Wandering in the Wilderness

By Elijah Roth

Our first stop this morning was the Judaen Wilderness at the Wadi Kelt. Something interesting about the Judean Wilderness is that it was considered both a place of judgement and a place of intimacy with God. I am so blessed that my experience was a time for intimacy with God. Anyways, we began our trek to Jericho from the Monastery of Saint George, and followed the cliff path all the way. I was towards the back of the group and had a slower person a bit ahead of me. This allowed the larger group to get a ways ahead of us. With this unique circumstance, we ended up taking a wrong turn, and followed what we thought was a path. It quickly became questionable and kind of disappeared. We realized what happened, turned back to the actual path and caught up with the original group. I have hence forth referred to this break in the path as the “Bedouin experience.” Overall, this path to Jericho was beautiful. I will never forget one of the turns we had where we could look through the valley and see the city peaking over the horizon and resting on a hill. When we finally made it to Jericho, we looked at the various archeological sites. The most amazing site was a tower the dates over 10,000 years ago. I believe that this is called the pre-pottery neolithic era. I am just so amazed that we were so close to such an ancient structure. One of the most amazing sites we saw today was the Mitzpah Dan. This is a Jewish settlement known as the “Lookout” on our maps. At the top we were able to see all around and pointed out various biblical sites. It was so cool to listen as Brian described the Biblical sites, pointed them out and telling their stories, with Saul at Gibeah, Samuel at Ramah, and various other events from the Bible. One of the final things that stood out to me today was the Neveh Shalom. This site is absolutely incredible. We just drove by it, but the significance that it holds is amazing. This location is a settlement of both Jews and Arabs. Based on all of the political issues between these two groups, it is practically a miracle that they can live together in such peace. It is truly an example of God’s power and love at work.