Saturday, March 17, 2018
Friday, March 16, 2018
I was surprised how small the river was. It didn't seem like crossing it should have been such a big fuss, but maybe when Joshua caused the river to stop flowing so the Israelites could cross over with the ark it was a bigger river. Now there is a dam at the Sea of Galilee which controls the flow. (And several bridges, as well!)
We were so impressed with the agricultural cooperatives we passed along the way as we drove through the West Bank!
We gathered around to talk about the story. Today we tend to think the man had mental illness, which Christ was able to heal him from. But, like the possessed man, aren't we all a little unhinged at times? We could use some help, too!
Laurie and Ken found a nice bench with a back on it, where they could look at the ruins and contemplate as we listened to Daniel. There is some disagreement about whether Ken was contemplating or napping. We'll never know, because of the sun glasses!
The monastery had some beautiful tile work on the floor, open to the elements. The whole complex wasn't uncovered till it was discovered by a road construction crew after the 6 days war!
Our next stop (after a shewarma lunch) was the Church of the Transfiguration atop Mt. Tabor. It is a beautiful church owned by the Franciscans, who keep the church and the grounds meticulously. It was built on the ruins of a Byzantine monastery, and was finished in 1924.
We got our room upgraded to an adjoining suite after we found out the Sardoni's, as well as everyone else in our group, had an executive suite for just the two of them. They didn't have any of those left, so gave us a junior suite instead!
We're looking forward to sleeping longer in our rooms tonight. Tomorrow is church, as the BYU center has church on Saturday to go along with the Jewish Sabbath. We get to meet at the bus at 8:30. Yay!
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Ken and Laurie posed in front of this "loophole," the thin window big enough for someone to shoot at invaders!
Today is Thursday, and that means Bar-Mitzvah day for many of the young men in Israel. Daniel explained to us the special clothing they wear for the occasion!
The Davidson center had pretty views of the city as well as view of the temple steps.
We walked today where Jesus walked. It was amazing to think that these were the original steps to the temple, and the stories in the Bible about Jesus in the temple actually took place on these same steps. The top layer has been replaced on the steps, but the bedrock is the original steps that are 2000 years old!
We spent a little time on the hillsides above Bethlehem looking at a protective "cote" for sheep. Crystal did get a head-bonking in there. I was glad she took one for the team, because her cry of pain made me watch out before I stood up!
We also sang some Christmas Carols together. I know it wasn't snowing out, but we had all come under-dressed for the light breeze and overcast skies, so we were happy when we sang Joy to the World, and scurried back to the bus!