A Travellerspoint blog


Today we left Jerusalem and went through the interesting border procedures to enter Jordan, where we picked up a new guide and a little more comfortable bus. We drove to Jerash, which is the most complete and well-preserved city of the Roman Empire ("Pompei of the East"). This was an amazing site, so large that one could probably spend several days there. From there we drove through the city of Amman - quite interesting (I think it was 2.8 million people or something like that), then for about four hours to Petra, mostly through bleak desert land, with occasional shepherds with their lambs or goats, and even a herd (or whatever you call it) of young camels. We arrived at Petra and our beautiful hotel here in time for dinner. Tomorrow is our full day in Petra. (No photo today - wifi is too slow to upload it.)

Posted by Rrevtom 11:48 Comments (0)

Lutherans in the Holy Land

4UploadedFile0.jpg 2UploadedFile1.jpg Our day today started out at the Temple Mount, site of the ancient temple (destroyed in 70 AD) and now site of the Dome of the Rock (the third holiest site of Islam). From there we had a very impressive visit at Augusta Victoria Hospital, operated on the Mount of Olives by the Lutheran World Federation. This amazing hospital provides health services, primarily to Muslims, and is planning to build a major housing center for elder Christians. From there we went to Bethlehem and had an awesome hour-long visit with Mitri Raheb, pastor of Christmas Lutheran Church and International Center. He and his people provide an amzaing ministry with Palestinian Christians and Muslims in Bethlehem. We have seen how difficult (nearly impossible) life is for Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem. By coincidence, Mitri was interviewed for last Sunday's 60 Minutes broadcast. I would urge you to watch it if you didn't see it, at http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes/main3415.shtml. We had lunch at the International Center and then went to the Garden of Gethsemene (photo) and then back to the Mount of Olives to see the beautiful views from there of Jerusalem (where guess-who rode a camel (photo).

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The most signifcant Jerusalem spots for Christians

3UploadedFile0.jpg I knew that our Monday would be a particularly meaningful day for the folks on our tour, and it certainly was. We started by walking the Via Dolorosa, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where we spent a considerable amount of time. It's interesting to see all the churches that have been built, some even on top of the ruins of others, on some of these holy spots. We also visited the "Upper Room" (or at least the building that sits on the assumed location), as well as King David's Tomb (well, presumably, anyway) on Mount Zion. Then we toured the beautiful Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu ("cock-crow"). We ended the day in the Garden Tomb grounds - a beautiful setting (some believe this to be the correct location of Jesus' tomb), where we had the opportunity to have a very meaningful sharing of the Eucharist for our group. It was a powerful day of sensing the presence of Jesus as we walked through Jerusalem.

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Sunday in Jerusalem

2UploadedFile0.jpg Sunday morning began with worship at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in the heart of Old Jerusalem. From there we walked to the Jewish Quarter, where we spent some time on the holiest of all spots for Jewish people - the Western Wall, ("Wailing Wall"). After lunch we visited the Israel Museum, with its amazing outdoor model of the city of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus (the photo is the area of the Temple Mount). Then we got to see some of the actual Dead Sea Scrolls in the "Shrine of the Book" - that was something I was particularly interested in seeing. The story of the scrolls was fascinating. Finally, we visited the village of Ein Karem, the tradtional birthplace of John the Baptist, with its beautiful church. It was a Sunday not soon to be forgotten!

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Saturday at the Masada

1UploadedFile1.jpg Today we started out at the Masada, Herod's mountain bunker and the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome (673 AD). We then went to Jericho, where we had lunch and saw the remains of the ancient city. We then visited Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered (the photo is of a cave entrance where the largest number of scrools were disovered). Finally, we stopped by the Dead Sea.

Posted by Rrevtom 10:54 Comments (0)

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