Here’s the last one! Today was a good day :).
July 13th, 2012
Today marked the end of an era, with us finally going on our last trip. We only had 3 stops today and I’m really glad we saved the best for last. Our first stop was to a place called Mt. Gerazim. Mt. Gerazim is a mountain in Samaria where Samaritan’s worship. They have interpreted the Torah in such a way that they think this is the place God commanded them to worship, while the Jews have decided that the true place of worship is Jerusalem. It was a gorgeous mountain so it was definitely worth seeing and it was nice learning how the Samaritan’s came to associate themselves with the Jews.
From there we went to Jacob’s Well which was one of the coolest locations we’ve been to thus far. Of course, there was a Greek Orthodox Church out front commemorating the location but inside the church there was the actual well. We were able to let the bucket down and retrieve water which we later drank. It was fun thinking about the story from John 4 and knowing that Jesus himself probably drank the water from that well (I wouldn’t blame him, it tasted good). It was also just nice to hear the story again because it’s so powerful and awesome. It’s a constant reminder that God is looking for true worshipers who worship in spirit and truth.
From there we went to Samaria/Sebastia and looked at some archaeological sites. There wasn’t much to see there but we were able to stop and enjoy lunch afterward. However, the final stop of the trip was really the most exciting.
Our last stop was to Caesarea on the Mediterranean Sea. This place was beautiful! Herod built there so there were many Roman amenities including a stadium and a theatre but the location itself was also just amazing. Since the city sat directly on the sea, Herod built himself a pool in the water. The pool was enclosed and cooler than the sea itself and it was just fun to walk around in. There were also other sites at the location including a castle from the Crusader period and a minaret.
This was probably the most beautiful site we’ve been to since it was right on the sea but there was also a lot of interesting history there. For instance, we stumbled upon a building that had marble floors and columns and the floors all had mosaics. It may have been a temple of some sort but I can’t really be sure either way. Caesarea itself was certainly worth visiting again though, and it may warrant a trip back to the Holy Land.
On the trip back to JUC, I was able to think about everything that has transpired these past two weeks. I still haven’t truly had the chance to process everything that we’ve done but I can say that I’m glad I had the opportunity to do it and I’d most certainly do it again.