Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Road to Jericho and Beyond....
Today was our last official day of touring sites. Tomorrow is our free day and we fly out tomorrow (Thursday) in the middle of the night. I’ll be home Friday night. I miss my family and am very ready to come home.
Today, we went back to the West Bank toward the city of Jericho. Jericho is an oasis city in the desert wilderness. To get there you drive through mountains that look like Georgia red clay and then you see Palm trees rising up from the brown and orange desert. That’s Jericho! We stopped first to see where archeologists are digging to find the walls of Jericho (remember in the book of Joshua they say they come tumbling down?). Jericho is also called “the oldest city on the earth” because it goes back to right after caveman times (called the Neolithic period) around 7000 B.C.!!!! At the archeological dig site, we met the head archeologist who is from Italy. He talked with us for awhile about the site and the ancient wall. He reminded me of Indiana Jones. He was very excited about what they were doing. I will try to post a picture of him.
We saw the mountain which is known as Temptation Mountain and named as the spot where Jesus went out to the wilderness and didn’t eat or drink anything for 40 days and 40 nights and then was tempted by the devil.
Next (kids will like this) we went to the sycamore tree which is over 2000 years old and they name as the sycamore tree that Zacchaeus climbed up (remember that from our recent workshop rotation? – I taught you the song, so you should remember it) to see Jesus.
We went to Qumran where scrolls called the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Too much to explain here, but they were really important and they had parts of the bible and lots of other important information on them. There is a picture of me with one of the caves (cave number 4 of 11) where they found scrolls.
After a lunch at Qumran, we went to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is a salt water lake. It is the lowest point on the earth at 1500 feet below sea level. Because of the salt and other minerals in the lake if you get in you the water you can’t get it in your eyes or mouth. And….you float kind of like if you were in a pool of Jell-O. About half of our group got in. Yes…., including me.
When we got back to Jerusalem a group of us walked on top of the wall that goes around the Old City of Jerusalem. It was very interesting because we got a peek at how these city folks live. I’ll include a picture of a soccer game being played with the city of Jerusalem in the background.
Tonight, I begin packing. Peace and I’ll be home soon, Pastor Laurie