I'm so sleepy my eyes are burning, but I must tell you about the sites I saw today.
We started the tour with a scenic drive through the valley of Jordan where I could see in the distance the kingdom of Jordan. The mountain curved around and around until we were headed in the direction of the Dead Sea region. I'm told the region is the lowest point on earth, about 419 meters below sea level.
Next we stopped in Bet Shean, the city where Scripture says King Saul fell on his sword and killed himself. I've read the story of Saul many times in the past, but after seeing the site in person and listening to my tour guide, I have a better understanding of what happened back then.
My guide, Tsion Ben-David, is a masterful presenter. He meshes history with archeology to give an accurate and interesting account of what occurred thousands and thousands of years ago. Well done, Tsion!
We arrived this afternoon at the Qumran ruins where the Dead Sea scrolls are located. And after climbing from one cave to another, I was glad I hit my sister up for a pair of sneakers during my layover in New York.
We left the caves and went to Masada to see the ruins of King Herod's palace, which is situated on the top of a mountain. Since Masada is a cavernous mountain with gaping holes, we had to ascend deep into the ruins by cable car, which made me extremely nervous. But the other journalists assured me I would make it across unscathed and in one piece, and I did. Thank you, Lord!
And then came the climax of my trip today. Jerusalem!!!!
We "ascended" into the Holy City just after dark and what a beautiful site to see. I know I sound like a child in a candy store, but it was truly an amazing site to behold. I've never been to Israel before, so needless to say I'm excited!
When we checked into the David Citadel Hotel later that night, I grabbed my room key, opened the door and did what the Bible instructs each of us to do. I prayed for the peace of Jerusalem.