North America, Asia · 9 Days · 155 Moments · March 2017

8 April 2017

Our group getting ready to board our flight for home!
Patrick being questioned by airline security. Tim didn't tell us about this!?!?!?
Mark hydrating before our flight home!

7 April 2017

Eating our last dinner together in the Muslim section of Tel Aviv because it is already Shabbat. We heard the horns at 6:30 driving into Tel Aviv. We also heard the sounds of automatic weapons fire right outside the restaurant. We were hoping it was a military training exercise otherwise we could have been having our "Last Supper" for real.
This is the type of hay manger Jesus would have been laid in as a newborn.
View from Megiddo into the valley below.
Bar Mitzvah being held in a burial cave. Good times!
Burial caves and sarcophagus
Mt. Carmel where Elijah honored God with his great faith in a Living God!!!!
The coliseum at Caesarea.
The swimming pool at Agrippa's palace on the Mediterranean.
At Caesarea aqueduct on the Mediterranean.
A storm coming in over the Beach at Caesarea.
A jellyfish on the beach at Caesarea. Bigger than your head!
Mt. Tabor.
The boat we rode on the Sea of Galilee
New Zealand... Or Mt. Arbel?
The high places

6 April 2017

Sea of Galilee, boat ride April 6, 2017
Sea of Galilee
Views from Mt. Arbel.
View of the Sea of Galilee from the probable site of the mountainside where Jesus delivered the Beatitudes.
The probable site of the Mt of Beatitudes.
The springs at Dan. It is the biggest spring in the entire Middle East. Rushing streams.
David's oasis

5 April 2017

"Do you have cheeseburgers?"
Beautiful flowers in Israel. Who knew there were Bluebonnets in Israel.
At the River Jordan.
Olive trees planted at the Jordan River by famous people.
Jordan River in Tiberias. Close to where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
McDonalds or falafel?
Full service gas station! Haven't had our gas pumped in 30+ years!
Beth Shean ruins.
No drone photography at the national park at Beth Shean. 🙂
Floating in the Dead Sea!
Dead Sea experience. - Kathy
Floating in the Dead Sea!
Dead Sea
Below sea level at the Dead Sea 1700 feet!
En Gedi.
A pool and waterfall at En Gedi.

4 April 2017

Our group eating a lunch of hummus, falafel and tahini in Bethlehem.
The Kidron River in the valley.
Nita pointing out the caves in the sides of the hills.
On the bus on our way to next leg of our journey.
Soldiers patrolling on the side of Mt. Herodias as we were coming down the mountain to the national park center at the base.
On Mount Herodias
A large cistern underground at Herod's fortress.
Herod's fortress on top of Mt. Herodias.
Sheep on road in Bethlehem. There are still working shepherds here.
Solomon's Pool. There were several and this is the largest one.
At Bethlehem in the courtyard of the church.
At the church complex in Bethlehem closest to where it is believed Christ was born.
Excavated 1st century road leading to the temple. Jesus and the apostles literally walked on these exact stones! Unbelievable. The pile of rubble was part of the old temple wall pushed off by Romans, left there intentionally to help us picture the destruction. This whole area was underground till the last couple decades - invisible the first time Tim came to Israel! The wall along the right is the temple mount, and the wall at the back is the path up to the mount (on the far side of it is the wailing wall). The tracks you can see carved into the side of the temple mount are for catching rain and they lead to a cistern.

