Wow! We rested so well with the sounds of the Mediterranean Sea lulling us into a much needed rest. It was funny to try to get used to using blow dryers and curling irons using an adapter and converter. My blow dryer has never sounded so funny. I secretly wondered if it would ignite into flames any second, but thankfully my hair dryer and my hair did not. Yes, I am a girl and having a good hair day, while sounding vain and prideful (I know Dad, read Ecclesiastes again!) is important!
Rachel's Chi straightener didn't work at all in Israel and instead of borrowing my curling iron that morning, she just put her hair in a cute messy bun with a fabulous headband. We girls know how to accessorize. She shot her eyes at me when one of the ladies in our group commented to Rachel over breakfast, "Did you sleep in too late to fix your hair this morning?" Ha!!!! Oh, the fun of using 220 watt electricity instead of our normal 120. Although, I though she looked adorable, Rachel borrowed my curling iron and our newly purchase Israeli straightener every day after that.
Speaking of breakfast, how does fish with your coffee sound to you? I know! I couldn't do it. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to embrace as much of Israel as I possibly could, I didn't want to miss out on one single thing...except fish with eyeballs looking at me over breakfast. No thank you! There were lots of egg dishes in special sauces like Marinara, amazing cheeses, and lots of salads. They had plain cereals too, but when in Israel, try the salads and the cheeses. Yum!
After breakfast, we all boarded the bus with our guide Yuval and bus driver Gabby. We headed towards Caesarea Maritime-the home of Herod the Great. It is famous for the great harbor he built, that no longer exists (it was created for man after all) and a huge theater. Caesarea Maritime is the site of major events recorded in the book of Acts from the lives of Peter and Paul.
We saw where Paul would have stood and given his testimony to Felix, Festes, and Bernice. Our group sang, "Holy, Holy, Holy," and, "Jesus! There's Just Something About that Name" from the theater seats. Oh how we felt the presence of the Lord there as we sang praises to Him.
Carvings on an ancient column:
Remnants from Herod's pool:
We were able to walk around and see remnants from Herod's pool right off the sea coast. The girls and I found some shells and a few broken pieces of ancient pottery. We visited the Aqua ducts which still stands today and it was fun to take pictures there.
From there we drove up to Mt. Carmel....one of my dad's favorite places. Elijah is one of his favorite heroes of the faith and Mt. Carmel is where Elijah faced the prophets of baal. Do you remember the story? If you don't, please take a look at I Kings 18 or you can click here for a quick reference.
Mt. Carmel is the highest point in the Jezreel Valley and it's name means God's Vineyard. I love the story in 1 Kings 18 when the worshippers of baal, who they believed to be the god of rain, saw God, the true God of rain, cause the fire from Heaven burn up the wet wood and the stones and the sacrifice and to lap up the water in the trenches. Amazing! After that, Elijah had the people seize the false prophets of baal and had them slaughtered. Still, they waited for God to send rain. Do you remember in the later part of I Kings 18 when Elijah asked his servant to look 7 times for a cloud in the sky? Finally on the seventh time the servant exclaimed, "“A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
And Elijah, an old man at this time, knowing God was sending an outpouring of much needed rain, outran the servant and chariot all the way to Jezreel from the top of Mt. Carmel. It all happened in this place!!! Standing there, a place of absolute miracles, with Rachel, a living precious miracles was a moment I will never forget. What an absolute blessing and joy to be in that very place together!
From the high places of Mt. Carmel you can see the Vally of Jezreel-the place where Armageddon will one day take place. I was stunned at how vast the valley is. You can easily see the 4 corners and especially Nazareth and Tel Megiddo (an evil place). What a time Armageddon will one day be.
I feel like there is still so much to share from Day2, but I think I'll stop here for today. Blessings to you from Israel!