Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

I couldn't have asked for a lovelier last sabbath here.
  • Church was so edifying. I can't believe the wisdom and strength that constantly surrounds me. Not to mention that we have a spectacular view of the old city (My Old City as I like to refer to it in my head) in front of our eyes the entire time.
  • I spent the afternoon in the garden of Gethsemane. That fact alone is an amazing one.
    • While we were walking down to the garden I heard the chilling sound of many, many angry voices in unison and realized that somewhere nearby in the city a riot was going on. The hatred I could hear and sense filled me with such sadness. At the same time as the shouting I could hear the bells of the church of the Mary Magdalene. The sky was apocalyptically gray and the wind was a little cruel, and I was on my way to the spot where the most sacred and important event in the history of the world took place. The whole scenario was a little bizarre. But as I sat in the garden I thought about the peace that a knowledge of what happened in that place brings to me. And I thought how desperately I've come to love this place and its people and how I wish they would accept their Savior and partake of that same peace.

  • This evening we had the triclinium last supper experience in the magnificent auditorium. They had a table set up like it would have been at the last supper, to recline and eat with the right hand. We read John 13-17 outloud and had some beautiful music. Kali and I got to sing with our friends Teren and Jon, with Amy on the piano and Molly on the violin. Besides the fact that I seem to be extra emotional these days anyway, this song touches me so deeply every time I think of it.

Here are the words:
"Lamb of God"
Your only Son, no sin to hide.
But you have sent Him from your side
to walk upon this guilty sod
and to become the Lamb of God.

Your gift of love they crucified.
They laughed and scorned Him as He died.
The humble King they named a fraud,
and sacrificed the Lamb of Go

O Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God,
I love the holy Lamb of God.
O wash me in Your precious blood,
My Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

I was so lost, I should have died,
but You have brought me to Your side
to be lefd by Your staff and rod
and to be called a Lamb of God.

O Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God,
I love the holy Lamb of God.
O wash me in Your precious bloodm
'till I am just a Lamb of God.

Good Sabbath to you all. I'll be home so so soon!
God is love.
He Lives.
And that's what I'll never stop singing.

Jordan continued...

We then proceeded to the citadel of Amman, the original "Philadelphia". We saw more Roman ruins (ya.. not a big deal... just another day in the neighborhood. ;) )

We saw ancient relics such as..
Dead Sea Scrolls.

It was hard to remember all that we saw there... because my memory got glazed over by a random and unfortunate event.

Anna could tell you better... I didn't see it.. but there was a man from Spain... probably in his mid-60's that had gone beyond this railing to sit on the cliff to look over the beautiful city of Amman. As he got up.. he lost his balance and fell backwards and pummeled down the cliff. People ran to me because I had my "nursing bag" (aka- fanny pack of bandaids and tylenol...) to go down and help him. I don't remember what happened next... but suddenly I found myself at the bottom. This was a very lucky man and a very stressful situation. There were Jordanian security guards yelling at him trying to get his name... and he was so flustered... and in pain. He turned... and I was very surprised to see his ear dangling by the bottom of his earlobe. I realized that.. I didn't have quite enough bandaids. He was breathing... seemed to have broken his hand, collar bone, and a rib- but he was a lucky man. I was such a flustered, confused, and helpless little girl in that situation... doing nothing but trying to calm him down and speak english. I was so frazzled and left there with a renewed ambition to jump into my career and become a competent nurse.

Then... on our way back... we stopped by the revered Jordan River.

It was kind of dirty... overpopulated with tourists... but when we were able to find a quiet place as a group and to read of Christ's baptism straight from the scriptures and sing hymns... it was a sweet and sacred experience. I left there reaffirmed and grateful for baptismal covenants and determined to better keep mine.

Jordan was an overall beautiful country. It had the feeling of happy, loving, and humble Palestinian neighborhoods on a large scale.

From the short glimpse that I got.. Jordanians are kind and sweet people that truly love each other, their country, and their king.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Uh oh... I've been so bad about keeping my part of this account. I could apologize for days... but I'm just gonna jump into it. Starting with Jordan.

So.. we went to Jordan!!!

We stopped by Mt. Nebo- where Moses went up to and the Lord showed him the promised land. (Deuteronomy 32:49)

I suppse we make quite the spectical of ourselves... 40 young adults singing hymns to ourselves- we look up and find tourists crowding around- mistaking us for attractions. Gotta love tourists.

We stopped by an Arab village called Madaba and saw the old map of the Holy Land. A mosiac dating back to 527-565 A.D that has been a very important reference to the format of the ancient Holy Land and events.

Explored Nimrod, an old crusader castle. Yup. SO cool! Epic Acorn battle between buses ensued from the tallest tower.

...mosied on into a beautiful mosque- Abdullah. BEAUTIFUL.

...witnessed a sweet ruinion of Anna and Shea. (which made us all ridiculously happy. We love Shea.)

Oh... have I mentioned PETRA yet?!!!

It was such a magical experience....

I felt like I was frolicing through a picture book!

It was such a carefree, sponatious, and beautiful day that I couldn't have possibly created in my own imagination
Then.. we went to Jerash- which contain some of the best preserved Roman ruins oustide of Europe!!

Whistle while you work

I realized yesterday that Snow White and I have quite a lot in common.

1. We have many woodland creature friends

Sheep friends in the Zurim Valley

Galilean Toad

Big black bird in Masada

Matriarchal She-goat at Neot Kedumim Bible Lands Reserve. We had to herd her herd as a group activity, and she took a liking to me. Guess whose group had the fastest time? Oh yeah. That's right. Follwed me implicitly.

Feral Cats at Ein Gev, Galilee. (DON'T LOOK, DAD!)
The Kibbutz chef gave me his hat and I had to make good use of it.

Wild Baby Ibex at Ein Gedi National Park, right by the Dead Sea. Incidentally, Ein Gedi translates as "spring of the kid." This was my kid. He loved leaves, and I loved him.
perhaps you can't tell from the picture, but his horns were quite sharp.

2. We have much work to do.
She had to clean up the cottage, I have to study for finals. And try to make the very best of my last week (MY LAST WEEK!?) in the Holy Land.
I lied, though. I can't whistle very well.

But I'm going to do a lot of catch-up blogging before I go home. Until then... Happy Hannukah!

Some upcoming highlights:
Bethlehem at Christmas time
Spectacular student talent show and christmas concert
Perhaps (finally) something about Jordan (The Hashemite Kingdom of)
The Separation Barrier
Adventures in the Old City
Adventures in Palestinian homes
Med Sea, Red Sea, Dead Sea
Lessons and epipheries.

Love you all,