Hello everyone!! My name is Adriaena ‘Andy’ Jones, my home church is Wanner Mennonite Church in Cambridge, Ontario. I spent two years at The University of Guelph studying history and took the last year off to travel and see new parts of the world.
Similar to most of my recent trips our plane was delayed for 2 hours due to the wind storm. In those 2 hours we were in the airplane and feeling it move from the wind. I constantly looked out the window to verify that we hadn’t, in fact, taken off since it felt exactly like turbulence in the air. We were finally cleared for take off and made the 10 hour flight to Tel Aviv. We landed, all very tired from our lack of sleep but all very exited by the fact that we were “finally in Israel!” For many of us this has been something in the far future so now that it has finally happening we were all overjoyed. While driving from Tel Aviv to our Hostel in Nazareth we all tried very hard to stay awake Some of my fellows travelers managed to stay awake while I might have had a small nap.
Our bus dropped us off at Mary’s Well and we made the hike through the winding streets of Nazareth to our Hostel. Sitting in our beds after the long day of travel was glorious, making the long day we had all worth it. After settling in all of us walked up to the balcony at the hostel and looked out over the city in awe. The houses all packed on top of each other with mountains in the distance. While enjoying the view and the company we heard the Muslim call to prayer and several different church bells. The first of many signs we will witness of the different cultures, religions and backgrounds within the country.
Day two was an early morning and a full day. We started off at Megiddo National Park or also known as Armageddon, our first Tel. A Tel is an artificial mound formed by layers of civilization. We watched a quick video giving us a brief history of the settlement which had been demolished and rebuilt 25 times. The settlement thrived during the Bronze Age around 4000 BCE. While walking around we got to see a semblance of what was there, while seeing where archaeologists had worked and disrupted the historical aspects of the area. The park also reconstructed some aspects of the structures showing more of what it would have looked like. They even put in metal horses and a chariot to give us a visual of what life could have been like. To exit we had to walk down 187 steps into what was the water system, walk through the tunnel and than back up 77 steps to find our way out.
Next we drove to Beit She’an National Park where we saw Roman and Byzantine ruins. The area was another Tel but wasn’t as visible to the lack to digging to see the different layers. The settlement was first built in 5000 BCE . The Roman ruins were both on top of the Tel and below it.
The last destination that we went to was Mt. Precipice, the place where it was suspected that a crowd threatened to throw Jesus off the cliff. The hill also looked over the Jezreel valley, the most fertile land in Israel. Even though we had drove though the valley many times it still surprised me how green the fields and landscape looked from above. While looking out over the valley our leader Derek Suderman read to us Luke 4:16-30. The passage talked about Jesus almost being throw off a cliff due to what he said in the synagogue. It was overwhelming to hear the passage in the same spot where it occurred.
A big reason I wanted to come on this trip was so I could see the bible in a new light. Today was the beginning and I am so excited to continue to have the bible come to life with each new place I see.