November 22, 2012
This morning we said goodbye to our new friends in Bethlehem and went to Jerusalem. It's not a long distance but traffic made it a longer journey. As we crossed the "border" between Palestine and Israel, the officer came on the bus and checked passports. We left the Arab land and entered into a very Orthodox area of Jerusalem. It was quite a transition.
We had the opportunity to see a few sites such as the Garden of Gethsemane, The Garden Tomb and the Western Wall. One thing that I learned today was that we do owe a lot of these "sites" to the Roman Catholics. they have commemorated the spots with lovely churches and other buildings. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't know where many of them are, we were told.
Also touring were busses and busses of Nigerians. Since the country has gotten rich from oil, they sponsor an all expense paid trip to Israel for Nigerian Christians. The other half of the population is Muslim. They are given a trip to Mecca.
Pastor Steven Khoury's church is in the Arab area of Jerusalem. We were part of his service this evening although he was out of town. Lovely people. Valerie gave greetings from our church and shared some Scripture. The church sends greetings back to Clovis Christian Church!
At the end of the day, it was "Friday" rush hour traffic. Thursday night is the beginning of their weekend so we had lots of opportunities to watch the people on the sidewalks and in their cars as we inched our way on the roads.
We talked to one Jewish man today who was born in New York but has lived in Tel Aviv for 25 years. Well educated and quite a historian. When he found out we are "Protestant Christians" he said the thing that bothers him the most about Christians is how "exclusive" they are. Not exclusive so much about Jesus being the only "way" but that we talk about "my" Savior and "my relationship" with Jesus and they don't seem to care about other people - only themselves. He seemed to say this was mainly an American thing. Interesting.
Traveling is tiring. Everyone called it an early evening. I wanted to at least let you know that we are doing well although we are a bit weary. Tomorrow is an early departure so I won't write a lot now. We will try to all blog some tomorrow night. Everyone is healthy, praise God.
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