Another b-e-a-utiful day in Israel!
Shalom from JERUSALEM!!!!
We made it! the Golden City! And it's as beautiful as I remembered it! But let's not get ahead of ourselves, OK?
When last I blogged, we had just crossed over the Sinai. I'm not sure if the Israelites had it as easy as we did when they entered the Promised Land. We woke up to a beautiful morning on the Southern tip of Israel, overlooking the Red Sea, at the city of Eilat. But, no time to rest...we've got and appointment with the LORD. (literally)
We started out our Israel leg of our journey by going to one of my favorite spots from the last trip...the replica of the Tabernacle at Timna Park in Southern Israel. Now, some of you may have come to the First Baptist Church to witness the Tabernacle. If you did, you'll know...it's not so much the place as it is the lessons learned there...along with an amazing feeling of the Presence of GOD! This experience was no different. Our guide was great. He had much to teach, and we had much to learn (even some new things this time). But, it always ends the same way for me...in the Holy of Holies. I know that God's Presence IS everywhere...but for some reason, this is where I meet HIM...and HE meets me!!! Thank you, LORD.
Onward and upward! Up the highway to the Dead Sea region. We spent some time at En Gedi where we held our Sunday services. What a beautiful park. This is the area where David would have been running from and hiding from Saul...many caves. Plus, there is fresh water there...living water, which gave him the refreshment that he needed to continue. From there we went to Masada. What a powerful place. Just to see it from the ground is breathtaking, but to witness it from above is spectacular. We learned of Herod and how he was an expert builder. But the real story is that of the last stand of Jewish zealots in 70 AD. I won't go through the story, but please look it up!!! It is powerful! It is devistating! It is moving! May I NEVER have to make a choice as these people did!
After a long day, it was good to get back to the hotel in time to go down to the Dead Sea for a float...yes, you read that right, a FLOAT. You DON'T swim in the Dead Sea. You can try, but it's an excercise in futility! (but it's kinda fun to try, anyhow) Everyone had a great time!
Up the next day to move on again. Long day today! Tel Arad, Tel Be'ersheba, and Tel Azeekah...the places of the oldest "Solomonic" Temple, Abraham's well, and the battle of David and Goliath (in that order). It was a very full day, with many things to think about.
By the way, we even had time to slip in a visit to a Bedouin Hospitality Camp to sample their tea and coffee (Dad, I finally found coffee stronger than Grandma's!!!). We also got to take our second camel ride in less than a week!!! Very pleasant (for most :-) You gotta love such an interesting beast.
And then...JERUSALEM!!! I LOVE this city! Got in just in time to check in and go to supper. The next couple days are fully packed again!!! (wouldn't have it any other way!!!) We start the day tomorrow on the Mount of Olives!!!
So, as I come to an end of tonight's ramblings, let me tell you that the group is having a WONDERFUL time! We're learning, laughing, and enjoying all that God has in store for us! Please continue to pray for traveling safety and good health for the remainder of the trip! I can speak for many (as I've visited with many on the trip), we miss you all! But, we're also having the trip of our lives!
Until next time, be Blessed!!! And spread Blessings to all you meet!
Love, from Israel,