This week the team has been helping run the Bible Club at Christ Church. We have divided the team into 4 groups and each day of the week I have been taking a different group into Jerusalem to help. (We will only be helping on M, T, W, and F.) We perform a variety of jobs for the event but our main task is to build relationships with the children. There are about 3O kids who come each day. The program caters to English, Hebrew, and Arabic speaking children, so it is quite the undertaking to effectively communicate to all. We have been doing some kind of presentation to end the club everyday. Today we performed the live-action wordless book drama called Colors. I totally teared up when the whole audience of children, teenagers, and adults erupted into cheers and clapping when Jesus (played by Spicer W.) rose from the dead at the end of the skit. It was a very powerful moment to witness firsthand and extremely special to see the heartfelt response many had to the gospel message presented in the drama. I took a video so you will all have the opportunity to watch and hear what I am talking about after the summer. We will post it along with all our pictures on FB following our trip.
The rest of the team not attending the Bible Club has been clearing more land of debris, weeds, and trash. We have also formed and prepared another patio to pour concrete on this Saturday when the whole team will be together again to help. We finished pouring a concrete ramp today too, which will enable the school bus to pull right up to the building when school starts.
This past Sunday, we took an underground tour of the Western Wall. It was absolutely fascinating to see the hidden layers of the Wall under Jerusalem. Our guide was very informative about the history of the Wall and the Old City and how both intertwine with the past, present, and future of the Jewish nation. We touched stones that are from the second Temple period!!!! My jaw is open just writing that. One stone is so big that archaeologists have still not figured out how they could have moved it into place without any modern equipment. The spaces we toured are ancient and filled each of us with wonder.
At the end of the Western Wall Tunnel tour
We also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The site of the church is identified as the place both of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus. It has long been a major pilgrimage center for Christians all around the world. According to the New Testament, Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, “the place of the skull” (Matt. 27:33–35; Mark 15:22–25; John 19:17–24). This has been identified as an area of abandoned stone quarries just outside the city wall of the time. About 10 years after the crucifixion, a third wall was built that enclosed the area of the execution and burial within the city, and this accounts for the Holy Sepulchre’s location inside the Old City of Jerusalem today. Whether you believe this or not, the church is incredibly old and rich in history. There are Crusader crosses etched and graffitied into the walls all over the church. To think of all of the kings and warriors and just regular folk that have walked through its halls since its consecration in 335 BC is awe-inspiring.
Outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher…you guys should google that ladder you see!
Crosses graffitied by Crusaders
Tomorrow we are taking our final sightseeing adventure to the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, and Tiberias. I will have much to share I am sure!