Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Video from Israel

A lot of people have been asking for a video of my trip to Israel. I have been done with it for quite sometime but I have just been making copies and sending it to people. But then I realized...why not put it on Youtube?? So my video has been uploaded!! Take a look at it when you have some free time and comment to let me know how you like it.

Have a blessed day!!!

Your Friend,


Friday, August 10, 2012

Back at the Point

I am officially back at West Point. I have had a haircut, shaved, and I am back wearing uniforms. And to be honest, I am really really excited. This is probably the most excited I have been at West Point EVER!! This year off has given me so much persprective, and God has really worked in me. In the previous post I discussed some of the ways God has changed me. In short:

-Be flexible
-Other cultures matter
-Do not worry about tomorrow
-Relationships are important

Along with the changes above, I have seen myself become more positive in my attitude about everything. I am just a happier guy. And it is not because I am putting on a fake smile or just pretending everything is ok. It is because God has given me a satisfation about life I have never felt before. It is almost like He is telling me, "I got everything under control, Patrick." I love this feeling, and I hope it rubs off on other people. Life is not always perfect, but to know that God has everything under control helps me everyday.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28

So now begins my next chapter in life. Israel and my shepherding days are over, now time for West Point.

I'm going to:


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Summing Up My Experience in Israel

In short-
  • ·        Be flexible.
  • ·        God became more alive than ever.
  • ·        Other cultures are just as, if not more, important than Americans.
  • ·        Do not worry about tomorrow.
  • ·        Take time to enjoy life, relationships are important.

To expand. Be flexible

My trip to Israel has been an eye opening experience. I learned so much about myself, God, and other cultures. Before I went to Israel I would describe myself as a motivated individual, but also a “list person”. What I mean is that I would make a list of everything that needed to be done. For example, wake up, do the dishes, feed the dog, water the plants, workout, etc. I am not saying making a list and following it is not a good thing, but for me it left no room for flexibility and to be honest, no room for God. If the list was not completed exactly how I wrote it down I got upset. If anyone interrupted me while I was completing a list I often got mad or upset. I noticed this very fast when I got to Israel, because it was a different pace of life. When I arrived I asked what we had to do each day. And each day in the morning we would often discuss what needed to be done that day. So I would say okay and be ready to complete the list. I often worked with their son Amir and we would often start on the list, but then something would come up and then we would transition to that job. I was often upset at first because I wanted to finish the list. But I helped him and then by the end of the day the list was often not complete, but that was ok he said, “We will get to it when we get to it, be flexible.” This was a hard lesson for me to learn but it was an important one. I even remember a sermon I heard one time that said some of God’s opportunities first come as interruptions. We have to embrace the interruptions and use them as opportunities. Be flexible and do not just be a “list” person.

God became more real then ever

I have taught Sunday school for years, but a lot of times we call the teachings “Bible Stories”. The fact is that they are more than stories and words on a page. They actually happened. And while I was in Israel I was able to put pictures with stories. God became more alive than ever before. Sometimes I have met people, even Christians, who have told me that the Bible is not real but are just stories to help us follow God. Some do not believe that David killed Goliath or Jesus walked on water. What?! Well I am here to tell you that I believe they happened and I have been to the places where they happened. You have a choice to believe what you believe, but as for me I believe that Jesus was real and everything in the Bible actually happened. I have attached a music video from Avalon. It is a song called “Everything to Me” and it describes my experience really well. God has become more alive than ever in me and want to tell everyone about it.

Other Cultures

First off, I think everyone should travel if they can. The United States is an amazing country. But seeing other countries and experiencing other cultures is important. It gives one perspective and often humbles. At least it did for me. I think we, as Americans, are all that and a bag of chips, and the decisions we make are always right. This is not true. Seeing the way other cultures interact and live life has shown me that first off everyone is a person. Everyone bleeds red, smiles, cries, and experiences pain. We sometimes forget that, especially when we stereotype cultures. Just because a culture is different from America does not make them horrible people. So I tell you to travel, travel, travel.  Do not be that person who never leaves their state and uses the news to gather information about cultures. Experience cultures for yourself and see this beautiful world God has made.

These have been the three main things God has taught me in Israel. There are many more that I may never realize, but I know I have been changed for the better. I am more patient, calm, and collected. I see interruptions as God ordained opportunities and that people are more important than work. I did not know when I first left for Israel why God was calling me to Israel or what I would accomplish there. But it was not about me accomplishing anything. It was about me doing my best to help the family I worked for, and to take time for God to work in me, to literally do a major surgery on me. And He did amazing things and I feel closer to God than I ever have before.

Patrick Hester

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Goodbye Israel

As most of you know it is time for me to say goodbye to Israel. I have been here 8 months, and it has been a blast. I was able to live the Bible, experience other cultures, and experience God in more ways than I ever have before. I will miss this Holy Country and will be returning one day for sure.  

Goodbye to the Pasture...

Goodbye to the Land...

This is the tent I built while I was out with the sheep!!

Goodbye to the chickens...

 Goodbye to the puppies...

Goodbye to the sheep... especially Daisy

This is Daisy!!! The one eating the branch. She is now 8 months
old and is about to be put in with the main herd.

Goodbye Israel...

This is the gate to the farm I worked on.

So this is the end of my Israel trip but this is by far not the end of my blog. I am currently trying to make a video of the time there. Also someone asked me to some up my experience and that question is always on the way. Oh yeah I also forgot to say goodbye to my beard!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Freiburg, Germany

Freiburg was my first and last stop on my trip around Europe. So there are some pictures on here from when I first landed at the airport and when I left the airport. I hope you enjoy the last of my Europe pics.

The airport is right on the border between France,
Germany, and Switzerland.

A pizza vending machine!! How cool.

My first official beer in Germany. I had one sip
and found out that it was expired. =(

Playing WII Boxing with Konrad in Freiburg.
This was the house I stayed in when I arrived and
when I left Europe. They have a wonderful family!!

It was my first Starbucks in 6 months!! Israel does not have one.

Bakery!!! Yummy

I had to get some sausage

Train Museum

Hiking in the Black Forest

Cuckoo clock factory

So this is the end of the Europe trip. It is sad that it is over, but my experiences will always be with me. I saw 5 countries in one month, lived in different cultures, spoke different languages, and made friends that will last a lifetime.It was wonderful. If you ever have the chance to travel, I beg you to do it. Experience life by living it; not by living it through someone else.

Your Friend,