Last Day

image.jpg

I'm sitting having my last breakfast at the Mosiac City Hotel 12 hours before we head for the airport.  The picture above is the view to the right when you walk out the hotel door. 

 

image.jpg

One of our morning routines early on was to grab coffee.  We missed breakfast the first day and were introduced to Turkish coffee.  It's unfiltered and heated like you see in the picture.   This was from a little shop called Coffee & Coffee.  If you don't grab one of these (they're small and extremely strong and hot) your choice is Nescafé.  

 

image.jpg

The mission family we were hosted by have an apartment in town.  Their landlord had a shop in town with Mosiac crafts and rugs.  These are awesome rugs and last forever.  Wish I would have had the money and space to bring one home.  

 

image.jpg

It's been an awesome trip with lots of great excursions, but truly the highlight was getting to meet people, hear their stories, and just enjoy some middle-eastern hospitality.  The cookies I believe are called Mamouse (spelled wrong I'm sure).  They, along with Turkish coffee and hot sweet tea were a staple of our visits.  The stories your hear in these visits just break your heart.  However bad the heartbreak in the story was though, it was overcome by the smiles, hospitality and strength of spirit.  

While we're not quite done with our time here I believe the highlight came last night.  We sat in our new friends bedroom with his brother and father in a Bible study.  The study concluded with him saying that we needed to go back to America and tell everyone that there is a Syrian who wants Jesus.  He wants to learn and absorb everything he can about the Bible and he wants to become a pastor.   

 

image.jpg

Petra Rocks

image.jpg

The title is a throwback to 80s Christian rock, as well as a pun considering the terrain.  It's also a fitting title because the place is just amazingly cool.  If you've seen Indiana Jones it should look familiar.  

 

image.jpg

Petra was the capital of the Nabataean Kingdom.  To get to the place called the treasury ( the place you would recognize from Indiana Jones ) you walk through this amazing natural rock alley ( like in the picture above ).

 

image.jpg

From the treasury you go further into the ruins.  If you don't want to walk one of your other options is camel.

 

image.jpg

This was definitely an amazing place to visit!

Ps - I was going to post some pictures from further in the park and realized that all I have are iphone pictures available for now.

The Roman Road

image.jpg

Today we traveled to a place called Um Qais.  This location has some pretty incredible ruins. It also has a Cincinnati-like border.  The Sea of Galilee was just northwest of us, the Golan Heights was in front of us and Syria was to our right (maybe a mile or so for each). 

image.jpg

We also ate at a restaurant that might be the coolest place I've ever been.  The picture above shows the entrance.  We could see the Sea of Galilee from our chairs, as well as Syria and and the ruins of this ancient Roman location.  

 

image.jpg

Another fact about this spot.  There are stories in the Bible's New Testament about a man that Jesus meets who is filled with demons.  Jesus heals the man and tells him to go back home and tell everyone.  This was his home area.

image.jpg

Perspective

image.jpg

What a great day.  We stood at Mt Nebo where Moses looked into the promised land.  We could see the hills of Jerusalem.  Later we ate an amazing meal in an equally amazing looking restaurant.   

In fact, this day alone could fill a weeks worth of blog posts.  This one though jumps to the heart of why we're here.  The people we are meeting. We sat down in this families living room and shared some tea,  awesome homemade date cookies and some laughs.  I was humbled by the hospitality that they extended to us. 

Like any good mission trip it provides an excellent platform for some personal introspection.  My wines, and my issues seem so incredibly petty.  I think of the things that stress me out and how that in turn affects the people around me, and then I have a day like this, and feel the the welcome and share laughs with people who have life stress that far outweighs mine.  Perspective.