Mission Trip Israel – Day 14: Wednesday, May 30 , 2007
Kara, Glenn, & I had a 6 day vacation planned for the end of this trip. I’m not going to go into detail because this was a vacation, but I’ll share briefly where we went. We drove down to Eilat on the Red Sea and then crossed over into Jordan and caught a cab up to Petra. If you’ve seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where Harrison Ford is running through a fissure in the rock and comes out on this huge building carved into the side of the cliff – that’s Petra. There are hundreds of these, although that one is probably the coolest. This area was built before Christ, but when the Good News came a couple hundred years later, this area become very Christian so some of these former temples to other gods got names like “The Monastery.” This is an amazing place to hike around and explore!
On the way back in we went to Ein Gedi, Masada, and floated on the Dead Sea and coated mud all over ourselves. It’s fun to try to push yourself under the super salty water of the dead sea, but it’s not possible.
We went to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. Then Hebron, where Abraham and many of the patriarchs are buried (I don’t recommend this because you don’t get to enter the cave), and Nazareth where Jesus grew up.
Our last night of sleep was planned for Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee. This “Sea” is really a not-very-big lake. Tiberius is the city on this lake where nothing Biblical happened and it’s a short drive around to the areas where Jesus did most of His ministry. We saw an ad for a spa and so we called that morning to find out how late they would be open. They were open till 10pm and our flight was at about 5am in Tel Aviv, so we planned to go walk around all the sites of Jesus’ ministry during the hot day and then clean off at the spa, and drive back to Tel Aviv to wait for our plane. As it ends up, we wouldn’t leave Israel for another month, but we didn’t know that at the time.
The day spent by the Sea of Galilee was surreal. This area hasn’t been developed at all for some reason and it’s a beautifully tranquil place to imagine what went on in each spot. Many of the major miracle sites now have a beautiful old church built by the Catholics or the Orthodox churches. One of them is built over the ruins of the old town of Capernaum where Jesus lived with Peter during His ministry years. It’s a humbling place.