Saturday, March 31, 2012

Israel: Day 4

We started our day at the Jordan River!
These are the people who were baptized.
It was such an amazing experience to
come up from under the freezing cold brisk
water and imagine Jesus looking up
through the tree branches as I was.
Also, to imagine a dove right above where I was,
saying "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am pleased"
This is Bet She'an.
King Saul was hung on the walls of this city.

We had to take this tractor-like train into the city.
It would've been quite a walk.
Emily, Malachi and I were seat buddies :)

Soldiers walk around all over with their guns
just hanging off their back like this!

This is the public restrooms of those days.

There was an eathquake some time ago.
It was cool how the columns fell like this.

This tall columns reminded us of Samson.
If you recall, Samson was tied to columns of
the temple and pulled the temple down as he died.

As you can see, it WAS McDonald's!
It wasn't American McDonald's, though..
It was kosher, though, so there was no cheese
and ice cream was made at a different counter.

We were getting into the real desert of Israel.

The Dead Sea!!!!

This is Qumron, where the
Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
There were monks that lived here,
 and hid the Scrolls.
It was crazy to see that they lived HERE.
The Dead Sea isn't too far away, but it's SALT water.
You can't drink salt water.
They figured out how to get water.

This is part of Qumron, as well.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were preserved,
since there isn't much rain at all in this part of the desert.

At church last week,
we talked about how Satan tempted Jesus.
It was in a desert.
Look at the picture above, this is what I imagine.
Imagine Jesus wandering the desert
for 40 days without food or water.
And Satan coming and saying
"I'll give you all of the world if You bow
down and worship me."
Satan? Give Jesus something?
Satan is a created being, NOT the Creator.
He can't give Jesus something Jesus already has!


Friday, March 30, 2012

Israel:Day 5

This was a LONG day, so that's the reason for a longer post.
This was overlooking the Dead Sea the morning we left.

We got up and went straight to Masada.
What is Masada, you ask?

Oh, it's just this little mountain,
 it doesn't look too scary, right?
You could climb it, right?
708 steps and 1/4 miles straight uphill.
You could do it, right?

It was a very windy path.
I almost died.
I made it up!
(10 minutes after everyone else)
I knew I should have gotten in shape before Israel!
It was basically a place
where a Jewish settlement was in the early 70s
(not 1970s, 70 A.D.)
In this settlement,
almost 1,000 people (the whole community) 
committed a mass suicide
because they didn't want to be captured by the Romans.

Emily walked with me :)

This is the view from the top of Masada.
It was pretty!

And, we moved right along.
This is Ein Gedi.
Read 1st Samuel 24. You will find that David
cut off a corner of Saul's robe in a cave around Ein Gedi.
(He had the chance to kill him, but didn't)

This was a good spot for David and Saul because
 there is a TON of water here.
There are lots of pretty waterfalls!

Then, we made a pit stop to ride camels.
In a gas station parking lot.
I was the designated picture taker :)

This is overlooking Jericho Road,
The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
It was way different than I expected.
The road is at the bottom of this
(I didn't get any good pictures of that,
because as you can see, there is no railing!)

This is the road that led to the lookout of Jericho Road (the picture above)
It reminded me of this verse.
But small is the gate and narrow
the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
-Matthew 7:14

More of Jericho Road....

This is where we stayed at the last 2 nights!

We had a CLOCK!
None of our rooms had clocks before this one.
It was the little things.

AND we had an American outlet.
We were desperate for something that
looked like home!

This is the outside of the King David.
 It has been there for over 100 years.

This was the only night we went anywhere after dinner.
Usually we just discussed the day and went to bed.
This night, we went down to the Rabbinical Tunnel.
This is underground from where the Temple was.
When the Temple was destroyed,
One wall remained down here.
Many people believe this is the closest place
to the Holy of Holies that was inside the Temple.
It was cool to see, but I'm thankful that
Jesus tore the curtain of the Holy of Holies when He died
and I can talk to Him by myself without a priest.

It was SO narrow. Poor Dylan (in the picture above this one)
had to duck almost the whole time we were down here.
You can see from this picture how narrow it was, too. 

This was a very long day, but SO worth it. I'm glad I
A: Climbed Masada
B: Climbed around Ein Gedi
C: Walked up to the Jericho Road lookout
D: Walked under where the Temple once stood.

If you know me, exercise is NOT my thing. It was funny, none of us were exhausted at the end of this day. We totally should've been, but the adrenaline kept us going until we got on the plane!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Israel: Day 6

And, Day 6 is upon us! The last full day in Israel.
Jerusalem proved to be FREEZING and rainy.
This is, of course, the time that we had to walk.
Most of the week we took the bus but,
in Jerusalem we had to walk pretty much everywhere.

This is overlooking Jerusalem.

This is the Wailing Wall.
It is some of the last remnants of the Temple Walls.
Many people believe they must go here to pray daily.
We got to go up close and watch these prayers.
I don't believe what these people believe, but
I think we could learn a LOT from how
dedicated they are.
Muslims pray at least 5 times daily, do you?
I know I generally don't!

This is part of a wall
that surrounded the Temple.
This picture is part of my "Aha" moment of the trip.
You see, Jesus looked at these walls.
Jesus walked on the sidewalk
 that is in the picture below.
That was my "Aha" moment.

This is part of the remains of the Temple,
but closest to you, is an ancient sidewalk.
This sidewalk is an 11 on the Myers-Briggs scale
(of 10)
 that indicates how probable it was that Jesus
was actually here.
This Temple that I've been referring to is where Jesus
overturned the tables of the money changers.
It gave me goosebumps.

The entrance to the Southern Steps was closed
for unknown reasons, and this sign was in front of it.
Mr Ferguson (our chaperon)
 and Nadav (our tour guide)
told us to go as close as we could.
So, there we went, under the
"No Entrance" sign :)
We had to walk down this spiral staircase.
The steps were VERY narrow!

Then, we went down into Nehemiah's Tunnel.
It was very narrow.
Maggie was claustrophobic.

This was some of the wider spots.
Most of the way we had to side step. 

After Nehemiah's Tunnel,
we went to the Jewish Market!!
It was the day before Shabbat (Sabbath)
and everyone was going crazy shopping
before they couldn't anymore.
(Jews still don't work on the Sabbath)
We tried a lot of different pastries, but
these chocolate, cinnamon croissant things
were the BEST!
No one thought this looked appetizing...

Poor Emily fell asleep twice during dinner.

After dinner, we discussed the day with the chaperons,
as we did every night, then came back to
my and Emily's room for one final party.
It was the last night :(
John decided to write Bible Verses on our
complimentary fruit and leave it for the maids.
I didn't have the heart to tell him
that they probably couldn't read
English. Nice gesture, though!

John (mentioned above)
talked so much at dinner that he forgot to eat.
Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.
He brought the food back to the hotel to eat later.

Most of the girls crashed on the bed :)
L to R (Emily, Morgan, Maggie and Emily V)
The guys took the chairs and couch..
(Maggie, Dylan and John)

I think this was earlier that night...
Hannah kicked Matt in the face because
he pulled the blankets off of her.
She was laying in HIS bed.
Note: Don't mess with Hannah
when she's tired.

Emily crashed once again.
Poor girl....
The party was in our room and
she couldn't stay awake...
The noise didn't bother her, though!

This is how Morgan fell asleep and
stayed for over 15 minutes.
It did NOT look comfy, but apparently it was.
This is how Matt (the 275 pound football player)
ended up for a while.
He was wedged between the
sofa and coffee table.