Hello from Israel! 

The majority of your church family arrived here yesterday after a 10-1/2 hour flight. But a lucky dozen arrived three days before and visited Petra: a Nabatean city that was lost for thousands of years. You may recognize it, of course, from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Many thanks to Adult Ministry Assistant Robyn White and Adam Suellentrop for their shots!

On the next eight days, you’ll travel throughout Israel with your Asbury church family. Say hello to your guides: Said and Elias. 

We began our day by visiting the remnants of a Roman aqueduct on the Mediterranean Sea. It brought fresh water to the booming city of Caesarea and has been standing for more than 2,000 years!

Next, we saw Caesaria, a city built by Herod the Great between 22 and 10 B.C. Caesaria was the jewel of Herod’s eye and he made it an important seaport, with connections to all parts of the Mediterranean world. Two public buildings, a theater, amphitheater, two aqueducts, and horse and chariot race track have been discovered.

Fun fact: The only evidence of Pontius Pilate’s existence (outside the Bible) has been found in Caesarea. This stone bear’s Pilate’s inscription.

Next stop: Megiddo, also called Armageddon. This city is thought to have seen more battles than any other location in the world due to its centralized location and because it was a “highway” to other countries. Megiddo was rebuilt 26 times until finally abandoned in 586 BCE. In the photos below you’ll see a grainery (a structure that once held grain and other food), remnants of Solomon’s temple exterior gates (three layers deep), and an ancient, secret water system that was built around the 9th Century BC.

Last stop: Mount Precipice. These are the cliffs mentioned in Luke 4:16-30. An angry mob attempted to throw Jesus off after making bold statements in a Nazareth synagogue yet he slipped from the crowd and was unharmed.

Tomorrow, we head to the Sea of Galilee, Capernum, and the Mount of Beatitudes. More to come!

God Be With You,
Amy Gonzalez
Communications Coordinator

Day 1: Petra, Caesarea, & Mount Carmel