Last day in the Holy Land

Trip Start Mar 04, 2007
Trip End Jun 15, 2007

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Last day in the Holy Land
It's early morning and I am watching the sun move across the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  Yesterday was a "beach bum" day - a day of resting and enjoying the beach. Today I have to figure how to get all the "stuff" we have into the suitcase space, which when you have continued to pick up a thing here and there over 3 months, has accumulated!

Since leaving Ramallah on Friday, we visited Jericho.  Rode the cable car to St. George's Monastery which hangs on the side of Temptation Mountain, the location where Jesus spent his 40 days in the wilderness following his baptism in the Jordan River.  From our bird's eye view, we could see the baptism site in Jordan we had visited the week before.
Then on to Tiberius where we stayed at the Casa Nova Guest House run for pilgrims by the Franciscans. It is only a block from the Sea of Galilee and close to all the sights we wanted to visit.

Saturday brought us to Nazareth where we started at the Nazareth Village, a living history site focused on first century Nazareth when Jesus lived.  As we sat in the synagogue, the guide recounted the story of Jesus going to the synagogue, reading from Isaiah and the villagers being dismayed.  It was very moving for me. (I also got some great photos of Biblical life!)
Went to the Church of the Annunciation where Gabriel appeared to Mary and then onto Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle.

Sunday we worshiped in St. Peter's Church at Casa Nova with the local congregation.  Then we visited the Mt. of the Beatitudes and Capernaum. 
Monday we drove to Mt. Tabor, the traditional site of the Transfiguration.  The road up the mountain was steep and full of switchbacks - seemed like home in the Rockies foothills!  The church had just closed for the noon hour when we arrived but they allowed us to enter for a short visit.  The church is huge, perched on the top of the mountain, simple but magnificent, befitting the place where heaven broke through to earth and Jesus met with Elijah and Moses.

On the drive to Tel Aviv, we passed through the plain where Armageddon is to take place and stopped at Caesarea Maritina, Herod's great port that is now a national park.

The Lord has blessed me beyond measure and I have cherished all the prayers that have been offered for me during this time.  Thank you!
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