A Travellerspoint blog

The Last Day of our Class

33UploadedFile0.jpg 27UploadedFile1.jpg 17UploadedFile2.jpg As I write this, we've just said farewell to some of the amazing people we've met the last two weeks at St. George's. Our final day was on the "Road to Emmaus" (which is interesting because we really don't have any idea where Emmaus was. We drove by two of the four towns thought of as possibities and then went to a third one). We had our closing Eucharist at "Our Lady of the Ark" in Kiryat Yearim (Kiarath Jearim), where the Ark of the Covenant was kept for some time in Old Testament times (pictures). We celebrated the Eucharist outdoors, looking in the distance to Jerusalem and the surrounding area (photo). Our bus picks us up for the airport at 5 AM in the morning for our final stop in Cairo.

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More suffering

32UploadedFile0.jpg 26UploadedFile1.jpg 16UploadedFile2.jpg Today (Monday) was a heavy day. After our walk on the Via Dolorosa, we continued the theme of suffering by visiting the Yad Vashem Museum (Holocaust Museum) (outside photo; no photos were allowed inside). We were on our own for 90 minutes there, and that barely scratched the surface of all that was there. Such stories of torture and death - it's hard to believe that human beings could act the way they do. Then we visited a Jewish Efrata Settlement (very modern, clean and pleasant) and visited with a gentleman in a synagogue who explained the Israeli side of the story, which was a bit hard to accept in such pleasant surroundings. Finally, we visited a Palestinian Refugee Camp (one of many in the West Bank, Jordan, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt). The conditions under which the displaced Palestines have to live there are almost unimagineable. A few pictures can't begin to describe the suffering and hardship of life for these people. On a day when we rehearsed in our minds the suffering of our Lord, it was equally disturbing to see the suffering in Hitler's time and the suffering today. It's hard to fathom what human beings can do to one another.

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Via Dolorosa

This morning (Monday) we left the college at 5 AM and walked in silence with a cross to the Old City and followed the Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering), stopping at each of the fourteen "Stations of the Cross" for a brief Scripture reading and prayers. This was a most beautiful and memorable experience, with the entire city almost devoid of other people or groups. Thanks be to Christ for his amazing love and sacrifice!

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Sunday in Jerusalem

31UploadedFile0.jpg 25UploadedFile1.jpg 15UploadedFile2.jpg 11UploadedFile3.jpg This morning Jeanette and I (and an Episcopalian priest who has become a friend of ours and is also from the Denver area) walked from the college into Old Jerusalem to attend worship at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. After lunch we went to the Israel Museum, an amazing museum with, among other things, many priceless archeological finds. We saw there the actual sacrificial altar from tel Beersheba (we had seen a reproduction of it when we were there), probably dismantled by Hezekiah at the time of his reform (photo); an ancient "board game" that had been discovered (photo); an amulet with an inscription of the Priestly Benediction, Numbers 6:24-26, which is the oldest portion of the Scripture ever found (some 400 years before the Dead Sea Scrolls) (photo); and many other interesting artifacts. We also saw again the outdoor model of Herodian Jersualem (at the time of Jesus) (photo), and walked quickly through the Shrine of the Book (housing the Dead Sea Scrolls).

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A relaxed Saturday

30UploadedFile0.jpg 24UploadedFile1.jpg 7UploadedFile4.jpg 10UploadedFile3.jpg Today most of our class took the optional trip to the Masada, Qumran and the Dead Sea. But since we've been there twice, we thought we'd save the cost and energy and stay at the college for the day. We walked early this morning back to the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher, and that was very nice because we beat most of the crowds. It was fun watching Old Jerusalem "waking up" as we walked through it. The photos are of the outside of the church and then a couple of the dozens of little chapels all over the building. The final picture is the nave of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (just next door to the Holy Sepulcher) - beautiful in its simplicity. We did a little shopping, stopped for a really nice lunch, and rested most of the afternoon.

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