Monday, June 29, 2009

Look Who's Walking!

In Ohio with Mamaw and Papaw and Granny
Chillaxin on Daddy

Aunt Fer-Fer and Lydia

I love the beach!

Cutting teeth at the beach!

We've had a very busy month, so we are late posting. Lots and lots of firsts to tell about! Since June 1st Lydia has cut 6 teeth, attended her first Kid's Crusade, first S. Ga campmeeting, first beach trip to Jekyll Island, had her first Father's Day with a Father, first trip to the ER (more on that later) and her first Mommy and me trip to Ohio. And to top it all off... she's walking!

We have come a very long way since March 9th! She loves going to church, especially the music. Poor Mark is expected to preach the Word while his entire congregation is being entertained by Lyida. She puts on quite a show! Jason and Andrew are equally smitten with her. She will search the pews until she spots them and blows rapid fire kisses with cute little waves.

Jason is getting ready for his missions trip to Peru. He leaves July 22, so please remember him in prayer. I'm going to exercise my parental perogative to tell on him... he was driving to campmeeting for youth night and aquired 2 tickets! One for speeding, the other for talking on the phone while speeding. We almost fainted! If you happen to drive by the parsonage anytime soon you may notice that the yard looks particularly immaculate! :-)

Andrew went to tennis camp while we were on Jekyll and is leaving to work youth camps . We may see him in time for the school year to start.

Now, for the ER trip... Lydia waited until we were in-flight to Ohio to bust a raging fever! She was at the ER within hours of landing with a nasty virus. (Hand, Foot, Mouth) Our entire visit to Mamaw and Papaw's was spent crying... not eating... overall just plain miserable. She has since recovered and is back to her sweet, bossy self.

We also had to tell Aunt Cheryl and family good-bye as they move to their new job in Texas. We will miss them very, very much!

God is in control of it all!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 6

Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives
Garden of Gesthemane - Olive trees are tested to possibly be over 2000 years old

Traditional crusifixion site

Via Dolorosa

Lion's Gate

Hippodrome - Ben Hur - Horse races

The Band in the Mediterranean

Promontory palace on left - Hippodrome on right
Theatre - 4500 capacity

This will be short and sweet - it's 12:30 and I only got 5 hours of sleep 4 days in a row not including tonight which will be the same!
Went to Caesarea (Maritime, Pontius Pilot) on the Meditteranean Sea - Very beautiful - the hippodrome is huge!
Visited the traditional Via Dolorosa, crucifixion, and burial site
Visited the church of all nations built on the garden of gesthemane
Went to a park on the Mt. of Olives with an incredible panoramic view of Jerusalem - watched the band take camel rides
Had a great Arabic Bedouin dinner at the Shepherd's Valley Village Tent Restaurant - they performed a traditional Dabkah dance for us too. The food was GREAT! Best yet.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 5

Riding on the Sea of Gallilee - We listened to a couple of traditional upbeat Arabic songs at the beginning of the voyage - but in the middle they played "Blessed Be The Name" The wind was blowing and the waves were high enough to hit the side of the boat and spray water on your face. Looking around at same mountanous view around the Sea of Gallilee that Jesus looked at turned into a very powerful experience - "Blessed Be The Name" will never be the same song for me ever !!! - I cried like a baby...again - Guess which song we will probably do Sunday Morning!!
Flags on the boat

Peter's house

Shores of the Sea of Gallilee

Church of Primacy - Peter's calling to ministry

Church of Multiplication - The rock is where jesus placed the baskets - notice the fish in the tile

Steps and path where Jesus walked in the temple of pan - yea cried here

Synagog like the one Jesus taught in

Church of Annunciation - Where Gabriel appeared to Mary

Yaku Faruc

Skipped breakfast to get a case study interview this morning with a nice old man named Yaku Faruk that owns a souvenir shop next to the hotel.
Walked to the church of the annunciation - the church is built on/around Joseph's family home.
Went to a Synagog like Jesus teached in

Visited Caesarea Philipi where the people worshipped the god pan - Jesus asked "who do you think I am?"
Visited the church of multiplication - feeding of the 5,000
Visited the mt. of beattitudes and the Church of the Primacy of Peter - where Peter was called
Visited Caphernaum and Peter's home
Took a boat across the sea of Gallilee

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 4 in Israel

Nazareth tonight out my window!
The Dead Sea

The Lee University Symphonic Band - we spent over $100,000 to be here! and this is what we get into!

Masada Ruins - Food storage rooms

Cable car to Masada

Dome of the rock - the little gazebo is a replica of the one inside - only muslims are allowed inside

Had a scary checkpoint leaving Bethlehem today - it''s odd watching a soldier walk through the bus with a machine gun looking at passports.
Visited the temple mount and got to spend about 20 minutes on the top beside the dome of the rock. Grabbed some rocks for Granny and Jordan.
We then traveled to Yad Vasheem to the Holocaust Museum. We had only 1 1/2 hours there and I only made it slowly through about 45% of it, but what I did see was heart-wrenching. At the end of the exhibit trail is a very large domed room called the Hall of Names. You can't be moved by seeing the thousands upon thousands of books filled with names of murdereed Jews.
We drove through the wilderness by the dead sea to Masada to see where Jewish rebels took their own lives and their families live to escape being enslaved by the Romans. Very fun cable car ride to the top of the mountain.
Afterwards it was on to the dead see to float like a bobber! It was a lot of fun. If you go out to the deeper water you can float "standing up" without having to tread water! We did a great group photo of all of us covered in mud! It felt relly nice.
We finally drove two hours to Nazareth where will will be for two nights.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 3 in Israel

Bethlehem Bible College choir with us at the Bethlehem Peace center
Jesus' birthplace

The Shepherd's Church - where we sang

The Shepherd's field - if you look closely there are sheep with a shepherd (above closely)

Another beautiful day in the Holy Land! We saw the shepherd's fields and church, church of the nativity, Jesus, birthplace, and did a fantastic concert with the Bethlehem Bible College Choir at the Bethlehem Peace Center right beside the birthplace of Christ. They sang 4 songs with us in Arabic, 2 of them were traditional middle eastern sounding songs and the others were You Are Good and Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone. The room was packed out and people were standing in the doorways and out into the halls. We also sang with our vocal team like we do in the states and played a couple of concert pieces. I don't know how to explain how it feels to have had the opportunity to minister to citizens of Bethlehem within sight of Jesus' birthplace, it's almost surreal!

I added this for a bonus - 35 music majors singing in the Shepherd's church - it had amazing accoustics - it sounded like 200!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 2 In Israel

Jerusalem Nazarene church where we played Sunday night
The Damascus gate - now the entrance to the Suk outdoor market in Jerusalem

Illegal ladies from Bethlehem rolling grape leaves to sell - they boil them and put rice,meat,and spices in them to eat.

The Jerusalem Baptist church - probably the smallest building we've ever set up in - but very memorable worship service.

The security entrance gate into Bethlehem from Jerusalem

We had two services today - this morning at East Jerusalem Baptist and this evening at Jerusalem Church of the Nazarene. It was very fulfilling to look into the eyes and faces of people that still resemble what Jesus looks like and watch them worship. There is an instant powerful annointing here. We shopped in the open market of Suk in Jerusalem today between services - our group meeting place and entrance into the market was the Damascus Gate.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dan in Israel

Our hotel in Bethlehem - the nicest in town
Jerusalem on the right - mount of Olives on the left - Kidron Valley separates the two

Another view of Jerusalem from the opposite side