– Sunday, January 30, 2011 –
Greetings again from Tiberias, Israel!
***Click HERE to see the Israel Pics from this trip!***
What a day, our first day of touring is concluded and I’m exhausted. It was a wet day today as we experienced lots of on-off rain. But that didn’t stop us, we put on our poncho’s and trucked on through!
Today’s first stop….the dining room! Yes, the dining room. We got to experience our first Israeli breakfast, they’re renowned we were told! But it was amazing, you name it, they had it, and it tasted great…buffet style too: eggs, honey pastries, lots of other pastries, fresh fruits, pancakes, fish (yea…didn’t want fish in the a.m.), chesses, etc. And the coffee, best we ever had! Karl, Kurt, Zach and I each had 3-4 cups each!
Next up, seaside veranda for some photos!
Following this, we made our way to Tel Dan, the ancient city of Dan where 2 golden calves were placed (1 Kings 12:28-29). However, before we could get to the uncovered alter site, the rain poured down and the trail in the nature reserve was blocked w/ a fallen tree. We got some great pics still but the main highlight was unattainable.
Just a short drive away we came to Ceaserea Phillipi. This is the region where Jesus told Peter he’d be the ROCK that the church would be built upon. However, most do not know that Ceaserea Phillipi was actually a temple region to the god Pan. There are rocks & cliffs that meant much to this cult because they made human sacrifices by throwing people off the cliff; the rock was a key part of this cult for death and other purposes. To make a point, Jesus may have meant many things in his analogy of the rock, as the early Christians would be well aware of this cult’s practices. Of particular interest to me was the Roman architectural influence. I recognized many of the columns and floors and walls from my time studying Roman Art.
As a side note, while at Tel Dan and Ceaserea Phillipi, we were only a few miles from the Lebanese border. What I thought at one point was thunder was actually artillery shells, probably an Israeli practice shot nearbye. We later saw tanks in the region maneuvering around.
We then traveled up near Mount Hermon for lunch were I tried the schnitzel, chicken wrapped in pita w/ some toppings, pretty good!
Our drive back down towards Galilee took us to Hazor. Hazor is a huge excavation from the times of the Old Testament. Much of the 600 acres aren’t even excavated yet. Steve made a comment that every time he comes back, there’s something new to see, now that’s exciting for us history buffs! The finds at Hazor are also very biblically accurate, which is cool to read up on in verses such as Joshua 11:1-14.
After Hazor we went up to Cana for what was a change of pace from the day to a new cultural experience: a Christian, but Arabic styled worship service! We met up w/ Steve’s Christian Holyland Foundation friends and got to experience songs and a message (with translation help though!) in another language! We then proceeded to dinner and got to eat and talk w/ the Foundation’s members and family. We talked about what life was like in Israel, the food, fun, etc. It was a good quick learning experience for us! I know that we all are happy that they all agreed to go out w/ us!
Following dinner, back to the hotel. We were exhausted from a long day, little sleep, and a crazy schedule. Me…I can’t sleep unless everything is done, so I hope you enjoy this post, the pics, and hopefully I even posted the videos from worship!
At church in Cana, Israel. A few Arabic speaking Christians worshiping before service.
At church in Cana, Israel. A worship service in all Arabic. This group was a part of the Christian Holyland Foundation.