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On Day 6 we went to Genesis Land, in the Judean Wilderness, where we were greeted by Abraham (he looked good for 100 years old), who recounted the story of offering hospitality to strangers who visited him, and unbeknownst to him, they were actually angels bringing a message of good news from God (that Sarah would bear a son!).  Abraham responded by running back to the tent and said to Sarah, "Hurry! Get three large measures of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.” (Genesis 18:6).  And that’s just what happened.  As we sat on cushions on the floor around tables, Abraham and Sarah served us up a delicious meal of pita, hummus, and flavorful dishes—one after another.  It was the best food I’ve had so far!  We felt like royal guests in the tent of Abraham and Sarah.  It made me think about the Scripture verse that reminds us “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2).

Then, we were invited to take a ride on a camel.  Leslie and I rode together on Matilda, a 12-year old camel who the owner said was strong and tough.  As I rode on Matilda the camel, I imagined the three magi making their way to Bethlehem to visit the newborn baby Jesus.  I was tempted to sing “We Three Kings”...but Matilda needed a break. And so it was time to get off.  The trick in riding a camel, so we learned, is to lean back when it leans forward, so as not to fall off!

And Nancy enjoyed making friends with the camel, too!

Notice the olive tree in the background covered with a net...that is to keep the camels from snacking on the olives! 

Stay tuned for more news as we make our way toward Jerusalem...