By tour leader Ingrid Reichard
The fact that we lost a night seems to be creating confusion. A few times today people asked “What day is it?” or “Is it really Friday?”
Yes, it was Friday, which means the day on which Sabbath starts, which means places close early.
So we had an early start – we were rolling by 7:30am, stopping in the quaint and very quiet ancient Jaffa – a city that is well over 3,000 years old (not 300, but 3,000 years).
We stopped by the Simon the Tanner’s house and looked out over the port from which Jonah attempted to flee God’s calling. We noted the difference in response to God: Peter was willing to risk a lot in response to how God spoke to him about the Gentiles, Jonah was willing to throw in the towel in his rejection of God spoke to him about the Gentiles.
An hour later we were at the breathtaking Caesarea Maritima – an expansive beach-side city, built by Herod the Great, obviously with no expense spared.
We contemplated Paul’s time here, his faithfulness to his call – to proclaim the gospel and the fact that this was where he last set his feet on the soil of Israel.
We were at Mt. Carmel before lunch – we took the mandatory group picture below the massive monument of Elijah, which is just outside of a Carmelite convent. We read just about all the things that happened at and around Carmel (a lot more than Elijah). We took in the amazing view of the Jezreel Valley – a valley of battles in the past and likely yet in the future.
Acco was another wow – how do you build a really impressive crusader city, get it captured, let it get completely covered with dirt, build another city on top of it (including a prison) and then discover the ancient city below when the prisoners are trying to dig out a tunnel! That’s Acco for you!
A quick drive-past the Baha’i gardens in Haifa and before you know it we were in Galilee and at Nof Ginosar – our home for 4 nights – the grounds are amazing, the fresh “welcome” dates were unbelievable, and I think we will try to count the number of options at the dinner buffet tomorrow.
Tomorrow is all about Jesus – around the Sea of Galilee.