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An amazing Israel trip comes to end: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 9/4/19

Hello September — you are mostly summer, and a little bit fall, but we will take you all! Summer has unofficially ended. Now we enter the season of all things pumpkin spice ... how nice. …

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An amazing Israel trip comes to end: LaVonne Ackerman


Hello September — you are mostly summer, and a little bit fall, but we will take you all! Summer has unofficially ended. Now we enter the season of all things pumpkin spice ... how nice.

Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to let me know your news to share.

Israel Trip, Day 9

Finally, we come to the last day of touring in Israel. What a whirlwind of information overload and exhaustion. It was beautiful and educational, and I’m so thankful I was able to experience it with our leader Dr. James Ayers, his wife Betsy, and my husband Scott, along with several friends.

On June 19, we visited the Israel Museum, which is home to priceless artifacts from biblical sites across the land. Unfortunately, in order to make sure we got to do all that was planned this final day of touring, we practically ran through the museum and missed several interesting exhibits telling the story of Israel.

Our focus was archaeological pieces surrounding the Greeks, Romans and Jews. We saw King Herod’s coffin, fragments from his mausoleum at Herodium, and an iron nail in a heel bone fragment ... archaeological evidence of the Roman practice of execution by crucifixion. We saw much more and made certain we didn’t step over the various taped places on the floor!

The museum complex includes the extremely impressive scale model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period. Photos don’t do this display justice!

Also, we saw the Shrine of the Book, which is the home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls are ancient manuscripts (writings are biblical, apocryphal and sectarian, including 200 copies of books of the Hebrew Bible), which were discovered between 1947-1956 in 11 caves on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea. They are about 2,000 years old, written primarily on parchment, but also on papyrus.

Most of the scrolls were just fragments, and only a few were found intact. All of them are extremely fragile. No photography is allowed in this building!

It is amazing to know that scholars reconstructed these pieces into about 950 different manuscripts of various lengths. It was all incredible and, again, too much to look at and take in as we had just a short time at each exhibit.

Soon we were on the bus headed to ancient Joppa, modern day Jaffa, a part of Tel Aviv. Read Jonah 1. This is where Jonah boarded a ship and ended up in the belly of a great fish. This is also where Solomon imported the cedars of Lebanon mentioned in 2 Chronicles 2:16.

Check out Acts 9:43, 10:6,32. The writer Luke mentions how Peter stayed with one Simon, a tanner at the coast. This is the only time “tanner” is mentioned in the Bible. We went and stood outside what is believed to be Simon’s door.

We enjoyed walking around Joppa taking in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

Finally, the bus dropped some of us at the Old City in Jerusalem, and this ended up being a wonderful place to not only shop and people-watch, but also imagine what life was like here in ancient times.

Serendipitously, our nephew Tim Wadzita of Virginia Beach was in Israel for work for a couple of months, in Ashqelon. This is the day he traveled up to see us. We were to meet at the Jaffa Gate. I was amused to witness some filmmakers shooting scenes of Donkey Kong right outside the gate as I searched the crowds for him. It was somewhat surreal, and very hot for the man wearing the DK suit.

We had a sweet visit with Tim in the Old City, then at dinner at the hotel. He stayed talking with us to about midnight! Unfortunately, wake up calls were set for 3 a.m. for the journey home. 

I’m not going to get into the drama of the canceled flight out, as there is not enough space! I will tell you that it would take days to explain everything we saw, and all the things I felt. Plus, all of the deeper meanings of the Bible which have been cultivated in my heart. I recommend this trip to all. I am grateful to have experienced it and am still processing my heart full of memories.


Best wishes to Dr. Sam Selcher of Lower Swatara Township for a shiny and sparkly birthday on Sept. 5. Sending you peace and happiness Thursday.

Happy landmark 18th birthday to Devin Rohrbaugh of Middletown on Thursday, Sept. 5. Congrats!

