Touring Day 1
Hi Everyone and Shalom from Israel!
First, we are all here and doing well. We got into the Ben-Gurion International Airport last night after a LOOOONG day/night/day in airplanes. We arrived at our hotel in the Dead Sea area at 11:30pm local time.
This morning we were up at 6:30 for breakfast and on the bus at 8am to start our journey. Malcolm (our tour guide and long-time family friend), who is coming off of a year of chemo/radiation and surgeries, was in great form. Today we got to see some of the Negev Desert and were reminded of David being a shepherd in these areas. We understand more about his writings in Psalms about the importance of vegetation, trees and “still waters”.
At our first stop, the fun began. We stopped at a bedouin settlement. We toured that settlement and how they are actually set up to have guests. They have guest rooms and guest “tents” for people to stay in. Then, we all saddled up our camels … well, someone else saddled them for us … and went for a ride.
After our camel trek, we proceeded to the mountain fortress, Masada. We had the opportunity to walk up the Roman ramp that was built to penetrate the fortress and discover the Jewish zealot’s mass suicide back in about 73 AD. We then toured the Herod-built (designed) fortress and were reminded of how it was incredibly self-sustaining. People could live there for years without having to leave. I suggest you all take time to Google “Masada” to hear the story of the Jewish revolt of 66 AD and the years of the zealots holding off the Roman Empire at Masada. Or, rent the movie with Peter O’Toole!
Tomorrow, we are looking forward to seeing Ein Gedi, where David would hide from Saul as Saul pursued David throughout the Judean wilderness region of Israel (see I Samuel 24). We also will spend time in Cumran and Jericho on our way up to the region of Galilee.
Keep watching here for updates. Praying for all of you back home and invite you all to pray for us here as we continue to grow in our faith as we experience the land where God connected with humanity so many times.