ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –WE- 24 November 2010
We don’t focus on relationships when we are at home. Work, church, family and many other things clamor for our attention. On a Pilgrimage (mission trip) you spend a lot of time with people. I really enjoy the interaction and relationship building on our trips. People get to know each other. Coffee times after the day is done, Bible study completed and dinner over are the very best events. It is a real joy!
Today was a busy day. I just looked at my pedometer and we walked 24,000+ steps. What a day and my feet feel it. That’s okay though because we criss-crossed the Old City of Jerusalem a multiplicity of times. I am tired though and will lay out our day for you.
Devotional at 7:30am and then we walked straight to the Temple Mount. We got there before 8am and were on the Temple Mount quickly. Gilla took us through the complete review of the Temple Mount visiting the precipice on the south east side of the Temple Mount, the Eastern Gate, the Dome of the Rock platform, the various special buildings in that area, the bedrock and then out on the South west side of the Temple Mount and back down to the Western Wall area.
We visited the Western Wall and then took the Kotel Tunnel Tour. Even though it is a bit tight in the tunnel it is an excellent tour highlighting the Temple Mount construction process and the related things through the length of the Western Wall. It is a very interesting and informative tour and will explain a lot about the Temple Mount. Everyone was impressed. Our guides were excellent.
We visited the Southern Steps of the Temple and the Davidson Museum. The virtual Temple Mount that UCLA has built is amazing. The detail of the hows and whys are visually presented and facilitates the understanding of what was built and how they did it. Really a worth while visit.
Lunch in the Jewish Quarter and then a 1 hour visit with Moshe and Dov Kempenski at the Shorashim Shop. Both men are orthodox Jews that openly discuss their Jewish faith with Christians and others that would like to ask questions about Judaism. We had a very good visit and I think we had a better understanding than before our conversation. If you are every in Jerusalem be sure to visit with Moshe and Dov. It is a good experience and will encourage you in your faith if you are a Christian.
We made the long walk across the Old City to the Ecce Homo at the Sisters’ of Zion. The group sang some heart touching songs and discussed what happened on the Lithostratos. The beating and crucifixion of Jesus is a heart rending experience. The Romans were cruel, very cruel taskmasters. When they disposed of someone they did it as inhumanely as possible.
The walk across the Via Dolorosa was not difficult. After the visit to the Lithostratos we had much to think about as we passed the Stations of the Cross on our way to the Holy Sepulcher. We did stop at the Russian Orthodox Church and saw the judgment gate then on to Calvary and the burial tomb in the Holy Sepulcher.
We finished our touring after we completed visiting the Holy Sepulcher. I think we have the best guide in Israel. Gilla Treibaich (firstname.lastname@example.org) does an excellent job of keeping the group organized and focused and works well with the group leader to accomplish the maximum amount of detail and sites in Israel. She develops historical discovery and ties it in well with the development of the nation of Israel and its religious and political situations especially as it relates to the Bible. She does a really good job as a tour guide.
Some of the folks shopped awhile in the Christian Quarter until time for our Bible Study at 6pm. After dinner most of us went to the Aroma Coffee Bar at the Jaffa Gate. Great day and enjoyable evening.
Blessings from Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.