2018 Holy Land Updates


Posted by Sarah Morris on


Today is Thursday at 12:30am, which is 4:30pm San Antonio time and I am blogging before bed (BBB or B3 as I now will call it). PRAISE THE LORD for the bed and elevated feet!! Due to some “under the weather” trip members we did not have all 45 of us together today so I will try again tomorrow for a team picture. Fitbit stats for today are: Floors climbed – 68 (if you climbed back up after the tunnel) CAN YOU IMAGINE? My calves are on fire….literally. No, seriously, I’m pretty sure my legs have fire running through my veins right now and there is a heartbeat in my feet. Steps – depending on which activities you did, between 16,000 and 23,000 and between 7-9 miles. This is INTENSE people!


Fun facts for today before we get to the real juice…

  • Mandalina’s are a fantastic fruit and Ruth may be addicted!! Mannnnndina, that’s fun to say. MANDINA (In the will Farrell voice from Elf)
  • Speaking of Christmas, did you know this is the Ho Ho Holy Land Jerusalem? (pic included) #SantaRidesCamels
  • We learned a new word today from Dr Chris, and we can use it in a sentence. “Queen Mary may have suffered from a fasciculation today while climbing all these stairs.” (Don’t I sound smart? Ok, don’t answer that. But in case you want to know, it just means twitch. ) Why do people make up crazy words for very easy to use and understand words? #BigWordsForTheWin
  • Mystery donor supplied a pic of Pastor Ben from yesterday. Is he praying? Sleeping? Stretching? Checking deodorant? Doing sit ups? IDK, you tell me. #CaptionBensPic
  • When they were trying to kill me by having us walk up 8000 steps with a 75% incline(maybe a slight exaggeration, but only slight), I did what all out of shape Christians would do….I tried to make stops to “look at historical markers” (that were not there), I tried to summoned Jesus to change the angle and direction of the road, and I called his name in a sound and tone similar to that of a dying animal “JESUS JESUS JESUS” all through the hills of Jerusalem. You know how subtle my voice is, just saying. I may or may not have threatened several of our team members with a throat punch. IDK, you’ll have to ask them. I may be kicked out of here tomorrow, so can one of you send plane fare? #HelpMeTomCruise #HelpMeOprahWimphrey


We started off today at JUC in the classroom for teaching and then lunch. We then hit the streets at 1pm and were ready to walk where our Jesus walked again. I know I was thinking the walking can’t possibly get more intense than yesterday…HAHAHAHA, wrong. We had no idea what we were getting into. We walked the city and saw many amazing historical sites where Jesus and many of the disciples and figures in history once lived and walked. We walked through Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter where we saw the Gold Menorah intended for the rebuilding of the Holy 3rdTemple, and also saw the Western Byzantine Cardo, which was an old major highway back in the Byzantine Period. Stones that were there before Christ…we touched them and stood in their shadows. Absolutely crazy!


We then moved on to see the “ruins” from Jerusalem in the First Temple Period. You just can’t find words to justify or fully explain the magnitude of these places and the construction it took to put them in place without all the technology we have. It was shocking to see where the street level was compared to how high the street level is now due to their building on building approach.


Next, we began our decent down to Hezekiah’s tunnel. This was something met with great anticipation from many. A dark, very small, cold tunnel that you walk through for 30 minutes or so. We couldn’t wait! We stopped and saw the City of David and the remains of King David’s Palace. We finally made it to the tunnel with our headlamps, flashlights, water shoes…we were ready. Ben, in a foggy haze, said “Sarah you take the lead and I will bring up the back.” I was shocked but was A-OK with taking this group of church loving, Jesus loving, adults through this pitch-black tunnel with flowing water. Our fearless leader, Becca, starts walking us to the entrance (where she will turn around) and says, “so you’ve done this before?” I said NOPE, then walked straight into the tunnel. It was pitch black without our lights. The water was freezing cold and at the beginning the “it’s a couple of inches deep” water turned into 2-3 feet. I lead with gusto, to which I was requested to slow my roll a few times. This was amazing. These people worried so much about a water source that they dug this tunnel to get to it. Digging without the tools or equipment we have nowadays is just unbelievable. We walked through this 583 yard tunnel that had very narrow spots that were more challenging for our taller folks as they had to squat at times to get through. Ruth, Debbie Vignes, and I didn’t have to do much squatting. Just saying. There are pictures and a short video of the tunnel for your viewing pleasure.


When we came out of the tunnel we ended up at the Siloam Pool where Jesus healed the blind man in scripture John 9: 1-11. Are you kidding me? Goose bumps, shills, tears…I am in such a sacred space where OUR Jesus performed a miracle. What a place to be. What a blessing to see and feel and touch. This is sacred ground and our sinning selves are allowed and welcomed here to be closer to our Father. It just made me think…why didn’t they believe him? Why did they torture him? Why did they kill OUR Savior Jesus Christ. It made me mad. It made me sad. And then it made me remember what scripture tells us.

Prophecy:  `Psalm 22:7-8 says, "All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: 'He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.'"

Fulfillment:Matthew 27:41-44 says, "In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 'He saved others,' they said, 'but he can't save himself! He's the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, I am the Son of God.' In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him." 

Prophecy: Psalm 22:15 says, "My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death." 

Fulfillment: Matthew 27:48 says, "Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink."

We have a God that could not love us more than he does right NOW. He sent his son to die a horrific and painful death for US. Was it for us to sit around and gossip and bully on social media? Was it for us to be hateful to each other because we look or act different? Was it because he wants us to keep his promise of eternal love a secret from those that don’t know Him? That’s a big fat NOPE! We need to better. We are capable of being better. And I for one know that I will often fall short, but will continue to try to be better and show others who He is and how He loves them….He loves all of us, literally, and I mean that word, all of us.  


Sarah Morris

Blogging for a Cause (Cause I don’t want to do stairs ever again, or atleast until tomorrow)


PS - Lots of pictures from today are on the University FB blog post that aren’t able to be posted to the website. I will add descriptions tomorrow while in transit on the bus so until then…you will have to ask Uncle Google or enjoy the mystery. 



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