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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Day 2--Too tired to give it a title!

Our group in front of Western Wall
Church of All Nations in Gethsemane

Laura and Jon on Mt of Olives

Our second full day started off in great fashion as we visited Mt Zion and the traditional site of the Upper Room. Next we saw St. Peter Gallintu (the rooster crowing). This church is built over the possible site of Caiaphas' home, complete with a cellar prison where Jesus may have been held during the night of His arrest. Outside is the courtyard where Peter failed to keep his vow to the Savior and where the rooster's crowing cut him like a knife. 1st Century steps leading down to the Kidron Valley gave the route of Jesus' last free day on earth--first up to the Upper Room, then down through the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane, then following His arrest back up to Caiaphas' house. A panoramic view of the southern city provided a great place for teaching and varied questions on biblical issues as well as the politics of life in Israel today...

We saw the Pool of Bethesday where Jesus healed the crippled man and the church of St Ann where the echoes of our voices singing Hallelujah continued to reverberate through the Crusader-era structure long after we had finished. Patrick loved leading us in that brief but wonderful time of worship.

Before your eyes glaze over...we traversed the Via Dolorosa and toured the Church of the Holy Sepulcher--with more reminders of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus than we possibly had time to take in. We finished the day with a trip to Bethlehem to see the Church of the Nativity and the Shepherd's Fields.

Another full day! Our group is meshing together quite nicely. With four engineers with us one (I) might think that we'd have more than enough people telling us what to do and how to do it! Amazingly new friendships are being formed, a spirit of comraderie has already developed, we seem to be sensitive to each other's needs, and we are all enjoying ourselves!

We've met some nice people here. Patrick and I met Imad at the YMCA last night. He is a former Muslim who came to faith in Christ through the encouragement of a friend and by reading the Bible. Tonight at a supermarket near our hotel Laura and I wanted to purchase an item and were 2 shekel short of having enough of the local currency. A couple behind us gladly converted one of our dollar bills to shekels and struck up a friendly conversation with us.

Continue to pray for us. Gila, our guide, has the utmost concern for our safety and is mother-henning us in a protective and proactive don't be too worried about us! I'll try again to post some pics. I think I figured out my missteps from last night so here goes...