Scaling Mount Sinai


Last fall pastors and their wives from Classis Niagara and Classis Toronto were invited to accept an all expense paid “Study Tour” to Egypt, Jordan and Israel, on April 8th through 23rd, this year. A man in British Columbia had a dental practice where he was able to develop a patent. When he and his wife sold the practice, the two of them went on a trip to Israel with a pastor friend and his wife. Upon returning, one of them said “every pastor and his wife should be able to experience such a tour.” The couple prayed about that thought and looked into the possibility of inviting Christian Reformed Church pastors and their wives, across Canada, to make this same pilgrimage. They were able to partner with Ray Vanderlaan, a well-known teacher and middle east tour guide. They also partnered with one of his students, Rev. George DeJong, serving in Georgetown, Michigan; originally from Brockville, Ontario. They began sending pastors and their wives from Classis B.C. North West and B.C. South East, in 2012, the year after Sue and I took a call to Grimsby. They have slowly been making their way across Canada, usually two Classes at a time. I would be lying if I told you I was not awaiting this opportunity with excitement and eager expectation. It’s described as a “study tour,” rather than a tourist trip to Israel, because it will include a lot of walking off the beaten path. We have been challenged to get in shape; walking, tread mill, jogging, and doing stairs. We’ve climbed the escarpment a couple of times. This past Monday, we found stairs at the Chedoke golf course in Hamilton. We were not the only customers on these stairs. Others were ascending and descending each platform, counting as they went along, 296 stairs to the top. We went up and down and felt pretty good about ourselves, so we did it again. After the second time we thought we’d walk some flat ground along the Bruce Trail. We came back and went up and down one more time. That felt like a pretty good work out, until we both got out of bed the next morning, wondering if we could walk. Our calf muscles introduced themselves to us with a stiff scream.  Included on our tour will be a climb to the top of Mount Sinai and down again. I wonder if that’s the same Mount Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments? Getting in shape is kind of like living or exercising God’s laws. When you do or don’t follow those laws you feel the after effects either way. We have a few more weeks of training before us that will definitely include stairs, because we need to be prepared for the physical challenge. But we believe it is preparing us for so much more, as the entire trip will be an ascending and descending experience on far more than just the physical plane.   Pastor Sid


Karin Terpstra