Archive for May, 2011

Bruce has a long flight back to KC

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Bruce makes the trek to Bethlehem

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

After worshipping with 200+ folks that were from all around the world, we headed to Bethlehem. It is in an area that we actually have to show passports to get in and out of. On the site of the cave where Christ Himself was born stands a church, Church of the Nativity. After touring through the church, we were finally able to get down under the church to the cave and manger. It’s pretty decorated and it clearly wasn’t this way when Christ was born.  We couldn’t spend much time there because it is just a constant flow of people in and out of the cave on tours like what we were on. But it was awe inspiring nonetheless. Later we went to the Shepherd Fields and were able to sit inside a similar cave and hear the explanation of the upper room and the animal storage and how Mary gave birth where the animals were kept in the cave.

[ht: FBC Raytown]

Bruce and crew swim-ish in the Dead Sea

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Many of the group decided it would be fun to swim in the dead sea.  More like float I guess since it’s impossible to really sink in the water and you have to really try hard to get yourself to bob under the surface.  The water is actually kind of gross and oily.  It’s so salty that it’s kind of disgusting, but it was a treat none the less.

[ht: FBR Raytown]

Bruce spends time in Jerusalem

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Bruce makes a stop in Nazareth

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

This visit to the Nazareth Village was very informative and cool and neat and all those things that you would expect. But people kept saying how scripture would make more sense and come to life when you go to the Holy Land and see it with your own eyes. Today, that came to life. They would do the farming on hillsides. Since a sideways hill was not the best way to grow a crop, they created terraces on the hillside so that there were flat strips all down the hillside to grow the crops on. As a result, the terraces and homes and shops and everything were in a “donkey path” (zigzag across the hillside).  As you sit and look at the path winding around the hill and the terrace walls and the large bedrock stones they made the winepress and the cisterns out of, and the fertile soil in the terraces, it made this scripture come to life in a whole new way.

[ht: FBC Ratyown]

Bruce takes in Lebanaon, Syria and the Sea of Galilee

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Today was another learning day as we visited biblical sites as well as sites that were crucial in Israeli history. We were on the Lebanon border. It was fascinating hearing the stories of the Yom Kippur battle in 1973 when Israeli tanks were heavily outnumbered by more advanced Syrian tanks, and yet Israel held its ground. We also were able to visit the streams that are the source of the River Jordan. This was the water that Christ talked about and its purity. You can see from the pictures that many of us chose to drink straight from the river. I even filled my water bottle and drank from the river’s water all day. It is said that it’s the cleanest natural water anywhere on the planet. We drove the entire 32 miles around the Sea of Galilea today and saw many sites that were breathtaking.

[ht: FBC Raytown]

Bruce goes to Capernum

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Today we had the experience of visitng Capernum, where Jesus spent so much of his time. According to Bro. Paul, it was in or around Capernum where Jesus did most of the 35 miracles he performed. We visited the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached the sermon on the mount. In fact, Jesse Land, Larry Jones, and James Harding stood on the terrace of the church that has been built on the mountain and read Christ’s very sermon from Matthew. We ended our day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilea and an opportunity to baptize in the Jordan River.

[ht: FBC Raytown]

Bruce takes a trip to the Holy Land

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Bruce arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel with a group from First Baptist Raytown on  two-week trip through Israel. A little bit of touristy stuff; a little bit of ministry work with ministry partners.

There is a ministry located in the heart of downtown Tel Aviv just blocks from the Mediterranean Sea called Dugit. Dugit means “boat” in Hebrew and the name reflects the mission of the ministry, to be fishers of men.  They do two ministries, one is a coffee shop featuring live music and the other provides food and clothing for those in need in Tel Aviv. We delivered 6 suitcases loaded with children’s clothing that was collected by FBR and the Hope Network. It was exciting to hear about the growing congregation of worshipers (Messianic Jews) and how they are working with Arab Christians in Tel Aviv. The city of Tel Aviv is a very secular place and this ministry located in the heart of the community was an incredible opportunity to share the gospel in a lost world.

– James Harding