January 9, 2020 Bethlehem
It is pretty amazing being here in the City of David. Today we met our driver for the week, Nasri. We also met Selah, our guide. He had been requested after several people already had him a couple weeks ago. He is a very knowledgeable man. Regardless of what anyone likes or dislikes about our President, Selah talks a lot about how more and more people come to Israel now to visit because of Trump and the good things it has done for the economy here. He also said his happy the people are in this part of the recent events and assassination.
We started off at Shepard’s Field and read. Psalm 23 as we got there. Very cold and rainy here. Again this is unusual. While we were in the cave here we sang Hark the Herald and Silent Night. Later. We sang Joy to the World.
Next was the Valley of Elah. We read 1 Samuel 17 on the way there to give us the full story of David and Goliath we stopped at the Valley and hopped out of the bus to take pics and collect a stone.
We went to an Olive Wood factory. We saw some pretty incredible nativities, crosses, etc. We shopped for a long time here 😀. We then had a Palestinian lunch. Food is interesting. Some is good and some is not for me 😀
We also went to the Church of the Nativity. What an incredible place and words cannot describe how we felt there. More on this emotional place later.
I really wasn’t planning on doing this blog, but I really need to for many reasons. I need to remember. Yes, I need to live in the moment, but my short term memory is terrible and I don’t want to forget this magnificent pilgrimage. I feel so blessed to be here in this amazing place. I also want to share Israel with you. There is so much going on in the North and I want to share these good and wonderful morsels with you. I want to be able to share this with my 4th and 5th grade girls I lead at church. The Bible is starting to look very different to me And I can’t wait to tell the girls why.
Various thoughts.....As we drove around, I typed down things our guide would say. I will try to write some of those here. They Celebrate Christmas 3 times here. On the 25th, Jan 6, Jan 26 . One is Armenian Christmas. All three dates are wrong in terms of Jesus’ birth. Jesus wasn’t born in December, obviously.
Dinner was with a Palestinian family and it was an amazing experience. They were the Shomaly family and their girls sang did us and played the keyboard. I even did that a little, too. They talked a lot of their lack of freedom and also the fact that their girls are also affected. They cannot go to park, the zoo, play outside. They are very family oriented, though and it is near to see their closeness. They picked our group of 10 up in three cars. Our driver was a young woman who is a special education teacher . She is also getting her masters in Special Education
Great day here!!
Thank you for being patient with my random thoughts here today.
Jesus, we see you here and we feel your presence in this incredible place with these amazing people.