How do I feel at the end of Israel day 3?
Like I’ve been road hard and put up wet. Exhausted. Dead tired. We walked and walked and walked some more. My poor feet. But, in our walking we saw some amazing things. Definitely a great day! I’m just beat.
What was the weirdest thing I ate?
This wasn’t weird, but I hadn’t had watermelon since the States eight months ago. I was SO happy to eat that pink juicy melon. Mmm 🙂
Did I avert a disaster?
Yes!!!!!!!! Yes yes yes!!
Our group walked Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which is a tunnel that brought water into the old city about 2700 years ago. There is a point when the water gets almost waist high. Luckily I wore short shorts an brought my extra pair of converse with me. I was able to take of my long skirt and get by with only the bottom of of shorts getting a little wet.
What was the most beautiful thing I saw?
We walked from the Mount of Olives along the path Jesus would have taken on Palm Sunday. This is the top of the mountain. From this point I could see just about all of Jerusalem. The Temple, Dome of the Rock, City of David, everything. Absolutely breathtaking.
Who was the most interesting person I talked to today?
My roommate Sandi! She is a widow who came on this trip right by herself, and it has been awesome to get to know her. She was a riot at dinner. You’ll read how later.
What was the highlight of my day?
Stepping into a half mile long dark tunnel with knee high water was the best thing I’ve done all trip. Not the most moving, but certainly the most fun. With only our phones as flashlights, we made our way to the other end. Before the tunnel though, our guide, Hannaniah Pinto, took us to see the ruins of King David’s palace. How cool is that?! We quickly descended down into the earth through this super long tunnel, which by the way is a complete miracle that it was created. When it was being built almost 3,000 years ago, the diggers were just kind of chipping away from the two different ends in hopes that they met in the middle. After a few weird turns, they did. Water of course still runs through the tunnel today making Hezekiah’s Tunnel one of the most fun things to do in Jerusalem.
What was the most moving part of the day?
The most moving part of the day today was going to the Church of All Nations and seeing the Olive Trees.
This is Gethsemane. Somewhere in this region is where Jesus went to pray before being arrested. I want to devote a single post to this later on where I talk about the significance of the Olive Trees keep an eye out for it.
Did I realize something about the trip?
I realized that Israel is not an easily accessible city on foot. It’s just not. It is a very old city built on a mountain side with steps going up and down everywhere. Not to mention the roads are very slick after years of wear. Today was a very slow move for some of the members in our tour group, but I don’t blame them one bit. Take your time and grip the hand rails when they’re there. Watch your step because little steps are sometimes followed with random giant steps.
What was the funniest quote?
This happened at dinner a little while ago.
We were all sitting around the table in the hotel dining hall laughing ans cutting up. I was going on about being a chocoholic and the group was trying to contain themselves as I said that my life had been completed the night before via an ooey gooey brownie. The conversation changed but the cutting up didn’t stop. It got worse.
Sitting next to me was my roommate Sandi. Suddenly in the middle of someone else’s story and our snorts of laughter she yelled, “We’ve had wine!! Y’all, we’ve had wiiinnee!!!” I died. Her screams caused the ENTIRE dining hall to turn and stare rolling their eyes thinking, “Crazy loud Americans.”
See, we had poured wine into a single glass earlier and passed the glass around with everyone taking a sip. A SIP. With tonight being Sabbath, we wanted to participate in a Jewish tradition. There is no way our single sip of wine caused us to be such cut ups; we were all dog tired and a little loopy from the sun. But her yelling that out in the dining hall was priceless.
Did I learn anything? If so, what?
John 11: 1-44 is the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
In the Jewish faith, they believe the soul remains around the body for three days after death. By the fourth day, the soul has left. In the story, verse 17 says, “On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days” (NIV). In their tradition, Lazarus’ soul had already ascended into heaven. It is the fact that Jesus brought him back to life after his soul had left that was so amazing. It’s this action that caused so many people to believe in him.