Monday morning took us to the site where the Israelites were most likely to have crossed the River Jordan. That also probably is where John baptized Jesus. We contemplated these two momentous threshold events, remembering how our own lives have had transitional moments.
Then the bus took us up the long steep highway to Amman again, for a meeting with MCC staff (see photo). Over coffee and cookies, newly-appointed Country Representative for Jordan Derek Hostetler (standing, center) explained the work of MCC. Instead of providing direct services to people in need, MCC mostly partners with Jordanian service agencies and programs. This helps avoid patronizing, and it empowers local initiatives. (In a striped shirt, standing to the right, is MCC staff person Alex Azar.)
Back at our hotel by the Dead Sea, tour members had a riotous time bobbing on the Dead Sea, slathering ourselves with therapeutic mud straight off the beach, and enjoying a clean fresh pool. After dinner we spent an hour reviewing the history of the Palestine-Israel conflict and considering political implications of tomorrow’s national election in Israel—the country we expect to enter in the morning.