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Published: February 24th 2016
Wrong bus Randy!!
Our last day in Israel. We leave in the morning for Egypt. We have made friends and bonded with the people that were on the Gray tour bus (or as Diane calls it the Gary bus) and it is difficult to say goodbye. Our guide, Deeb, was excellent and really helped us make sense of so many analogies in Jesus' teaching. Our bus driver, Honey, did an excellent job of getting us from place to place and even fixing the bus when it was broken down. So today was a bitter sweet day.
Our first stop was the Mount of Olives where Jesus is to return. You have a beautiful view of the city from there and on the way up. We walked down and the pictures don't begin to show how steep the hill was. We visited the Church at Bethpage where Jesus sent the disciples to get the donkey for him to ride. We stopped at the teardrop church so named because the four corners have teardrop shaped vases representing the tears that flowed when Jesus was crucified. From there we walked down the steep hill to the Church of All Nations (also known as The Church of
Mary, or the Garden of Gethsemane Church). Wow is it beautiful. It s situated beside the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed. The olive trees there are 2 - 3 thousand years old. They are huge. You can no longer walk in the garden as there is fence all around but you can take pictures. Just below is the Kidron Valley, which is beautiful.
Next we headed back into the old city and the Upper Room. Again this is a small church and it is very touching to think you stood where the disciples shared their last meal with Jesus. We also visited the Tomb of King David, though he is not buried there. Just down over the hill from there is the Church of St Peter Gallicanto. This is the place where Peter denied Christ three times before the cock crowed. I first came to the Holy Land right after I went on my Walk to Emmaus. This church held special meaning to me because of the rooster as a symbol of Emmaus. Also I feel this is a story that should give hope to people. Peter denied knowing Christ not once but three times and yet Jesus
told Peter on him he would build his church. Now if God can forgive and use Peter who denied knowing him then there must be hope for all of us!
From there we went to lunch. We had another buffet but the food was very, very good. Hopefully I can put up some pictures of the food.
Our last stop was the church of Bethany where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Again another beautiful church built on a historic site. As we got back to the street where the bus was parked there were several souvenir stands as is the usual case. There was a guy that had a camel for rides and pictures.....the camel's name.......Lazarus!!
We have a very early day tomorrow as we leave for Egypt at 7:00 am. It is a 9-10 hour drive to our hotel plus there is a border crossing to a country that hates Israel.....this should be interesting. Hopefully we will have good internet and I can still post and upload pictures. If not you will l have to wait until we return tto the USA
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