Thursday, April 29, 2010

Out of town

We left our hotel to drive to the Dead Sea. The second picture shows the wall representing the West Bank from the bedouin tents. As we drove down below sea level, the scenery became desert and my ears were popping terribly.
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Temple Steps and Western Wall

We walked up some of the original steps to the temple. The southern gate is blocked so we just got to walk up to the wall and stop. We then went through a checkpoint into the Israeli part of the Western wall which is the Wailing Wall. There is the men portion with the flag and the ladies portion where they go to pray. There were lots of soldiers around that day. They were all so young.

Jerusalem #3

The Domb of the Rock Mosque glitters in the sun with some of the building of modern Jerusalem in the background. A view of the area where the first Jerusalem was started is in the second picture. The map shows the different divisions of the walled city today. Part of the southwest wall shows the huge rocks that were used to build it.
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Last Supper and King David's Tomb

The column is from the room where the last supper was held with Jesus and his disciples. Oddly enough it is the only picture that I have of the room. At the same place we saw the tomb of King David.
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Kidron Valley

From the Garden of Gethsemene, we walked down the Kidron Valley and up to the city wall from the southeast. There were ancient tombs in the side of the lower part of the Mt of Olives. The picture of the city shows one of the mosques that is located in the city wall.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jerusalem, Jerusalem

The sun rise was beautiful from our 15th floor room at the hotel. Since we knew there was some political unrest, I thought maybe I was a little insane for being in Jerusalem so high up. Thankfully we didn't have time to feel unsafe on this day. The Mt of Olives certainly wasn't as I pictured it. It is full of the graves of the people who wanted to be buried as close to the city as possible. The eastern gate of the city is closed over. At the foot of the Mt of Olives is the Garden of Gethsemane. There are trees there that could be 2000 years old. It is very peaceful despite being by a busy highway and having a church built beside it.
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O Little Town of Bethlehem

I think this was the part of the trip where I realized it is not 2000 years ago. As we neared Bethelehem, we had to put our Israeli guides off the bus. Then we crossed a checkpoint to get into the West Bank. We got a new guide to go to visit the birthplace of Jesus. Three churches now stand on the site - an Orthodox, an Armenian, and a Catholic. The whole experience was overwhelming for me. The hole in the floor represents where Jesus was born and the candle thing represents where the manager stood. As we left Bethlehem and crossed back through the checkpoint, I kept singing "O Little Town of Bethlehem". It is certainly not very true today.
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Hwys 90 and 1

As we drove south from the Sea of Galilee, the countryside dramatically changed. We weren't able to go to Jericho but we did see some of the plants that are growing around the city. We stopped for lunch at a tourist place where soldiers were sitting on the playground. We drove into Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon. The Jews were celebrating the sabbath so there were only a few people on the street.
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On the way to Jerusalem

Above is the beautiful sunrise on the Sea of Galilee. Wish you could have heard the birds that were singing as I made the picture. OUr next stop was the Jordan River where several from our team were baptized. The last picture is made at the spring where God chose 300 from Gideons army. Next stop Jerusalem!
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Capharnaum and beyond

We visited Capharnaum where Jesus raised Peter's mother-in-law. The 2nd picture is where the mother-in-law lived. F is sitting in the synagogue that exsisted during Roman times.
We left there and visited the traditional site of the feeding of the 5000. Wow! did that make Buddy's sermon on it come alive.
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Blog bogged

Since I went on a Mission trip to Nebraska last week, I am now way behind on my blogging.
I'm going to try to catch up.
After leaving the Sea of Galilee we rode to Caesarea Philippi where Jesus and his disciples would go. On the way up, near where Jesus gave the Beatitudes, we saw beautiful fields of yellow flowers. Our guide said they only last a few weeks. We also saw storks migrating to Europe. I am sure that the stork who roosts in Buzivka, Ukraine was among the group. At Caesarea Philippi we were read scripture. It was a very soothing place with the water running in the backgroud.
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