Israel Trip

Israel: Exploring Jerusalem’s Old City Market

We spent a bright, blue-sky day in Old Jerusalem. Not sure how it’s possible, but everything in this incredible city is uphill.


I asked one friend back home to specifically pray no one in our group would take a tumble, knowing what a damper that would put on the trip. Her prayers were answered: we climbed up, but we never fell down!

The streets and walkways were crowded with people of many nationalities and faiths. Exotic foods awaited us on every corner. We drank boatloads of fresh pomegranate juice.

Jerusalem Old City Market Pomegranate Juice

And we sampled the largest bagels in captivity. Soft, warm, delicious.

Jerusalem Old City Market Bagels

Camels appeared in unexpected places, and cats were everywhere—in the Arab Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter. No matter the language or culture, “Meow” sounds quite the same.

Old Jerusalem Jewish Quarter Cat

Of course, there were endless temptations to shop, with merchants constantly waving their wares in our direction, calling out invitations, offering bargains. I soon learned the key was being willing to walk away. The price went down with every step.

Jerusalem Old City Market ScarvesJerusalem Old City Market PotteryJerusalem Old City Market Sandals

But what we came to Jerusalem for was a spiritual experience, and that we soon had in abundance.

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Israel: We Become Sisters of the Mud

Our fearless leader, Bev, told us we had to bring swimsuits so we could all float in the Dead Sea. No exceptions. Bev is a small woman. Bev doesn’t get it. Plus-size women float in any sea—the Red Sea, the Black Sea, the Dead Sea, the Living Sea. Big girls …

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Israel: Meeting Deborah, Jael, and Lot’s Wife

Learning about Deborah and Jael on Mount Tabor

The morning sun was high and so were our spirits as our vans climbed the slopes of Mount Tabor. Of course, we had to shop while we waited for the vans to arrive. The woman running the scarf stall was so grateful for our business, she presented me with an apple from her …

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Israel: Moving from Glory to Glory

Oh, what a sacred Sunday! After passing the ruins of ancient Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene (I was so choked up, I could barely get through Mark 16:9 and Luke 8:1-3), we then studied the Beatitudes in a grove of trees near the spot where Jesus preached the Sermon on …

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