Have you ever been on your dream trip or to a dream place? How did you feel? Where did you go? And what were your thoughts? Were you excited and full of anticipation? Let me tell you a little bit about my dream trip...
In 2015, I got the chance to go on a trip to the Holy Land, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. I have always wanted to go Jerusalem and walk where Jesus walked. That was always my dream. I feel it was an answer to my prayer, but it was even better because I was able to go to the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked on water, to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized, to the the Dead sea and float on top of the water. Also, walking the streets of Jerusalem was a dream come true.
We started off flying from Chicago to Turkey. Although the flight was very long, excitement filled the air.
Our first stop was Cairo, Egypt, after being on the airplane and then the bus for hours and hours you can imagine we were pretty tired but ready to see what was next. We made it to our hotel and when we got there it turned out that someone was having a wedding. It was an Egyptian wedding. It was really cool to see and it was very different from our traditional weddings in America. After a good night sleep and feeling rested, we headed out for the first activities of our trip. We rode camels to see the Pyramids and the Sphinx. One of the things I really enjoyed was we got to climb inside the pyramid to see what it was like. I thought it was really cool. After that, we had lunch on a boat on the Nile river. Then went for a ride on a felucca boat. A Felucca is a wooden sail boat used in protected waters such as the Nile River. It was a smooth and relaxing ride.
After Egypt we rode on our bus to Jordan where we would go to the Dead Sea. On the way to our hotel in Jordan we stopped at Machaerus, Jordan, which is where John The Baptist was held prisoner and was believed to be killed there. That is also where the shepherds herd their sheep.
At the Dead Sea we got to put this special mud on our skin that makes it soft. We went in the sea and experienced how it felt to float on top. I remember the water was so salty that you could smell it from our hotel and it took two days to wash it off.
On our second day in Jordan, we checked out Bethany Beyond The Jordan. This is where John The Baptist baptized Jesus.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. "But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
One day we got to go to the Arnon river. One thing I really enjoyed about the Arnon was that it was in a gorge. A gorge is a deep cliff with a river running through it. With the rocky orange walls and the blue water, it was beautiful. During this trip we walked up stream and when we came to a dead end we floated down stream to our starting point. The ride down was fun.
Next stop Israel-
Our first stop in Israel was the Sea Of Galilee. There we stayed in a small cottage-like hotel. We swam a lot in the Sea Of Galilee. We had a lot of time to relax there and soak in the beauty. This was one of our favorite places for a few reasons. One of the reasons is that this is where the story took place where Jesus walked on water. Another reason is, we got to spend quality time with our group. One example is one morning we all went to the beach and we gathered as a group. We took turns speaking and sharing our thoughts about the trip and what we learned.
Here is the important story from the Sea Of Galilee
"Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Then we went to the City Of Capernaum. While we were there we saw the remains of synagogues, the olive press, and the town.
Next stop Jerusalem-
This is what I was looking forward to the most. I have always wanted to go to Jerusalem because that's where Jesus grew up. We were able to walk through downtown Jerusalem and check out a few stores there. We also went to a store in Bethlehem, which was pretty cool.
There was a place in Bethlehem we went to where people with disabilities have a place to work and learn. We experienced a little of what they do. It was a good time because we also got to have a dance party.
My favorite part in Jerusalem was the Church Of Sepulchre
Before we went into the Church Of Sepulchre we had to pass through 2 large arched doors. As we toured the church we saw where Jesus' tomb was placed. We saw the Stone of Anointing which is where they prepared Jesus' body before putting Him in the tomb.
(The Stone of Anointing)
(Me standing in front of where Jesus tomb was placed)
This was an amazing trip, And a God given trip. We experienced a lot as you can see and learned a lot. Carly and I will never forget about this trip and will always hold it deep in our hearts. Hope you enjoyed the pictures!