Archive for December, 2009

London in December – Part 2
December 31, 2009

We attended two worship services and a music celebration during these few days in London.

London in December – Part 1
December 29, 2009

We were back in London from December 11-15 for missions work and a few afternoons off to check out the city at Christmas time.

The Lowest Place on Earth
December 27, 2009

As we rode in the West Bank towards the Allenby Bridge for the crossing back into Jordan, we got a brief glimpse of the northern end of the Dead Sea. The Sea is 1,385 feet below sea level.

Hank told us that recent dry weather has caused the Sea to shrink, so it now consists of three smaller lakes, with dry ground between them.

Who knew?

Israel – Part 5
December 27, 2009

I found great delight in exploring the Old City of Jerusalem, on foot because most of the Old City is made of narrow streets, some of them with many steps, where no motor vehicle can go.

Israel – Part 4
December 26, 2009

On Monday, December 7, Hank took us to Bethlehem, which is even closer to Jerusalem than I realized – 2.5 miles, to be specific.

Bethlehem is surrounded by a huge barrier wall, built by the Israeli government, ostensibly to keep terrorists out of Israel. (Bethlehem is part of the area under the Palestinian Authority.

Problem is that the wall also discriminates against the people living in Bethlehem, many of whom are Arab Christians, our brothers and sisters. You can enter or leave Bethlehem only through guarded checkpoints.

Fast Forward to London
December 16, 2009

This is Wednesday, December 16. We have just spent five days in London with our team and attending a few events. Today we fly home.

Here in London we have seen some impressive Christmas lights, such as the store known as the House of Fraser, on Oxford Street.

Because of my ongoing work duties I have not been able to post blogs for my activities from December 7 through 15. If possible, after I get home, I will enter blogs to cover the highlights of those days.

Israel – Part 3
December 9, 2009

On Sunday, December 6, we went to the service at the Jerusalem Baptist Church on Narkis Street.

Israel – Part 2
December 7, 2009

Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, December 5.

JoLene and I took a morning walk to a park called Jerusalem Garden. Among other things the Garden has a windmill! One of three in Jerusalem, it is a reminder by Holland that “We were here, too.”

On one street is this unusual sight.

No, it is not a car covered to protect it from the elements. It is an art piece! It fooled Hank for three months before he figured it out.

We looked up a Bird Observation Site, just a block away from Knesset, the parliament building. We sat in the simple wooden blind…

… and saw several species, including an iridescent, dark turquoise-colored Palestine sunbird.

We explored a high-class hotel and saw this mural.

We wanted to explore the Old City on foot, so we entered at the Jaffa Gate, which is a 20-minute walk from the apartment where we are staying. The Gate is really a gateway; where the cars enter, there is no gate to open or close.

As you see, British Bear showed up again.

And here are a few scenes inside the Old City.

Most coffee shops in the Old City are small and have a common-looking decor. The large well-lit restaurant above is the exception. We stopped here one day for pomegranate juice and coffee.

Israel – Part 1
December 6, 2009

On December 4 we traveled by land from Jordan to Israel. Our friend Hank and his family met us on the Israel side, to take us to Jerusalem.

December 3, 2009

The ancient city of Petra is one of the main tourist attractions of Jordan.