We crossed into Israel yesterday. As our guide said, Israel is the only Western country in this region. There is a stark contrast as we crossed the border. Same landscape but suddenly there are many more cars and businesses. Egypt is rather challenged economically right now.
We actually walked across the border as we also changed buses and guides. We also travel without a police escort here.
Yesterday morning we wandered around in the wilderness, experiencing a bit of what the Israelites did. There is a lot of very harsh country here. Hot dry mountainous yet the most common way to die is by drowning. When it does rain nothing is absorbed and so the dry river bed (wadi) suddenly can become a raging river.
Now we are on the edge of the Dead Sea. We floated in it before dinner. You can’t sink. Very relaxing and soothing after a lot of hot hiking.
We are well. Our colleagues and friends are great company. Our guide is a passionate teacher and leader. God is good. Shabbat Shalom
Today most of our group was feeling some level of under the weather. We suspect all our prayer people over there were focused on the weather you are having and forgot about us. Most of us still soldiered on.
We started from the Dead Sea, 1860 ft below sea level and made our way up to higher ground. We have been made aware repeatedly by word and experience that water is everything here. The landscape that is pasture looks little better than the desert.
We visited a couple tells today. These are places where city upon city has been built through history. As it is dug up by archaeologists we get to see how they lived.
In the afternoon we were going to go to Masada, a great fortress on a flat mountain overlooking the Dead Sea. That was moved to tomorrow and instead we walked down a Wadi, a dry river bed now that could suddenly become a raging river. Somewhat like walking down the Niagara gorge except without the water.
This trip is challenging physically, spiritually stretching, and we are growing as a community of Pastors and spouses as we connect and support each other.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers.