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Published: February 18th 2018
Today was a moving day - that is moving from one hotel to another. On those days we pack up our suitcases, put them out in the hall on our way to breakfast, identify our luggage before we board the bus to make sure it gets loaded. This was a long day of travel from one part of Israel to another, so we spent a lot of time on the bus.
We started the day at nearby Yardenit, a baptismal site on the upper Jordan River. Several people wanted to reaffirm their baptism, some by immersion and others by pouring. It was a bit cold in the water but it was a wonderful way to start the day and to celebrate the reaffirmation of baptism.
We then took a long bus ride to Jacob's Well in the town of Nablus also known as the Biblical town of Schechem. It is located between Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal and was the place where god promised the land to Abraham.. Jacob's Well is only mentioned in John 4:5-14. It is the story of the Samaritan women and Jesus asking for a drink from the well. He told her everything she'd ever
done and offered her living water. A church is built on the site. You can go downstairs to get a drink from the well and there is a sweet, little old man who sells small stone jars of the water. He seems so proud of the work he does. We all gathered back upstairs and had the Bible story read and then sang Fill My Cup, Lord. That was one of my mother's favorite song so it is always bittersweet to sing it or hear it sung.
Our next stop was the village of formerly known as Samaria. It was one of my favorite places to visit on my trip in 2016. We had the bet food there and they really had a nice selection of Roman Glass jewelry and pottery pieces. It is up on a mountain with a very narrow one lane road. You can't imagine that a bus could make it up there. Samaria is mention in 1 Kings 16:24 "He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill." Now it
lies in ruins. Jezebel had ties to Samaria and it is where she encouraged the worship of Baal. Hosea 13:16 says" Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God". Up behind the restaurant/gift shop there was a Roman staduim/theater. Near there were several olive trees and I took one of my best pictures of an old olive tree. The views up there were spectacular.
Once we left Samaria we headed to Jerusalem where we spend the next tree days, then some of us head home and others go on to Egypt. It was truly an interesting drive across Israel. Unbelievable views that you just can't capture in pictures, especially through a moving bus window, but I tried. Study the pictures. You will see that Israelis are great farmers and grow everything they need except coconuts. You will see Bedouins who live in shacks but have satellite tv, cars, and cell phones. we talked about how the shepherds had a difficult job. The sheep resemble the rocks and if you lost that one sheep it would be more difficult that you might imagine to find it on the hillside. We talked about how difficult farming must be
or any outside activity as this pace is covered with rocks...everywhere. I tried to show all of that with the pictures.
Tomorrow we spend time in and around Jerusalem. Looking forward to many ancient sites around the city!
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