Today we did so many things of course. We hiked Masada, found out all about the different stories of that incredible fortress and the things that happened there. Then learned about hospitality and the importance of it when traveling through the desert. After that we found some cool camels to ride! They were there for that purpose, I promise. We did not just ride random, wild camels. Then we hiked down in the Wadi Zohar and learned about the Good Samaritan. Finally, we ended the day in the Dead Sea floating and chilling out in the lowest place on earth.
The most moving scripture we read today was definitely the Good Samaritan passage. This passage is near and dear to my heart already and hearing it after hiking what would have been a similar trial that is describe, it was incredible to gain a deeper understanding. For example: the word “road” is generous. VERY GENEROUS. This “road” is maybe 2 feet wide. There is a cliff off one side and boulders and a mountain on the other. To walk by someone laying on this road literally meant to nearly step over them as you passed. It was dangerous. Which makes the Samaritan stopping all that more important. Ask an Intern about this when you see us. It was an incredible walk.
When I get home, I know that I won’t be able to stop telling people about this trip. So, sorry to everyone who gets tired of hearing “yeah, in Israel….” because that is going to happen a lot. The only difference now is that I have pictures to back it up. I can’t wait to tell someone about the Good Samaritan and show them a picture of the path we walked. I can’t wait to read scripture to someone about David and Goliath (we saw that site yesterday) and tell them that these fields really do exist. They are still there. These stories we’ve grown up with are real.
My favorite quote of the day was when we were sitting at Masada learning about the past of it. Our guide, Ronan, was speaking to us about the Jews who died by suicide rather than be taken by the Romans. It was an incredible moment to hear about a group of people who rather than be enslaved, killed themselves to be free and die in their religion, never compromising. It was humbling to many of us to see what people did for their faith. Obviously we don’t have to reach those drastic ends, but we can be doing more than we do in our faith.
It was an incredible day, please keep us in your prayers as we continue our trip and learn even more.
-Macy Ruple, Intern