Thursday, March 17, 2022

Israel Bomb Shelters

In Israel, many homes are built with dedicated bomb shelters which are reinforced and designed to withstand not just conventional threats like those from rockets, but also chemical warfare. Any home built after 1993 is required to have a room for this purpose. 

When the siren sounds, you’re supposed to enter the mamad, or protected room, which has a little window. In some cases, after the threat has passed, the window can serve as a way for the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to come by and let you know the danger has passed.


In Jerusalem, we lived in economy housing in an older multi-story building. Our entire apartment was not much bigger than a mamad. So we didn’t have a bomb shelter in our apartment. There might have been a community shelter in the bottom of the apartment building. I don’t know. Nobody ever thought to tell us about one and it did not occur to us to ask. 

Fortunately, things were relatively peaceful during our time in Jerusalem and we did not have need of a mamad.

Neighborhoods also have designated shelters for people to seek refuge in during rocket or other attacks.

Below are photos of us with our friend who was showing us the bomb shelter in his apartment. Notice the little window in the upper left of the photos.  


Friday, January 28, 2022

Tips for Trips to Israel


Holy Land Tour with Bill and Sylvia Ferrin

A while back, a pastor asked us if we would consider being his personal tour host to Israel. He wanted us to get information together to help him plan for the trip. To assist him, I created a website with planning and packing tips. As it turns out, he decided to not go to Israel. 

I have never advertised this website, which is called Off the Beaten Path - Holy Land Tour with Bill and Sylvia Ferrin. But with Israel slowly opening back up to tourism after a two-year layoff due to the pandemic, you might be considering a trip.

You would also benefit from reading my book Walking Ancient Paths - Gleanings from the Holy Land, which you can purchase here

While we are unable to host tours at this time, nor do we have plans to host tours anytime in the near future, you might find the information on this website useful. Enjoy!  

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Favorite Israeli Shops and Restaurants

 My husband and I have been to Israel several times. We have discovered places that are special to us, that we make a point to visit again when we are able to. 

If you have read much of my writings about the Holy Land, you know that we like to go "off the beaten path." So our little getaways are not found on most tour itineraries. Many of them are places that are only frequented by Jewish Israelis. 

Part of the delight of being in Israel is shopping and dining at truly Israeli locales. Though not all are out-of-the-way, here are a few of our favorite spots in Israel:

Derech HaGefen (Vine Road Restaurant) in Beit Zayit - A dairy restaurant with outdoor dining in a lovely garden.

Tamar Bakfar (Village of Dates) in Kinneret - A wonderful store that specializes in dates and date products, as well as spices and other Israeli foods that make great souvenirs and gifts.

Amirim - A vegetarian village in the Galilean hills. Hands down, this is one of our favorite places to stay.

Sambooki - Our go-to shop for fresh Israeli pastries like bourekas and rugelach. 

Cafe Aroma - The Israeli equivalent of Starbucks, only a lot better. We don't drink coffee, but their chai is great. 

Mamilla Pedestrian Mall - This upscale outdoor mall is mostly beyond our budget but it is fun to walk through on our way to entering the Old City through Jaffa Gate

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Os Caminhos Antigos

In August 2020, Missionary JJ Lambeth contacted us about translating our book Walking Ancient Paths - Gleanings from the Holy Land into Portuguese. 

A couple of years previous, he began translating apostolic books from English into Portuguese so that believers in Brazil could have materials to help them in their walks with the Lord. He also uses these translated books to reach out to Brazilians who want to know more about God. 

Walking Ancient Paths - Gleanings from the Holy Land was of particular interest to Brother Lambeth because he has been to Israel three times. During one of his trips, he completed a four-day hike by himself from Nazareth to Capernaum.

This week, copies of Os Caminhos Antigos - Um Vislumbre da Terra Santa arrived on our doorstep. The book looks fantastic and we hope it is a blessing to many Brazilians!

Brother Lambeth in Brazil

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Tips for Touring Israel

To date, we have never rented a traditional hotel in Israel, nor have we participated in a group tour. We prefer to explore Israel on our own. We get a rental car and stay in tzimmers (guest houses/apartments) in moshavim (Jewish communities.)

A couple of years ago, a pastor asked us to take him and his wife on a personalized tour of Israel. He wanted preparation information. As it turned out, we were never able to take that trip with them, but at that time I put together a website with valuable tips for visiting Israel, particularly if traveling apart from a group tour.

