Welcome to our journey to the Holy Land! I know the Heartland crew (which is Lindsay, Tyler, Miles, and I (that's Jared)) is really excited to explore Israel for the next week and a half. We will be blogging every other day (except this one is a day late, as these things happen...) so check out more of our journeys tomorrow (and every other day after that!).
I am writing this at the Dead Sea, listening to Israeli covers of American songs which is quite fun. We have been through two days of travel (or is it three, time change is confusing as all get out) and one day of touring sites. I will let Lindsay tell you about the sites we visited today in tomorrow's blog, though there may be a spoiler or two at the end of the blog.
As far as our travel goes weary is probably the best word to describe it. There is not really a way to have a 11 hour flight without that being the case. The long flight combined with a short turn around for today's hiking has left us feeling physically tired for sure, but I am confident the excitement of experiencing God in God's Holy Land will be more than enough to carry us through. Though prayers for energy wouldn't be unappreciated... especially as we hike Masada tomorrow.
What is fun though is being reminded how this is truly a Holy Land. As we were leaving the airport last night around 11 Dan, our tour guide, reminded us of this fact. He shared with us that the even the airport was a Biblical site. That it is actually located at the site of the Biblical town of Lydda. If you are like me that didn't ring any bells right away, but then Dan read Acts 9:32-35. In this story Peter travels to this town and heals a man named Aeneas who had been bed-ridden for 8 years.
This was a good reminder that the history and tradition here is so deep that even in a place that seems to have no ties to the Biblical story, there are connections. We are really excited to be experiencing this land and excited to do our best to share it with you. We would love for you to add a question or two in the comments and we will do our best Dan impersonation and give you an answer.
Today we were at Tel Azekah and the valley of Elah (as well as 3 other sites). 10 points to anyone who knows what happened there without looking below the picture.
In the valley behind Tyler's head, David killed Goliath. Yeah that's pretty cool. Also they just farm there now, no plaque remembering this event or anything. I always found that astounding.