to go to Church but in vain. The police officer did not let us pass even though I begged that we need to go to Church. The week before, Pastor Ahn announced that the officer would let us pass if we say we are on the way to Church, so I just believed the word. I think I was just too naive or Pastor Ahn was. The American officers are not like Canadian officers. We, without any choice, headed to the airport and Hannah found a Church near the O’Hare airport using her smart phone.

It was Lutheran Church. I’ve never been to a Lutheran Church so I was a little bit excited. And I became even more excited to find it was not just normal Church.

The Church was ethnic Church – a Latvian Church. I had no idea about the Latvian language, and after I came home, I looked up and found that Latvia is a European Country in Baltic region.

In the Church, there were not many people, and even except around three people, all were very very old seniors.

When we entered the Church, the whole congregation looked at us. Maybe we were the first Asians in that Church. 🙂

The Lutheran style of worship looked very alike the Catholic even though I don’t know much about Catholic, it looked like at least to my eyes. The minister (a lady with very beautiful singing voice) and Church clerks were very kind to us. Even though I was not able to understand the sermon in Latvian, I like this sermon way more than the one at yellow box because I realised she was preaching about Jesus – I was able to pick when she was saying Jesus and Christ in her language sounds like ‘Yesu’ and ‘Kristo.’

At the announcement, I understood two more words – NATO and Konference.

Church Information:

English Name: Latvian Zion Lutheran Church

Address: 6551 West Montrose Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60634

Tel: 773-725-3820

The Church is right next to a College, and it might be a little bit tricky to find at first because the street names and curves are tricky. I would like this Church much only if I could understand Latvian.

아내의 부모님이 중국 선교에서 돌아오시는 날이 2012년 5월 20일 주일이었다. 혹시 모르는 분들을 위해 설명을 하자면 장인 어른은 목사님이시고 현재 일리노이주의 네이퍼빌에 있는 한국인 교회에서 선교 목사로 섬기고 계신다.

그 날, 교회 주변에 마라톤이 있어서 길이 봉쇄되었다. 교회를 가려 했지만 헛수고였다. 교회 가야 한다고 애걸했지만 경찰관이 통과시켜주지 않았다. 그 전주에 안목사님이 교회 간다고 하면 경찰이 통과시켜 줄거라고 해서 그대로 믿었는데 지금 생각하면 내가 너무 순진했던 듯 하다. 아니면 목사님이 순진했던가. 미국 경찰은 캐나다 경찰 같지 않다. 경찰에게 교회 가야 한다고 애걸했는데 통과시켜주지 않았다. 그래서 어쩔 수 없이 공항으로 출발했고, 아내가 스마트폰을 사용해서 공항 근처에 있는 교회를 찾아냈다.

루터교였다. 루터교에는 한 번도 가본 적이 없어서 좀 흥분되었다. 그리고 곧 일반적인 교회가 아니란 걸 알고는 더욱 흥분되었다.

라트비아인 교회였다. 그게 뭔지 몰랐는데, 집에 와서 찾아보니 유럽의 발틱 지역에 있는 나라라고 한다.

교회에는 사람이 별로 많지는 않았는데, 그리고 약 세명을 빼고는 모두 완전 엄청 나이가 드신 분들뿐이었다.

교회에 들어가니 온 사람들이 우릴 처다봤다. 그것도 멍~하니. 아마 그 교회에 간 첫 아시아 사람이 아니었을까 한다.

루터교 형식의 예배는 천주교와 비슷했다. 천주교 예배에 대해 잘 모르지만 어쨋든 내 눈에는 그렇게 보였다. 노래할 때 목소리가 아주 아름다운 여자 목사님과 교회 섬기는 분들은 무척 친절했다. 라트비아어인 설교는 못 알아들었지만 지난 번의 노란통 교회보다는 훨씬 마음에 들었다. 왜냐면 예수 그리스도에 대해 설교한다는 것은 알았기 때문이다. 예수님 또는 그리스도를 말할 때는 알아들었다. ‘예수’ 그리고 ‘크리스토’ 와 같이 들렸다.

광고에서도 나토라는 단어와 콘포론스라는 단어는 알아들었다.

교회 정보:

정식 영어 이름: Latvian Zion Lutheran Church

주소: 6551 West Montrose Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60634

전화번호: 773-725-3820

교회는 어떤 대학교 바로 옆에 있는데, 길 이름하고 길의 커브가 좀 이상해서 처음에는 찾기가 어려울 수 있다. 내가 라트비아어만 알아 들었어도 이 교회를 꽤 좋아했을 것 같다.

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