Day 1 really encompassed two days, though lasted less than a 24 hour period! We departed Dullles at 6:15 PM (EST), passed through London’s Heathrow, and landed in Jerusalem at 3:30 PM (Local Time). However, since Israel is 7 hours ahead, it was really about 14 hours after we started. I, for one, have had very little sleep. I’d gotten quite good at sleeping on planes, but not this time.
I’m too tired for much insight, but I first saw and then heard something striking.
As we drove to Jerusalem from the airport, there was a great deal of new construction. I thought they might be new Israelis settlements. At one point, our bus driver told us that’s exactly what they were: new Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Then, we came to other areas, and he would say, “This is an Arab town.” There were huge fences there, and not enough water.
During our opening Eucharist tonight, during the Eucharistic Prayer, I’m pretty sure I heard someone from another faith praying outside. It might have been a mosque’s call to worship or the evening prayers. It was amazing to hear the words of a language I don’t understand mingling in with the words I do. I think that’s what Jerusalem will be all about.