People ask me what I loved most about Israel. This photo just about sums my trip and my life in 2016. God, being my Helper, showed up in the form of His beloved people who stepped forward and helped me to the next level of recovery after the loss of my dear husband. His hands, His love, His provision…all supplied by those who love God in such a magnificent way that they think nothing of putting their lives aside to help others.

Arthritic knees, spontaneous leg cramping, and an injured big right toe were my handicaps on this Israel trip. Yet my fellow pilgrims continued to take me by the arm and guide me up the inclines and the steps of the Holy Land. If angels have human forms, well, they look like the ladies on this trip, they look like my CBS and church family, my own dear family; they look like strangers who step up and do kind and tender things and then disappear into a crowd.

So at the beginning of 2017, my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for those who ministered to me while I learned the ropes of being a widow. A title I never sought, but hope to bring dignity to the memory of my dear husband and honor to my God Who consoled, comforted, guided, protected me while I learn the role of widowhood.

Photo by Lanee Welch-Warrick The vendors in the Jewish Quarter of Old Jerusalem