Our Last Day in Israel

Bittersweet.

We savoured our last day in Israel knowing we would end the day with a farewell dinner. Two-thirds of our group would head home and one-third would continue on to Egypt.

The time passed too quickly and I am not ready to say good-bye. What a beautiful group of people. We come from different places, different backgrounds, different denominations and yet we we are one – we are the body of Christ.

We began the day visiting Nazareth Village – a re-enactment of village life in Galilee during the time of Jesus.

Villagers were dressed in first-century costumes engaging in daily activities. The setting included donkeys and sheep, a farm, an olive press and more. This “time-travel” provided some visual context for the stories we are so familiar with.

Megiddo was our next stop. You may recognize it by another name – Armageddon. This city, with its incredible vantage point, is said to have known more battles than any other location in the world. It is mentioned in Revelation as the site of the final battle. In contrast, It was quiet and serene during our visit.

After lunch (another amazing spread of local cuisine), we enjoyed an incredible view of the surrounding landscape from Mt Carmel. In the book of Kings, Elijah challenged 450 prophets of Baal to a contest on the altar at Mt Carmel. While the prophets failed, Elijah’s water-soaked sacrifice was completely consumed by fire which caused the witnesses to proclaim “The Lord, He is God!”.

Indeed He is!

We saved one of the most beautiful views for last – Caesarea – on the Mediterranean Coast.

The site boasts a beautifully restored harbour (originally built by King Herod) and features an amphitheatre that still hosts concerts in the summer months (it seats 3500!!!).

Interesting to note:

  • Herod’s 40 acre harbour would accommodate 300 ships (more than the modern restored harbour)
  • The harbor was built using materials that would allow the concrete to harden underwater. (How did they figure that out??)
  • Herod’s palace included an Olympic sized fresh water pool in the centre.
  • Fresh water was routed here via a lengthy aqueduct (nearly 10 miles)

We ended the day with some incredible food and fellowship at our farewell dinner. We thanked our guides and drivers, our bus captains, and our Bible teachers. We hugged, took pictures and said some good-byes – thankful for the shared experiences and the memories we will take home with us.

Tomorrow, some of us will “reverse exodus” as we cross from Israel into Egypt.
More stories to come.

Until next time,
Shalom.