Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beit She'an

Our last stop of the day was a place called Beit She'an (Beth Shan), meaning "house of security." This is another ancient city that was extremely fertile land. The city was prosperous and continued to grow until an earthquake destroyed it in 749 AD. This is the place where the Philistines hung King Saul's body after his death and then took it down for burial.

The amphitheater

The men pretending to go the bathroom in the bathhouse area.

A view of the ancient city
Hiking to the top of the hill
We made it :)

The view from the top

Throughout the day, we were slowly making our way towards Jerusalem. Here is a picture of the city from our hotel balcony on New Years Eve. It was really neat to be here at this time!


Our next stop for the day was the ancient town of Capernaum. It is located off the Sea of Galilee and had about 1,500 residents from 2BC-7AD. Many of Jesus' disciples lived here (Peter, Andrew, James and John), as well as Matthew the tax collector. After Jesus left Nazareth, he moved here for awhile during the time of his ministry (Matthew 4:13). Jesus often taught in the synagogue here and even performed a few miracles in this town.

An ancient olive press-it was really interesting to hear the whole process of making olive oil

The two pictures below are the remains of the houses

The Synagogue

Unfortunately, the spaceship looking building is actually a church that was built over top of Peter's home.

This is the remains of Peter's home-under the "spaceship"

Micah is usually scared of cats because the only ones he sees are street cats, not house pets. However, for some reason he kept pointing at this one and this evil cat bit Micah's arm. It scared him to death, but thankfully, it didn't go through his clothes!


The next day we slowly made our way toward Jerusalem. Along the way, we stopped at several places, the first being Tabgha. This is the traditional site believed to be where Jesus called on his disciples as it is a great fishing spot. It again is located right on the Sea of Galilee and has been a well-preserved site. There is a church built on top of a rock that is believed to be where Jesus and his disciples shared his "last breakfast" after Jesus' resurrection. This site is also called the "Primacy of Peter", because it was here that Jesus said to Peter, "Feed my sheep" (John 21).

The rock behind us is what is known to be the place that Jesus had his "last breakfast" with his disciples.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mount of Beatitudes

The Mount of Beatitudes was another place that I really enjoyed seeing as I tried to picture Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7, Luke 6) and feeding the five thousand. It was a beautiful area that overlooked the Sea of Galilee. Around this land is where Jesus performed many other miracles. What a blessing it was to see in person!

Dr. Moseley reading and speaking to us on the Sermon on the Mount.

A glimpse of the Sea of Galilee as well as all the banana trees covering the area

Paul, Luke ("Wuke" as Micah calls him), and Micah trying to stay dry from a little sprinkle


...but FOUND :) I finally located the other pictures from Caeserea by the Sea. These give you a better picture of what it actually looks like, so I thought I'd go ahead and post them. It was such a beautiful place!

Caeserea Philippi

I must admit, that with having a toddler on board, there were some sites that I had to miss as Micah napped on the bus. Trust me, it was better for EVERYONE on board if our little boy got some sleep! However, before I missed anything, I had to get my ever-so-wise father-in-laws permission first, because I did not want to miss anything life changing! :) Thankfully, my wonderful husband tag teamed with me though and was willing to stay back on a few sites that he had already seen on previous trips-that were must sees for me. Yes, Paul is the best!!

Caeserea Philippi was one of those sites that I had to miss. It is an ancient Roman city where a lot of pagan worship took place. It has one of the largest springs that feeds the Jordan River. Biblically, it is most famously known for being the location where Jesus met with his disciples and finally asked the question, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-17).

The Akin crew (minus Anna and me who were watching our little ones on the bus).

The sweet Buster family.

Sea of Galilee

One of my favorite things we did during our trip was spend a morning on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Our ride started off with sunshine, but ended with some rain. So much Biblical history surrounds this body of water (Jesus walking on water, Jesus calming a storm, Jesus' teachings/parables, Jesus calling some of his disciples, etc), and that made our boat ride so much more special. I love that I now can picture these sites as I read my Bible.

The Buster men (our good family friends), with Nate and Paul

Our wonderful Israeli singer.
Being taught how to dance "Israeli style" :)