Sorry guys, but tonight/today, is going to be short. It is currently midnight on Saturday 10/13 which is 4pm San Antonio time. It was an amazing day with 44 of the 45 team members present!! Tomorrow is free day/church in the morning and class in the afternoon so you probably won’t have a chance at a FULL team picture until Monday. Prayers that our peeps get/stay healthy so we will have a full team soon! Today’s fitbit readings are: 98 flights of steps (you have GOT to be kidding me. Yall, they may be trying to kill me off), 7.5 miles and 18,148 steps. #MyBodyIsNumbNow
Fun Facts for today (and these are soooo good):
- My roommate “Ruthie” (Ruth Towers) started my day off perfectly!! We were half asleep, getting ready this morning when she was talking about where we were going today. The conversation went like this…
Ruth: Today we are going to the Olive Gardens right?
Me: Olive Garden?
Ruth: Yeah, Becca said we are going to the olive garden today.
Me: You mean the Mount of Olives?
Ruth: Yea, it’s the same thing. They both have Olive trees.
Me: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL, Not really. I died laughing!!!
Looooooove, my Ruthie!!!
- One of our stops was to the Church of the Nations at the Garden of Gethsemane. It is such a special place that I almost hate to post this, but it happened and its hilarious. We walked into this church and were just awe struck. We just walked around speechless for some time, taking pictures, praying, worshipping along with the catholic service that was happening at that time, and just being in the moment. Mary McKay, m new BFF, was sitting in a pew, when I decided to go sit next to her. She proceeded to start quietly telling my about her thoughts about the ornate ceilings and how everything was intended to make you focus on the ascension and looking up toward God….when all of the sudden and monk appeared and “shush’d us”. Like a shhhhh with his finger to his lips AND the shush sound. We both just SHUT UP. Frozen for a second, then got up and walked out with our tale between our legs. Now, I know what you’re thinking….Sarah gets shush’d often, but Mary?? I must be a bad influence. Can you really say you have lived if you haven’t been shush’d by a munk in Jerusalem in the Church of the Nations? I think not. #LifelongMemory
Before I get to the great stuff, I just have to say that these people that I am with are family now (if they weren’t already). I love to laugh with them, pray with them , photograph them, love them, and most importantly respect them. We are of all ages, some single some married, some widowed, some divorced…but, we all love on each other, look out for each other and help carry each other each day through these crazy freaking stairs!! I am blessed to call them my friends. (again, I am in bed crying)
Today was non stop from 7am until 5:30pm. So much was done and seen today that I can’t put it all in this blog. I will say that we were SOOOOOO thrilled that Tom Fitzsimmons was feeling better and able to join us today!!! Welcome back Tom!! We saw several different aspect of the city this morning by going from place to place to see different perspectives. We first saw Mount Scopus which lies on the northern side of the ancient city. Great views in the pictures. Psalm 48 is the scripture we read pertaining to this. Then we went to the Wilderness overlook; pictures also included. Then from the panorama orientation to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Oh my, heaven help me!! The Garden of Gethsemane (where OUR Jesus slept) is exactly what you would think. There are olive trees being pruned by nuns in the garden with people flocking from everywhere to see the Church of the Nations. It is a perfect place for Jesus to stop and take a break before heading into Jerusalem. Seeing it made total sense why he chose that place for a nap. Then we walked from the garden into the church. HOLY Dr Pepper!!! This can’t be real. This church is awe inspiring. You look at it and know that OUR God is looking down on us at that very moment. Well I took some amazing pictures in between tears, and you heard the story about Mary getting us kicked out for talking, so I can just say to go look at the pictures. Know that your brothers and sisters walked on your behalf in these places and are forever grateful. We went to Harrods’s palace (remains) and then headed to Bethlahem. #SHUSH #NoDrPinIsraelWe
Betheleham is NOT what you think. It is man aged and run by the Palastinians and the sacredness feels off. I still have some great pictures for you, but the crowd is a little too much. I had a moment thinking that LITERALLY this is where our savior was born. I can’t wrap my head around it. It was so crowded, we decided to go to the connecting church next dare to just pray. I ran into PB&J (Pastor Ben Jammin) and he asked if we had seen Jerome’s cave. I hadn’t so we took off, through a security type personnel block and got to see the most amazing things. There is a “peep hole” that lets you look into the alter area from the Church of the Nativity. which had a 3 hour line. It was A-MA-ZING! Unfortunately they let no one else in our group down so I have the rare pics from this trip for this location.
I said this wasn’t going to take long, but here we are at 1am….partly because we tried to find college football on the hotel lounge TV for “a good amount of time”. It didn’t work, btw. Sorry for the lack of words, but my mind is spinning. Partly because of the realization that I am walking where my savior walked, but party because my body is drained. Tomorrow we will have a worship service with communion and be able to explore on our own. Prayers for this time of rejuvenation for this team and for our guide Becca as well. This is hard but rewarding work and isn’t for the weary. We appreciate your prayers and I hope you enjoy these pictures.
Blogging Before Beauty-Sleep
PS - Pictures are on University Facebook Page