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Day 5 and 6

June 1, 2011

No time to post yesterday, so here is a two day wrap-up.

Day 5
This was the best day, really great! After the crowds of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and the cool time on the Jordan River and in Nazareth, today we continued in Galilee. We toured Tiberias, saw where Herod defeated his rival on the way to becoming king, then went to the Mount of the Beatitudes, where the Sermon on the Mount took place. A beautiful, but simple church on gorgeous landscaped grounds, marks the spot. We read the beatitudes before entering the church. Several Catholic groups were having mass on the grounds, one Spanish and one Italian. This was holy ground.
Then we went to the church of the Multiplication, where Jesus fed the five thousand. Again it was holy ground, so wonderful to actually be in geography, to be able to picture the crowds coming from the surrounding towns with the Sea of Galilee right there! You could picture them on the hillside, and the church, another simple one run by monks, has a very cool mosiac on the floor with four loaves and two fish – the fifth loave is on the altar of course. More masses were being said on the grounds, I wish I could have celebrated Eucharist there!
We walk down to the Sea of Galilee and got on a boat that is a replica of the boats of Jesus’ time. What a thrill! We sailed on Galilee! It was amazing. We danced on the boat, the guide throw a net out but didn’t catch anything, we read the story of Jesus calming the storm. So great,
After we visited the church of the primacy of Peter, on the seashore where Jesus told him three times to “feed my sheep”. I read this story to our very evangelical group and talked about the power of water for good and bad as we gazed out on the.
Next was Capernaum where Jesus had lived and the ruins of the ancient synagogue. It was neat. Next door is Peter’s house, where a church is built over where the house was. Easy to imagine Jesus leave e synagogue and go next door to heal Peter’s mother in law. Unfortunately we had to move on, would’ve loved more Capernaum time.
Last on this day was a water fall way up in the Golan Heights, then on up to the place where the Israeli soldiers had pushed back Syria in 1973. We toured a bunker and heard the story of the war.

Final Day
hard to believe it’s over! Today we journeyed to the Mediterranean seashore and saw Acre, an important town with an amazing reconstructed Crusader dwelling and fortress. Beautiful harbor town with amazing discoveries still being uncovered.
On to Haiffa, a huge coastal city, lunch overlooking the sea. Haiffa is built on Mt. Carmel, where Elijah defeated the Baal prophets.
Next was Meggido, or Amargedden. These ruins go back way before Israel returned to the promised land. a sophisticated water system was installed by Herod. From the Mountain you can see fertile plains below where Revelation says the final battle will take place.
Running late we zoom to Caesarea to see more impressive ruins from Herod’s time and later from the Romans. We get a quick tour before park closes, then on to Tel Aviv.
We said goodbye to our guide Ronan and our new friends. More on the tour dynamics later, it’s time for bed.
Hard to believe my time in the Holy Land is over. For now…..

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