Friday, June 19, 2009

Last official day

We had a very full and very hot (107 at the Dead Sea) day of visiting Masada (a fortress and palace of Herod), the Dead Sea, Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered) and Jericho. The next day was a free day - also a long day - as many of us were eager to leave Israel and come home to our families.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

O Come let us adore him!

Our day in Bethlehem began with our tour guide not being allowed to enter the West Bank with us and having to enter through another gate and meet us later. We went first to visit with a friend of Tom Jones who is the priest of a Catholic church in Bethlehem. We visited the Church of the Nativity and the Catholic Church there as well. Then we went to visit Bethlehem Bible College and hear about the good work they are doing there, as well as meet Brother Andrew in person. We had lunch at a local restaurant across from which we had an up close and personal view of the wall Israel is building around the West Bank and the profound graffiti that tells what the Palestinians there think of it.

Bringing in the Sabbath

June 12 was a "no camera" day. In the morning we went to a church that was located where Caiphas' palace was; where Jesus was questioned and where Peter denied him. Then we prayed and walked the Stations of the Cross.

However, in the evening, several of us went to the Wailing Wall on Tom's recommendation to watch as the Jewish celebration of bringing in the Sabbath got underway. We waited for a few hours and once the real celebrations began cameras were off limits (just ask Greg...), but here are some from Bart before he put the camera away.

First Full Day in Jerusalem

We did many things and walked over 20,000 steps (yes, I had a pedometer) the first day in Jerusalem. We started at the top of the Mount of Olives and walked down to the Church at Gethsemane, entered a private garden for some time of prayer and meditation, walked down into the Old City, sang at St Anne's (the mother of Mary, mother of Jesus) and walked the Via Dolorosa in preparation for the next day when we would follow the stations of the cross along the Via Dolorosa. We wound up at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where the tomb of Christ is actually thought to be.

From Tiberias to Jerusalem

... via Megiddo (Armageddon), the Mediterranean Sea, Cesarea Maritima and a long bus ride.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Here goes...

Okay - now that I'm home and while my internal clock is still screwy and I'm awake at 1am, I'm adding pictures to the blog. I will add a slideshow for each day that we missed posting in Israel. So here is Day 7 when we went to Sepphoris and Nazareth.

Photo Sharing

We have set up a 2009pilgrimage web album for everyone who took photos to be able to share them. Loren - our last pilgrim home - is our first to upload pictures. Click on the photo below and it will take you to Loren's album and from there you can view all of the albums as they are uploaded. Enjoy!

From Pictures taken by Loren

Home again!

As far as I know, everyone has now arrived at their homes. Our travel from Israel was safe and relatively uneventful. I am guessing that most likely each one of us also delighted in a real burger at some point in the journey. In the next few days, I will be continuing to add some slideshows (making up for this last week when I couldn't do it in Israel) and will link to an album that we have set up for other pilgrims to share their photos from the trip. Keep checking. Thanks again for all of the prayers!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Long exciting day in the wilderness of Israel

This is a beautiful picture of the Dead Sea. Still having trouble uploading from Jerusalem. It was a great day visiting Masada, floating in the Dead Sea, Qumran (where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls), and Jericho.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Help, I've fallen and I can't get up...

...fallen way behind in posting pictures, that is. Fact is, just to get one picture posted here at the Notre Dame takes entirely too long to do much. So for the rest of the trip, you are going to get a photographer's pick (maybe or two) for each day. You will unfortunately have to wait until we get home for the slideshows. We do thank you for your prayers and for your patience as I know you want to see your loved ones and what we are up to each day. Things are going very well and God has been so good, but we do miss you all! Blessings in Christ!

June 13: Today we went to Bethlehem. Among many other things, we went into the grotto at the Church of the Nativity where Jesus is thought to have been born. Our guide, Bader, is telling us about the star on the floor in one location and the manger in another.
Another cool thing from today was going to see Bethlehem Bible College and meet THE Brother Andrew (God's Smuggler... on the left). The president of the Bible College is on the right.

June 12: Several from our group went to the Wailing Wall to watch as the Jewish youth bring in Shabbat (Sabbath).
Some of our group may still be waiting for the big "It."

June 11: A view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.
June 10 was a travel day from Galilee to Jerusalem... and Tom knows Maritima's the spot.

June 10: those, my friends, are mustard seeds. Cool, eh?

June 9 was a free day. Brian enjoyed a toast along with some deer meat and chicken for a late lunch with a few Jewish men over by the spring at Primacy of Peter.

June 8: One of the coolest things we did today was eat lunch with Arab Christian brothers and sisters from Cana, Nazareth, and surrounding areas, followed by a tourist trap presentation and finally a wonderful time of prayer for our new friends.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We are in Jerusalem!

To our beloved family and friends, who have been faithfully following our pilgrimage and upholding us in prayer -
We thank you for your dilligence in continuing to check and in praying for all of us. I am so sorry to have kept you waiting for pictures and now to delay it some more. In Galilee, I ran out of time to use my internet service before I got the pictures from June 8 up for you. Then yesterday, we were still in Galilee, so no more pictures. Apparently, posting pictures here in Jerusalem may also pose somewhat of a problem, as it is taking FOREVER to load just a few. Unless internet moves faster tomorrow, you will have to put up with only a few favorites each day and wait until we are home to see the real deal. Perhaps we can even get the rambling thoughts of different pilgrims each day. Regardless, brothers and sisters, I will try again tomorrow. For now, know that we are safe and having fun. Please pray for us as we begin our journey in Jerusalem in about 12 hours from now.
Blessings! Rachel & Bart, your friendly pilgrimage photographers

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 5 - June 6, Sea of Galilee

For our family and friends who are keeping daily tabs on our pilgrimage, I apologize for the delay, but your friendly pilgrimage photographers may have gotten slightly carried away yesterday (June 6). We shot almost 500 pictures this one day, of which we have narrowed them down to 70. I will add captions later and I will get today's (June 7) up tomorrow (maybe...). Enjoy! Blessings in Christ, Rachel Crumley

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 3 - Arbel Cliff & Capernaum

Finally - an update!

We are in Israel! From Atlanta, Georgia, USA, to Frankfurt, Germany, to Tel Aviv, Israel. We arrived in Israel and had a long, but exciting bus trip to Tiberias. We began with dinner and worship... then sleep!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lost and Found

Every pilgrim has safely arrived in Atlanta, Georgia, with only one lost (now found) person and one lost (now found) set of luggage. Well, more like 10, if you count being locked in the back of the shuttle as being "lost" (luggage not people, that is).

Thank you for your prayers. Please pray for us as we continue to get to know one another and as we prepare to leave the US tomorrow afternoon/evening.