Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

Friday, October 27, 2017

Edward's Videos!

Masada -

Jordan River -

Mount Arbel -

Jerusalem -

Church of the Holy Sepulchre -

The Pilgrimage Team -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Final Day and a Half

The pilgrimage team spent their last day and a half getting to know Jerusalem and walking the paths that Jesus walked.

Palm Sunday walk from Bethphage to Gethsemane stopping at the Church of All Nations


Bethphage is a Christian religious site in Israel.
Bethphage is mentioned in the New Testament as the place in ancient Israel from which Jesus sent his disciples to find a donkey and a colt, upon which he would ride into Jerusalem.
Unknown villagers living there (the owners of the colt according to Luke's Gospel) permitted Jesus' disciples to take the colt away for Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. There is an annual Palm Sunday walk into Jerusalem which begins here.
Eusebius of Caesarea located it on the Mount of Olives. It was likely on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and the limit of a Sabbath-day's journey from Jerusalem. (Wikipedia)

Church of All Nations:

There is an interesting 4 minute video describing the church:

THE WESTERN WALL (formerly known as the Wailing Wall)


One of the most striking churches in Jerusalem commemorates the apostle Peter’s triple denial of his Master, his immediate repentance and his reconciliation with Christ after the Resurrection.
Built on an almost sheer hillside, the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu stands on the eastern slope of Mount Zion.
On its roof rises a golden rooster atop a black cross — recalling Christ’s prophesy that Peter would deny him three times “before the cock crows”. Galli-cantu means cockcrow in Latin.
Peter’s denial of Christ is recorded in all four Gospels (most succinctly in Matthew 26:69-75). Three of the Gospels also record his bitter tears of remorse.
The scene of Peter’s disgrace was the courtyard of the high priest Caiaphas. The Assumptionist congregation, which built St Peter in Gallicantu over the ruins of a Byzantine basilica, believes it stands on the site of the high priest’s house.
Under the church is a dungeon thought to be the cell where Jesus was detained for the night following his arrest.

The lower levels of the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu contain what are believed to have been a guardroom and a prisoner’s cell, both hewn out of bedrock.
• The guardroom contains wall fixtures to attach prisoners’ chains. Holes in the stone pillars would have been used to fasten a prisoner’s hands and feet when he was flogged. Bowls carved in the floor are believed to have contained salt and vinegar, either to aggravate the pain or to disinfect the wounds.
Jesus, of course, was not flogged by the Jews but by the Romans. But some of his disciples, probably including Peter, were flogged by order of the Jewish council after the Resurrection for teaching in the name of Jesus in the Temple (Acts 5:40).
• The prisoner’s cell offers a sobering insight into where Christ might have spent the night before he was crucified. It has become known as “Christ’s Prison”.
The only access to the bottle-necked cell was through a shaft from above, so the prisoner would have been lowered and raised by means of a rope harness. A mosaic depicting Jesus in such a harness is outside on the south wall of the church.
A small window from the guardroom served as a peephole for a guard standing on a stone block.

The evening was spent having a special ceremony, enjoying a final dinner in Jerusalem and going to the American Colony for a drink.


The team spent the morning choosing different activities.  I'm sure some shopped!  Others went to Hezekiah's Tunnel:

There were lots of alternative options, which you will hear from your pilgrim.

Last I heard, everyone is safely en route from Tel Aviv to JFK.  Praying for safe travel.  Hope you have enjoying following along on this exciting adventure.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Other Activities on Friday

The team also got to visit the Shrine of the Book, which is a very contemporary museum which houses the Dead See Scrolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               There There is also an amazing, HUGE, model of Jerusalem during the second-temple era. The 1:50 model now occupies 21,500 square feet. Ancient Jerusalem's palaces, homes, courtyards, gardens, theater and markets are all there in intricate detail, crowned by the Temple, the spiritual center of the Jewish People and the largest building project in the world of its day.                                                                           


Check out this website for lots of information on the Western Wall on the Sabbath.

This is such an incredible experience, please ask your team member to describe it!

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The pilgrimage team made an early morning visit to The Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is truly the centerpiece of the Old Jerusalem.  This church which houses many denominations is quite an amazing structure which is the site where Golgotha was, where Jesus was crucified as well as the place where he was entombed.

That little black square lower left is the entrance.

This is the main dome from the inside looking up from the tomb.

This picture shows the area around the tomb - which is the structure in the middle - the are is filled with people with candles.

This is the structure over where the tomb was to have been.

This narrow staircase leads up to the area where Golgotha was
- where Jesus was hanged.

This picture above and the one below are of the place where Golgotha was. 

In another area, you find a large , rectangular, marble slab where Jesus was prepared for burial.
Even from a distance, you can smell the fragrant perfume of oils that people pour on the stone. People kneel to pray at this stone. 

The mosaic, with the gold, above the stone, is my favorite thing in all Jerusalem.  The scene of Jesus being prepared for burial is beautiful and touching.  My favorite part is in the blue circle above Jesus - there are three angels who are weeping.  There are other angels in the corners who actually have tissues held to their eyes.
Jay sent me this picture below:

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Dr. Peter Walker teaching at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Thanks to Terry, our videographer.

More photos

Photos from David Crouse:

Jay Crouse in the middle with his brother, David, and his son, Edward.

Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.

Jerusalem or Bust!

The pilgrims had a big day!  They began up the mountain to Mount Tabor, the site of the transfiguration of Jesus.  You have to travel up a zig zag road to get to the Church of the Transfiguration at the top.

Between 1919 until 1924 an impressive Roman Catholic church of the Franciscan order named "Church of the Transfiguration" was built on the peak of Mount Tabor. The architect who designed the church, among many other more in the Holy Land, was Antonio Barluzzi. The church was built upon the ruins of a Byzantine church from the fifth or sixth century and a Crusader church from the 12th century, which was built in honor of[dubious ] Tancred, Prince of Galilee. The friars of the church live next to the church in a monastery established in 1873.
The church consists of three naves which are separated by two rows of columns supporting arches. In the two bell towers on either side of the entrance, there are two chapels. The northern chapel is dedicated to Moses and it contains an image of him receiving the Tables of the Law on Mount Sinai, and the southern chapel is dedicated to Elijah the prophet and it contains an image of him invoking God during his confrontation with the Ba'al prophets on Mount Carmel.
In the upper part of the church, above the altar, there is a mosaic which depicts the Transfiguration, and on the Transfiguration holiday on August 6, it is illuminated by the sun beams which are reflected by a glass plate located on the floor of the church.
A rock near the entrance of the church has an engraving in ancient Greek and beside it there is an engraving of a cross. Nearby there are the remains of the monastery of San Salvatore (Monastère St Salvador)[dubious ], which was established by the Benedictines in 1101. (Wikipedia)

Next stop - Jerusalem!  More specifically The Mount of Olives.  This is the first view of Jerusalem that the pilgrimage team has seen - what a thrill!

Photo cred to Terry:

The small gold dome that you seen in the distance over Terry's head is Dome of the Rock. More details on that in the next few days.

Sorry this is out of order!