Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 2--March 14

It was a busy day. The morning was spent in some introductory lectures about the history of Jerusalem given by a Palestinian priest and archeologist.
In the afternoon we headed out in a large bus (37 in our group) to make a circuit of the city and view it from several overlooks. It was very windy and cold, so we did not stay outside the bus for long!

Tonight after dinner we were asked to "process" our experience and share what surprised us. Laura was struck by how close all the towns are--Bethany and even Bethlehem are almost suburbs to Jerusalem to our way of thinking. I was struck by how hilly the country is. It must after taken a lot of work just to walk around in the "hill country of Judah."

The most moving moment for me was a stop at the wall that separates the Jewish and Arab sections of town. It reminded me of the wall on our Mexican border. When one of our group ventured too close to the wall, the guards fired a warning shot in the air! I for part of the way, the wall is right next to the Roman road where Jesus would have entered the Holy City. That struck me as very poignant that on his way to glory Jesus "passes through" such symbols of hatred manifested by these stupid walls put up between people who really have so much in common.

Everywhere there is barbed wire, look out towers, and cameras following our every move. It also struck me that the Palestinians are Israel's "mexicans", who are treated badly, and yet do all the hard work.

Tomorrow we are going further out on the bus to Hebron. The weather calls for cold and rain, so it might not be a real pleasant trip. Otherwise we are having a good time, enjoying the company and the good food at the college.

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