3 April 2017

Father Timothy, O. F. M. delivers the homily at the Ecce Homo basilica
Where are the men? Waiting on them before going to worship at Ecce Homo Convent, "Here's the Man." First time no men were waiting on the women!
Roll Tide. Who would have thought!
New friends we made today! Mosha and Jacob! They are students from the USA here to study the Torah.
We did not enter the Hasidic neighborhood out of respect because the Hasidic Jews are offended by non-Hassidic humans.
Badger in a tree.....
Getting lunch at the falafel stand.
Shook some oranges off a tree in the Jewish Quarter that was in a public courtyard. Can we say "awful"!
Jewish elementary school murals
John Deere tractors representing traditional diaspora family values.
Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter.
A Jewish mother with her sons at the Western Wall.
These pictures were taken over the fence since women are not allowed into this area of the Western Wall. Notice the phyllacteries on the arm. They use these to bind scripture to their arm so it is next to their heart and on their heads so it is before their eyes.
Today there were many Bar Mitzvahs at the Western Wall. Families celebrating with their young men turning 13.
A group of British saints reading scripture and having devotion time on the steps up to the Temple Mount outside the Huldah Gates.
First century streets and steps that have been excavated. Jesus would have actually walked on these streets. Notice how large the stones are that the street was constructed from.
On top of the Temple Mount.
Eating pork sticks in front of the dome of the rock
Temple Mount.
A Muslim girl's school outing on top of the Temple Mount.
1st century architecture.
A few unexpected details from Jerusalem so far: - So many stray cats. Everywhere. - You can take 10 steps and hear 10 different languages - Soldiers all over the place, wearing riot gear and grenade belts and carrying clubs and AK-47s. Men and women both. - Seems like everyone smokes cigarettes, even the most strict Orthodox Jews who seem so disciplined otherwise - It's cold in the mornings and mild in the afternoons. It feels more like West Coast weather than a desert. - There are ancient objects we'd display behind bulletproof glass in the Smithsonian that're just sitting out on the side of the road. Pillars from the Roman Empire covered in Arabic graffiti, statues from the crusaders disappearing into overgrown shrubs. - The OUTFITS. Muslims in burkas and elaborate hijabs and robes, Jews in huge hats with robes and tassels and foot-long curly sideburns. - The Muslim call to prayer warbling from loudspeakers all over town 5 times a day So far, such a learning experience!

2 April 2017

This stone is in the Western Wall tunnel and is 44 feet tall, 11.5 feet deep and wide and weighs 628 tons. The biggest crane in the world can only lift 200 tons. Unbelievable feat of construction.
Tess finds a large tooth at the sifting project. Could it be from Goliath's mouth?
Our group in Solomon's Quarries!
Spice mountain in the market
I love these narrow streets!
David's palace
Examples of ancient architecture.
The Gate door at Jaffa gate. We couldn't move it!
Going thru the Jaffa Gate, Gate of the Friend
Morning lecture in the Old City!
Just got back from seeing the Garden Tomb and Golgotha. It was indescribable to be there! Joyful, reverent, amazing. Golgotha looks better in this old picture, look up and to the right from the camel and you can see the beady eyes of the skull. Jesus would've been crucified on the road in front of the hill. Romans always cruficied by roads so passersby could be warned and could mock the dying. In the new picture from today, the bus stop is covering the skull's mouth and its eyes are squinting under the weight of construction on the hill above.

1 April 2017

The Garden Tomb. Overwhelming to be in the place where Christ was laid after his crucifixion.
This may be the very tomb where Jesus was buried. The trench in front of the tomb is where a stone would have been rolled.
We arrived in
The door on the tomb of Jesus. He is Risen!
Some of our group going into and out of the tomb where Christ laid.
Jerusalem trip.
The Damascus Gate.
A Christian group of our brothers and sisters from Belfast singing "the Lord's Prayer." It was so beautiful to listen. Our group sang "It is Well". We were all grateful to have this experience.
Pools of Bethseda a pool written of in the Gospel of John. In the 19th century, archaeologists discovered the remains of a pool fitting the description in John’s Gospel.
The Western Wall aka the Wailing Wall. They now allow women to go to the wall in a segregated area.
This could have been the high point in the Holy City where Satan tempted Jesus.
The graveyard on the way up to the Mount of Olives. Instead of leaving flowers that will die, family members leave rocks on the grave as remembrances for their loved ones. The Jewish people value burial plots close to the Holy Place and the Golden Gate where they believe all will be judged.
This is the designated site of the Tomb of Mary. Beautiful hanging lanterns.
The Sheep Gate where Jesus entered the city on Palm Sunday.
Several times a day we witnessed processionals of worshippers walking with a cross and singing. Here is one group on Saturday morning.
A religious processional at one of the "stations of the cross".
Crosses carved into the rocks at the Holy Sepluchure during the crusades.
At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We watched worshippers kissing the slab where tradition says they laid the body of Christ.
Arrived in Instanbul! Big and busy!
A familiar food in Instanbul airport!
Overlook of western wall
Looking out over the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mount
At the overlook to the Temple Mount
Visiting a mikvah our first night.
We arrive.
Our walk into the Old City.
Snapped a few pics while we were hustlin through the Istanbul airport - wish we could spend more time in this beautiful city! Turkish sounds like French plus Arabic plus a mouthful of crunchy peanut butter

31 March 2017

Another check point in Istanbul.
Beautiful! Ready for our flight over!
Tess and Frank at gate D11. Ready to meet out new friends. Also, Turkish Airways staff opening up the check-in desk. We got here before they did.
So excited! Can't wait to meet up with everyone!
Here we go. At the airport waiting to check in.