Aaron Gray of Middletown has 23 reasons to celebrate on Thursday, Sept. 5 Happy birthday enjoying all of them!

Nicholas Kleinfelter of Middletown marks his brand new teener cake day Saturday, Sept. 7. Happy 13th to you!

Monday, Sept. 9 is the big-deal welcome-to-the-20s birthday for MeKenzie Coble of Lower Swatara. Have a marvelous week, McKenzie!

Happy birthday to Davy Brodish on Monday, Sept. 9. Enjoy your cake-and-ice cream day all week, Mr. Brodish!

Hey, Steven Mosher of Lower Swatara! Happy 20th birthday to you on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Best wishes for a wonderful year with many blessings and much love!

Jeanne Spagnolo of Lower Swatara marks her frosty-filled cake day on Tuesday, Sept. 10. I hope you have a pleasant day doing your favorite things!


Best wishes to Rob and Paula Alcock of Lower Swatara Township for a wonderful Sept. 4 wedding anniversary. They observe their 26th year together on Wednesday. Congrats!

Happy 60th anniversary to Joe and Betty Hile of Lower Swatara on Thursday, Sept. 5. Wishing you a day full of white roses, diamonds and love. Congratulations!

Many blessings and good wishes are sent to Jack and Phyllis Etter of Lower Swatara on Sept. 7. They celebrate their 62nd heart-and-flowers day on Saturday! Wow!

Frank and Sandy Popp of Lower Swatara mark 29 years together Sunday, Sept. 8. Wishing you a day of remarkable beauty. Enjoy!

Happy 41st anniversary to Mike and Paige Pavlishin of Lower Swatara on Monday, Sept. 9. May it be a wonderful week for you both!

Tom and Renee Fisher observe their 36th romantic heart-and-flowers day on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Best wishes to you both!

Happy 36th anniversary to Chris and Joni DeHart of Lower Swatara on Tuesday, Sept. 10. I hope your entire week is terrific!

Cool Pea Salad

2 (6 oz.) pkg. frozen peas, thawed

1/2 c. cheddar cheese

1/2 c. diced mozzarella cheese

1 medium onion, chopped

1 c. Miracle Whip salad dressing

Salt and pepper to taste

4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a bowl, combine the peas, cheese, onion and dressing, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until time to serve, at least two hours. Sprinkle with bacon.

55th MAHS reunion

Attention, all graduates from the Class of 1964 at Middletown Area High School: A reunion is planned for 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.

It will be held at the American Legion No. 594 on High Street in Middletown. If you haven’t received the invitation and would like to attend, please call Sallie (Cochran-Appleby) Evans at 717-566-2664. Your friends are waiting to see you!


It’s turkey time! All are invited to come out and enjoy a roast turkey dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16 (or until sold out) at Evangelical United Methodist Church, 157 E. Water St., Middletown.

The menu includes stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, beverage and dessert, with dine-in or takeout.

A cost is involved. Handicapped entrance is available. For information, call 717-944-6181.

Quote of the Week

“Through Christ you have the opportunity to unload all of the baggage from your past and present and move forward with a lightness and joy that come from within.” — Anonymous

Question of the Week

What do you love about September?

“The weather is cooler outside. Love the fall flowers, pumpkins, etc.” — Louisa Morgan, Londonderry Township. 

“I love fall and the changing of the leaves.” — Anna Benkovic, 10, Lower Paxton Township.

“It is a wonderful month on its own, but I am reminded of going back to school (college), with the excitement of meeting old and new friends, lots of parties, and dancing, after summers of constant labor (to pay for college). The song ‘September’ by Earth, Wind and Fire captures some of the vibe here!” — Bill Seaton, Hummelstown.

“That I get to go to kindergarten!” — Luca Ryan, 5, West Hanover Township.

“You have nice weather.” — Stella Ryan, 9, West Hanover.

Proverb for the Week

Wealth brings many new friends, but a poor man is deserted by his friend (19:4).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at