I especially liked the last sentence of the letter. Wonder what the camel wanted?
Hello to all from Jerusalem:
Our day started off with a trip to the Church of the Primacy, which is the site that commemorates John 21 where Jesus was on the beach and called to Peter and the disciples from the shore. Interestingly enough, as we stood on the shore this morning, a small boat was about 100 yards offshore, about the same position Peter's boat was in in that story. Once again, it was a reminder of the story in context, and you could understand why he neither recognized Jesus nor could see him. From there, we went south to the Jordan valley and stopped at Beit She'an, where major archeological digs are going on. They have literally recovered an entire city there that was destroyed by a severe earthquake around 750 A.D. The site was complete with an amphitheater, a shopping area, public baths and theaters. Quite amazing to see. We continued south into the desert, circling around Jericho :). We went on to the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered. Really cool terrain there, and it's quite amazing that the scrolls were ever found when you look at the landscape. We took pictures of the cave where they were uncovered. By the way, Mark got to see Mount Nebo today. He even tried to photograph it out the window, but the bus was too bumpy. Maybe tomorrow. Next we went to a Wadi that follows a path that apparently runs from Jerusalem to Jericho (think story of the Good Samaritan). Spectacular view needless to say. We were on top of a ridge looking down. At the base was a monastery (Monastery of St. George) which we would have loved to have been able to visit. But no rapelling gear, I'm afraid. The day ended with the acsent into Jerusalem at sunset. We stopped on the way in at the Hebrew University where we had a great view of the entire city at sunset. Dr. Rutland chose to read Psalm 124 there (although not very well, because the words of it made him break down and weep, which inturn made everyone else weep as well). We checked into the hotel Inbal around 6 p.m. and will be here for the next few days. Thanksfully, they are a first-class resort with Inetrnet access, so you can expect to hear from us again without any problems. Tomorrow, we start off with the tunnel tour beneath Jerusalem, which is supposed to be the best of the best as far as things to do. And just for giggles, you'll be happy to know that Mark had his picture taken next to a camel that seemed very interested in whatever he had hidden in his pocket. Until tomorrow ...
Love to all,
Fr. Mark and Cindy