What an AWESOME, WONDERFUL, EXCITING, FANTASTIC, EDUCATIONAL, LIFE-CHANGING experience we had in Israel!!!!!
First, our flight from Nashville was an hour late, so by the time we got off the ground, we were over an hour late with only an hour and a half layover in Philadelphia, where we were to meet up with the group. We got off the plane as fast as possible, even though the attendant had to hold us back while the walkway was being attached. We caught the shuttle that took us as close to the other end of the airport as possible, and when we got off, a golf cart was waiting for us, with the driver asking “Tel Aviv, anyone going to TelAviv?” Amen, the Lord was watching over us, because we would not have made it on time… they still had us go through security check prior to boarding… and closed the door behind us. Pastor Rick was SOOOO relieved….. we got a round of applause…. everyone had been praying for us!! A first, that someone almost missed their flight on one of his tours, according to Pastor Rick, our host. We arrived, but our luggage did not. Another first for Pastor Rick. No surprise there, since WE barely made it; we figured the luggage would still be on the other plane. The surprise was the length of time it took to get it to us…three days!
And got our first look at Jewish culture… the Shebat elevator. On Friday night after sundown, until Saturday night after sundown, it goes to the top and as it comes down, it stops at each floor, so the rider does not have to “work” on the sabbath by pushing buttons.
Words cannot express what we felt and learned! Both our guide and our driver were Christians, which made the trip even more meaningful. The guide was a converted Russian Jew, so the perspective and history were fabulous. The driver was a Christian Arab from Nazareth. Each day was started with verses from Psalm, and our guide would read scripture, and/or give history pertinent to what we saw that day.
It was a beautiful canyon!
With ancient steps going up the hill where monks used to live in the caves. of course Paul and a few others had to climb up
and join the ibex.
and at the end was a small waterfall, “caused by Moses hitting the rock”
En Avdat was the major city along the Spice Route, and is now a National Park. In 1973, the movie, Jesus Christ, Superstar, was filmed here.
The ruins were fabulous,
as was the views (from the winepress).
Throughout the park there were cute metal sculptures… which gave a quirky feel of life on the hill!
Cold and windy though….look at the flags!!
An often seen sign:
Tel Beersheva (the ancient city) National Park was our next stop. Gen. 26: 26-33; 46:1-7; I Kings 19:1-4
including David’s Well, which we walked down into! Fantastic view of the old city,
Check out the link to National Parks in Negev and Eliat region for more information on these sites!
While in Beersheba we could hear bombing in the distance….life in Israel!