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Day One – Exploring the Old City

Today’s blog post comes from Valparaiso University Law Student Maison H…

 

When I first heard Valpo was going to offer a study abroad trip to Israel, I knew it was something I had to do. The idea of being able to see the places Jesus lived and walked was never something I thought would be possible for me until a year ago. But there is no way I could ever imagine just how powerful and moving the experience could be…

 

image1The most moving and enlightening part of today (February 28, 2016) was walking the path (Via Dolorosa) Jesus walked to his death. The road was narrow, steep, and long. The entire time all I could think about was the fact that Jesus walked that very same path after having been beaten and whipped mercilessly. He did not have brand new, comfy tennis shoes (shout out to Amazon!) or a bottle of water readily available. Jesus walked that long, treacherous path knowing he was going to his death carrying the weapon that would be his end. And while walking that path, all I could think about was love and hope. That love was the reason Jesus endured all the pain and suffering. Love was the reason why Jesus tripped and got back up over and over again. Jesus’ love for people (me) not yet born and who would not be around for over 1900 years was the reason for all of it. But the hope that was felt; the hope that the day we die is not actually the end. The feelings of hope that radiated from the Tomb to the place the cross once stood with Jesus giving his life up for mine are incomparable. So as I was huffing and puffing and drinking my nice cold water, all I could think about was how amazing it was that I was here witnessing all the history I’ve read so much about but never thought I’d get to see.

image2Now, the rest of the day was just as rewarding. The Dome of the Rock is the most beautiful architectural structure I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing, and as someone with a minor in Architecture I’ve studied a lot of “pretty buildings.” The precision of the tiles that cover the outside walls and the use of arches and columns give it a mix of a feeling between Greek and Roman architecture. And the Western Wall all but brought me to tears witnessing men and women of different religions coming together to pray.

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And of course the REAL (sarcasm) reason I came all the way to Israel was to ride a camel (because that’s not something I could have done in the States (sarcasm…again)).

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To top all of this off, I found a Texas Tech (Guns Up!) t-shirt in the market!

Needless to say, day 1 of Maison’s Spring Break adventures was everything I could have wished for and more!