Thursday, May 10, 2012

Caesarea and Mount Carmel

It started out foggy this morning, but within an hour or so, it was clear and hot.  A perfect day for heading by bus to the ancient city site of Caesarea on the Mediterranean Sea.  Picture a huge Roman amphitheatre, facing out to the blue Mediterranean...that's where we sat while Lindford Stutzman explained about Paul's journey to Caesarea.  It was here that Paul was imprisoned, waiting for an appeal to Rome.  We saw the stone outline of the prison where he was kept, and how close it was to the hippodrome where they had chariot races.  He would probably have been listening to the crowds while he sat for months and months waiting.  Then we saw the port, when he left on the boat to Rome, this would have been the last thing he saw of Israel. We went down the coast a bit and saw the remains of a huge aqueduct; bringing fresh water from the hills to the city.  This whole city was built by King Herod.  Pretty splashy place!

And that was just the first half of the morning.  We all could have spent the whole day there, but we tore ourselves away and headed by bus to Mount Carmel, the place where Elijah battled against the prophets of Baal.  It was dramatic seeing the Jezreel Valley spread out below us.  And it came complete with a giant airstrip and Israeli fighter jets taking off and landing.  When we get home, you will see lots of pictures from this day!

The afternoon was fun and relaxing, swimming at some hot springs in a national park.  Everyone is doing great, we are getting to know each other as a group, and we are enjoying each other's company.  Lindford comments on how engaged our participants are, and all the good questions they come up with.  It's not unusual on a bus ride or as we walk from place to place to hear conversations about the bible going on with great intensity!

We love staying in the Fauzi Azar Inn, you can google it, a fabulous little oasis in Nazareth, and the food here is spectacular!  This is Carol Penner writing, I am one of the faith partners.

Left:  The disciples at the top of Mt. Carmel

Bottom: The Aqua-ducts. 

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