Posted  by Sydney

There is something amazing and truly special about Israel.  Our first day we were in Tel Aviv and were able to see Old Jaffa.  This is where Peter healed a man and the port from where Jonah left.  Our next day was spent completely in the Old City.  Wow!  I hadn’t been here since my BYU days and it was wonderful to come back.  We walked through all 4 quarters of the Old City visiting everything from the Western (Wailing) Wall to the room of the Last Supper.  There are so many places that you know you are literally walking where Christ has been.  That was so, so touching.  Outside the temple wall is one of those places.  There are pathways that date back to Christ’s time that you are allowed to walk on.  We also went to a church that is built by some steps that date back to Jesus’ time that lead from the Mt of Olives (Gethsemane) to the Old City.  It also has a dungeon in it that dates back until the time of Christ.  He had to walk so far – these areas are not so close together, really.  It was so moving to think about the horrible ordeal He went through and how willing He was to do it.

We were able to spend the Sabbath at church in the BYU Jerusalem Center looking out over a view of the Old City.  We also were able to walk down the Mount of Olives, visit Gethsemane, and see the Garden Tomb.  This brought back great memories for me and we all loved walking around the Jerusalem Center and feeling the Spirit that is there.

Our last day was spent in Galilee.  It was beautiful!  We were able to collect tiny seashells on the beach where Christ called to the apostles to follow Him.  We went to Capernaum, where He healed the daughter of Jarius and sailed on the Sea while reading the New Testament.  When we went out on the boat, if you looked out over the water you could almost see it dotted with fishing boats and how it was a great privilege and came at a great sacrifice for these men to leave their life’s work to follow Christ.  This really is not any different than what we are asked to do – sacrifice of our time, work, and energy to follow Jesus Christ.  I’ve asked myself many times this trip what more I can do. 

Israel was wonderful.  It is impossible to visit and not leave changed somehow.  It is truly holy ground.  I hope that one day I will be able to return again!