Wednesday, March 9, 2011

touring Israel

My friends I am writing you from the lobby of our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Gallilee. Today is March 8th. I am telling you this because it probably won't make it onto the blog until at least the 9th because when I tried to log into Blogger, the screen would only come up in needless to say I couldn't log in. :(

The past 48 hours have been crazy, busy, and fun. As you know from my previous post, our flight to Tel Aviv was delayed overnight so yesterday morning we headed to the airport around 4:00 a.m. to head out on our flight. The flight was super long...we took off at 6:30 a.m. our time and landed in Tel Aviv, Israel at midnight their time. The only saving grace was the in-flight entertainment system. There were over 100 movies to choose from as well as movies and games. So I slept a little on the flight but most of my time was spent watching movies. I saw Tangled, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince part 1, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Bride Wars.

We stayed overnight at Tel Aviv and in the morning we headed out to begin our sightseeing. Our first stop was at a museum that described Israel's fight for independence in the 1940's. It followed a group of young Israelis who were key players in the story. Their tale was told through documentary and theatrical films as well as life-size dioramas with special effects. At first I really didn't enjoy it, but as the film progressed I was able to appreciate the struggles that the Israeli people have gone through to get to where they are today.
Then we journeyed on to Cesearea where we saw the theatre there and were able to explore a bit. It was on the Mediterranean Sea and it was truly beautiful. It was also great to see some Roman architecture from the time of Jesus. It was quite blustery and it rained on us at the beginning but we managed to enjoy ourselves and have fun exploring this historical place.

Then we headed north towards Mount Carmel. We stopped for lunch at the home of a family whose son was killed in a suicide bomb while serving in the Israeli army. The food was delicious and there was TONS of it. My favorite was the chicken....oh so delicious and just the right amount of seasoning. Then the family told us the story of their son. This was so meaningful and heartfelt and It brought the story from the museum to life even more.

Then we stopped at Mount Carmel, which is the site where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal in 2 Samuel. It was so high up in the mountainous region of Israel and it looks down upon the Valley where Armageddon is. We got some awesome pictures on the lookout before we headed into the chapel at the monastery there and read the scriptures. I was once again reminded how great and awesome my God is. Just as he showed up for Elijah in his situation, God will also show up for me in my situation, no matter how impossible it looks. I just need to have faith and trust that He can and that He will.

Our next stop on the journey was to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. The town is built into the mountains and it is truly a site to behold. We went to the highest spot in the city to take in the view. This spot is also one of the places that Jesus preached the Word. to stand on that mountain and be where Jesus walked and to see what Jesus moved me and made me all the more excited to explore more of this beautiful land.

Our final stop for the day was our hotel on the Sea of Gallilee. We checked into our rooms then we all headed down to the shore to see this place where so much of Jesus' ministry happened. It is so beautiful and peaceful, surrounded by huge hills and with palm trees and flowers everywhere. We will spend much more time exploring here tomorrow...I can't wait!

Well, I am off to is almost midnight here unlike back home where it isn't even 5 p.m. yet. :) So I am signing off...see you all tomorrow!

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