The website is called:

Off the Beaten Path: 

Holy Land Tour With Bill and Sylvia Ferrin

If you wonder what you might need to do to prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime off-the-beaten-path adventure in Israel, clink the link below to check it out!

Monday, December 21, 2020

A Light in Darkness: Stories of Grief and Loss

It is Christmastime. A time when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is supposed to be a time of joy. But for some people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, it can be a painful time. 

Whether now at this special time of year or any time when we are presented with the loss of a loved one, we need the support of others. That is the beauty of the body of Christ. When we feel a loss, our brothers and sisters in Christ help sustain us. 

A Light in Darkness: Stories of Grief and Loss, published by Word Aflame Press, is a compilation of articles written by people who can relate to the pain of loss because they have experienced it firsthand. Here is a pre-published article from the Pentecostal Publishing House blog which shares with us the benefits of gaining strength and guidance from others during times of loss. 

A Light in Darkness | Stories of Grief and Loss 

If you have experienced a loss of a loved one or a dear friend, allow A Light in Darkness: Stories of Grief and Loss to offer comfort. 

Maybe you’ve lost a spouse, parent, child, or a dear friend, and you realize you lack strength to make it through the dark valley alone. It feels lonely and scary. What if someone who made the journey before you could help—someone who could share insights from their experiences, the lessons they’ve learned, and things that helped them cope? That’s what A Light in Darkness is all about. 

You will hear from writers who have lost parents, a spouse, a friend, siblings, a child, and more. The same questions you may be wrestling and grappling with right now, these writers also wrestled with. Know this: It’s okay to question, closure comes gradually, and God hasn’t turned His back on you. 

You will want to meet these writers and read their letters. They are addressed to you, dear friend. 

If you know someone walking in the valley of the shadow of death, consider giving A Light in Darkness as a gift this Christmas. These stories of grief and loss will offer comfort and hope. 

A version of this article was posted at

Resources and Links: A Light in Darkness

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Photos of Rosh Pina

Rosh Pina

One of our favorite places to visit when we are in northern Israel is Rosh Pina. The old neighborhood, founded in 1882, is on top of a hill. It is a quaint collection of sturdy stone buildings. These restored structures are now homes, restaurants, and art galleries. There is also a synagogue, which was the first public building erected in Rosh Pina. 

This quiet village is never busy or overcrowded when we visit and we always enjoy walking along its meandering cobblestone streets and through the nearby park. The clean, fresh air and natural setting is refreshing. Down the hill is the modern area of Rosh Pina, still very nice. There you find shopping centers and more restaurants. 

Rosh Pina has quite a few zimmers (guest houses) but we usually stay in Amirim when are in the Galilee region of Israel. So, we just go to Rosh Pina to visit for a few hours and to enjoy a good Israeli meal.   

Rosh Pina received its name from Psalm 118:22, which says, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” Rosh Pina means “head of the corner” or “cornerstone.”

Although Rosh Pina does not appear to have a link to a biblical city, its name indicates that its early Romanian-Jewish founders desired to build something lasting. They succeeded, for the stone structures they erected so long ago are now highly prized real estate, valued for their stability, ambiance, and historical significance. 

There is a simple yet powerful lesson we can learn from the name of this village. In the world of architecture, the cornerstone is the first stone that is laid. All other stones are laid in reference to the cornerstone. A cornerstone determines the direction in which a structure will be built.

Jesus referenced Psalm 118:22, revealing Himself as the stone which the builders rejected (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17). Many people foolishly reject Jesus. As a result, their lives are unstable and lack God-ordained purpose.

To Christians, Jesus Christ should be our cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20; I Peter 2:6-7). He is the one who we should build our lives on. He will determine the direction we should go. He is solid and stable and trustworthy.

We must always be cognizant of the value of Jesus Christ being the cornerstone of our lives. We should not reject Him but rather invite Him to set the course for our lives. As we contemplate what we should talk about, think about, and what we should do, we should always look to Jesus and never the world as our reference point as we erect the structure of our lives. This will guarantee that we are building something worthwhile that will stand the test of time.

Rosh Pina – Cornerstone – is a lovely place to visit. But even more lovely is a life well built upon Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone.