This past Saturday, we visited the Shepherd’s Field, the location celebrated today for being where a heavenly host praised God and announced the birth of Christ to some humble shepherds. It was so fun to look out over the beautiful desert landscape and imagine what it was like on that clear night so long ago when all of those angels bursted on to the scene! The team enjoyed exploring caves and tunnels in the field during our visit. They all got a little dirty climbing up and down the limestone rocks during their exploring…they looked like they had been attacked by some flour!
Today, we attended service at Christ Church again. We spent some time visiting with its Pastor John and his wife, Catherine, after church was dismissed. They have asked us to help them with a week-long Bible Club (or a VBS as we would say in the USA) they are hosting July 29-August 2. We are hoping to be able to send small groups of 5-6 team members to assist them as they minister to the local children in the Old City during that week. The team is VERY excited about this unexpected but welcome additional opportunity to serve. During our final week here, we will be working on two projects: our main project at Hope School as well as serving at the Bible Club at Christ Church. We covet your prayers during this very busy season for us
After church and some lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon taking in the sights. We visited the Western Wall (commonly known as the Wailing Wall), a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries. It is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is the only fragment of the second Holy Temple to survive the Roman destruction and is one of the most sacred sites in Judaism, outside of the Temple Mount itself. Jewish people believe God’s presence has never departed from the wall, which is why it has been the center of Jewish yearning and memory for more than 2,000 years. All team members got the opportunity to touch the wall and tuck a written prayer inside some of the cracks if they wanted to
Imagine walking on Old Jerusalem’s stone city walls where not that long ago, they were occupied by soldiers given the job of protecting the city. Today, for a minimal fee, we were allowed to walk those very walls where, for centuries before, men have fought and died to defend the Holy City. Single file, due to lack of walking space, our team walked these walls. The Ramparts Walk gave us the opportunity to travel around about 80% of the Old City. The views from above were awe-inspiring. We definitely got a sense of the size of the Old City, and it was fun to see from above many of the familiar places we have visited already.
“Israel and Palestine have been incredible! It’s incredible how different it is from the United States. Being here makes the Bible come to life. It is so much more interesting and it feels more real than ever. I am still looking forward to going home in a couple weeks, but I am enjoying my time here more every day. God has really been working on me, and helping me with a lot of things in my life. One of the main things is realizing how blessed I am. Our work project has been going well and hopefully we will finish within the next week or so. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and I will see you in a couple weeks.” Eaton H.