Updated: May 9, 2022
Hello Friends and Family,
We hope you are all well. Happy Mother's Day to all of you! We celebrated the mom's today with a beautiful journey from the Sea of Galilee down through the Jezreel Valley to our new home base for a couple of nights, Samaria.
We had four main stops on our way south of the Sea of Galilee today down the Jordan Rift Valley. Our first stop was at Bet She'an, an ancient site with a huge Byzantine city based on the Greeks and Romans. Complete with bath houses and a huge ampitheater, it was incredible to see the reach of this Decapolis city.
(the ancient Decapolis city of Beth She'an)
(the marketplace of the Decapolis city of Beth She'an)
(the ampitheater at Beth She'an)
Our next stop was at the Gideon's Spring at the base of Mt. Gilboa. Here, in the book of Judges, God raised up Gideon as a judge to deliver his people. Halley Faville gave a fantastic devotional here at the spring and we all enjoyed the parklike atmosphere and cool water on our feet.
(Halley Faville teaching on the story of Gideon and his army of 300. "Broken vessels shine the brightest light.")
We followed the base of the Jezreel valley to the city of Jezreel, where Ahab ruled and tried to buy Naboth's vineyard. We visited an ancient vineyard that was around during the time of Naboth, though we don't know if this was his. It was a beautiful spot!
(8th century winepress at Jezreel)
We finished our touring at the ancient city of Megiddo, a key fort fought over for 4,000 years! It was so incredible to see all of these ancient civilizations from Egypt to Israelite all displayed at our feet and in front of our eyes.
(strolling ancient Megiddo)
(pottery found at Mt. Megiddo)
(the round structure in the center is a canaanite altar at Megiddo)
(peering down into a wheat silo at Megiddo)
(scorpion on the sidewalk at Megiddo)
We then headed south along the Samaritan hills and cut through them to the city of Ariel, where we are spending two nights. Tomorrow we'll visit Mt. Gerizim in Samaria and Tel Shiloh.
(our group inside the tabernacle replica outside our hotel)