Blogs from Israel, Middle East - page 2


Middle East » Israel » West Bank June 14th 2019

We visited places related to Jesus birth today. the home town of Elizabeth, the place where Mary and Eiizabeth probably had their discussion about being pregnant with John and Jesus that is shared in Luke. These places - Mary's spring and The Church of the Visitation, are so old. The well from the 4th century church remains. Then we saw the Church of the Nativity built over the site of Jesus' presumed birth place by Constantine in 339 AD. The building standing today remains from 659 AD when Justinian revised the building with an altar area - same columns and mosaic floor Constantine had built and same wooden beamed roof - 1500 years old. The oldest church in the world where worship has continued ever since then, and 4 congregations share the holy space, even worshiping ... read more
Church of the Nativity

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District June 13th 2019

Toured the multicultural city of Jerusalem today. Dome of the Rock - moslem, Christian Church St. Anne's in honor of the mother of Jesus, and heard a Jewish call for evening prayer. A 4th quadrant of the city is Armenian. And yet they all walk through eachothers' quadrants. We were mostly in the moslem quadrant today and yet saw an orhodox jew and a catholic nun walking through. I felt remarkably safe with a sea of people around me. The Temple Mount, first built by King Solomon aorund 970 BC, then King Herod, around 60 AD. Then the Romans destroyed it 100 years later, and the moslems built their temple 500 years later after it was in ruins for centuries. What a remarkable history.... read more

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District June 12th 2019

We have arrived at St. George's College, Jerusalem. On the way in the airplane, we read our morning devotional which included this passage from Deuteronomy - "The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Really!!!!!! As Becky often preaches, The Lord is before us preparing a way. This sabbatical time is so meant to be. And this pilgrimage to Jerusalem, will indeed be that. At our opening Eucharist tonight, the Dean of St. George's College reminded us that we are pilgrims, not tourists. That when we enter into this time with that in mind we will experience transformation. We pray for God leading us throughout the is holy city.... read more

Middle East » Israel May 12th 2019

Israel: a taste of the biblical trail This trip with Peregrine Tours gave us a taste of the important Christian biblical attributes, with a heap of enjoyment on the side. Day 0.1 - 12 May - From Jordan Our last ‘blog’ had us finishing the tour in Jordon on Day 6. The following day (today) Peregrine Tours transported us to Israel. We had wanted to visit the Jordan River where Christ had been baptised. Despite much email ‘conversation’ before we left and a few requests along the way while in Jordan, this was not to be. We’d departed the Amman hotel early so as to get to the border in a reasonable time. We were advised the border is bedlam and every minute ‘counts’. Imagine our dismay as our bus passed the turnoff to the site, ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Haifa District » Haifa April 9th 2019

we left haifa, israel yesterday evening and today we are cruising the mediterranean sea on our way to cadiz, spain. i am writing this blog from my cabin and the sea is quite choppy so hopefully i will get through it before feeling the effects of the white caps. we will be 4 days at sea now arriving in cadiz on the 13th. thank you to my arcadia friend vera from vancouver! i knew i could rely on her expertise to know what type of birds they were in my last blog. they are called northern gannets. a very stream lined bird that use their power to plunge dive for fish. i did see a few diving into the sea. after leaving muscat, oman we were 5 days at sea before reaching port suez, the start ... read more
oil rig in red sea
entering suez canal

Middle East » Israel » Center District » Kfar Saba April 8th 2019

What a super experience. Early start and cool air, but eventually things warmed up and being under the flame when a boost was needed really singed the back of the neck. The pilot was doing his first flight as balloon commander, after his fiftieth flight. He was brilliant, took us high and brought low over wheat fields, hot houses and eventually landed where carrots were being harvested. Pilot then produced some goodies including some bubbly. The views were superb, seeing fields, mountains and several fish farms in the Jezreel Valley. By the way the actual location is not exact.... read more

Middle East » Israel » North District » Tiberias April 7th 2019

Wonderful experience to have a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We have a Memorial Meeting (church service), and I was privileged to give the talk that morning. Jesus often spoke around the Sea of Galilee and some of his most well remembered acts took place on its shores. I spoke of how Jesus was come as a light unto the world and we, who are his followers, needed to be bright shine lights and not hiding our lamp stands under a bushel. The amazing, and that word will be used often on this trip, thing was the peace and quiet that we experienced on the sea. We also sang a hymn which must have been heard across the waters as we heard other groups once we reached shore.... read more

Middle East » Israel » North District » Tiberias April 7th 2019

We were taken to Yardenit - an alleged site where Jesus was baptised. However, scripture indicates that he was baptised at Bethany beyond Jordan (Bethabara) and that is much further south and more likely where John the Baptist was in the wilderness. This section of the Jordan River, although popular amone many seems to be the wrong location. There were literally hundreds of people here and several groups were in white robes and being baptised by a minister, priest or parson.... read more
Alleged Baptism Site
Alleged Baptism Site
Alleged Baptism Site

Middle East » Israel » North District » Tiberias April 7th 2019

Visiting the Sea of Galilee was an absolute highlight. The water so calm, the acoustics around the sea compelling. Tucked in a little space is a piece of history well worth seeing. The following is from "". The Sea of Galiliee yielded an unexpected catch in 1986 — the hull of a fishing boat old enough to have been on the water in the time of Jesus and his disciples. The remains of the so-called Jesus Boat were found in the muddy lakebed (the Sea of Galilee is actually a freshwater inland lake) during a time of severe drought. The remains were 8.3 metres (27 feet) long, 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) wide and 1.3 metres (4.3 feet) high. This size would have enabled it to carry up to 15 people. Extracting it safely presented a huge ... read more
Yigal Allon Centre and Museum
Yigal Allon Centre and Museum
Yigal Allon Centre and Museum

Middle East » Israel » North District » Tiberias April 7th 2019

In just about every place you visit in Israel, there is a church, reportedly stating that this is where a certain event took place in the life of Jesus. Whether it is true or not, the commercialisation and "christianisation" (read Catholicism, generally) of sites really spoils what was probably a lovely serene place. This mountain is no exception. While there was a lovely garden and little pews set up where small congregations were singing or worshipping, the views over the Sea of Galilee were quite commanding and seemed to be more interesting than the church and its surrounds. Nevertheless there are a few photos of the church. The current church was built in about 1936-38 near the ruins of a 4th Century Byzantine-era church. Part of its ruins are still visible. It was said that part ... read more

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