It was our first Monday at the center, which means that it is field trip day! They took us on what they call the geography field trip, where they took us to different sites with high points surrounding the city so that we could get a better feel for the layout and geography of the city from different directions. Oh and of course it involved us looking like complete tourists with our headsets, baggy t-shirts, fanny packs, and cameras-haha I am so grateful for mutual understanding we have here at the JC that fashion no longer exists :)
The first overpass we stopped at had a great view of the Old City. It just so happened to be right over the Jewish graveyard on the Mount of Olives. The graveyard is MASSIVE! Everyone wants to be buried here because it is where the Jews believe the first resurrection will take place. It holds over 70,000 graves, but they still have to bury people in the fetal position so they can fit more graves on the mountain, and they even have to reuse the graves every few years....gross!
Our next stop was the Augusta Victoria Cathedral and bell tower. The tower here is the highest point in Jerusalem, so the view was incredible, definitely worth the 213 step climb! The cathedral was beautiful, and it marks the spot where the Germans believe the ascension of Christ occurred.
Our next stop was Nabi Samwill, the traditional burial place of the prophet Samuel built by the crusaders. We now know that he is actually not buried here, but the Muslims and Jews still worship him here. The roof of the building provided some great views of the old city of course!
Next, we visited a place known as shepherds field. It is in a remote area outside of the city, and once we hiked it, we were able to see Bethlehem as well as a few other areas. It is where the church believes the shepherds may have been when they were visited by the angels and told about the birth of Christ. Fittingly enough, a local shepherd with his grazing flock came wandering up the hill, so cool! He was nice enough to let us take a few pictures :)
the lamb was so stinkin cute! Can i keep him mom?
Our last stop was called the Haam Overpass, which is the hill where Abraham first would caught his first view of Mt. Moriah, where he was supposed to sacrifice his son, on his journey with Isaac. Brother Manscill taught us a powerful lesson on Abraham and Isaac and its parallels with the atonement, and the spirit was so strong. The scriptures seriously do take on such a deeper meaning when you can actually see the land for yourself. I love Jerusalem!