The last day! :(
This was the part of the trip that I was most excited for wayyyy back in April, mostly because I never ever EVER thought we would actually get here! Now that the last 10 days have zipped by (and I can barely remember what all happened now… good thing I’m writing it all down!) I realize how close this trip is getting to being over. And packing up to go back home was really difficult.
I packed my bags, and I felt like I didn’t pack this much stuff on the way over… but my bags seemed fuller leaving here than they did when we left the JC. And I didn’t buy anything. Hmmm…
If you remember way back to the first day… when we came up the Jordan Rift valley? This time we went back to Jerusalem by way of the coast. The first stop was at Mt. Carmel, where Elijah had his face-off with the 500-some-odd priests of Baal. There wasn’t a lot there, but the church was really sweet, and we had a lot of fun singing inside. They also had a statue of Elijah standing on top of one of the priests of Baal. Happy statue.
But the story behind the site is what really mattered. I really admire Elijah for his ability to stand tall and keep his integrity no matter how many people were standing on the other side, telling him that what he believed in was wrong. But he knew what he was standing for, and he didn’t need anyone to convince him otherwise. And his faith paid off.
On our way through Haifa, we stopped and got out to look at the botanical gardens. They are a memorial for somethin… I just can’t remember what it was. (And I’m not gonna go Wikipedia it. No fair cheating!) Then we went to the Haifa Templer Cemetery, where the first members of the church and the first permanent missionaries to Israel were buried. Both of the missionaries died while they were serving their missions – on top of their headstones were broken pillars, which represent a life cut short.
the missionaries names were John Clark and Adolf Haag
Our last stop of the day (but by far the longest stop) was Caesarea. This is the Caesarea mentioned in the New Testament (with the single exception of Caesarea Philippi, which is in the upper Galilee area). This was a huge port city built by Herod the Great. He built his own walls out into the ocean to create a port big enough for his purposes. During his rule, this was his capital before Tiberias was finished. The city was huge – it had 2 hippodromes, a theater, a port, and an aqueduct that came all the way from Mt. Carmel (where we had been earlier in the day!)
the hippodrome. where they race hippos.
yes, we did have to clarify that one.
the aqueduct that came all the way from mt. carmel
the outside of the harbor that king herod built
the grass was where ships would have pulled in, and the arches were storage areas to put the cargo unloaded from ships. this would have been the last view paul would have seen as he sailed to rome.
One of the most interesting parts for me was seeing Herod’s palace there – Paul most definitely was here. When he appealed to be judged of Caesar, he was here before they sent him on to Rome, where he was ultimately killed. It was interesting to be here, because he have followed Paul from the beginning to the end of his ministry. When we went to Turkey at the beginning of the summer (wayyyy back in May! Yikes!) we got to see the places that he went on his three missions, because most of them went into Asia Minor. Then we got to see the last place that he would have seen before he left to go to Rome. We even stood where the ships would have taken off, and looked up at where the ancient temple would have been.
well that's that!
we got back to jerusalem all safe and sound, and ready for a midterm in new testament the very next day!
shoot me please?
(but we all know i survived to write this post...)