14 January 2012

Qasr el Yahud

Qasr el Yahud it the probable site where Jesus was baptized, on the Jordan River near the Dead Sea. Unfortunately, it is a military zone, bordering Jordan, and rarely visited by guests. Our pastor, who had been to Israel about 40 times previously, had not even visited this site before. During this trip, God blessed us with the opportunity to visit this place - through some of our guide's connections, and I believe we were the largest group (400+ people) to ever visit this site. What an exciting, once in a lifetime experience!

military vehicle with a mine field in the back

On our journey from the region of Galilee to Qasr el Yahud (near the Judean desert), the landscape quickly turned from something resembling Ireland, to complete desert, where hardly a living thing could be found. It was quite interesting to see the dramatic contrast. Likewise, the region of Galilee varies extremely to Jerusalem.

There were mine fields all over the place around here

                                                                                        Christy posing with some Israeli soldiers

Thankfully, the rain let up a bit while we were at Qasr el Yahud, but the river was quite flooded (resulting in a cool, floating-palm tree effect!) and at times, the sky was a gorgeous shade of angry purplish, blue (see photos above.) This spot is odd in my memory, because I remember this is when we all found out about the huge earthquake in Chile. I remember there were talks of tsunamis back home (California), and in pretty much all the countries surrounding the Pacific Ocean. Thankfully that didn't happen, but it was an uncertain time and an odd thing to encounter while you're traveling. Despite the madness going on in the world, we had a nice time here - in awe of our surroundings. There was an excitement in the air, not only from being where we were, but also from knowing that our next stop was Jerusalem!

Looking over the Jordan river and directly at Jordan

Elli, Sandy and Christy

Part 6 of the video documenting our Israel 2010 voyage:

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