Friday, January 17, 2014

Wadi Rum and a Night of Camping at Rum Magic

 Wadi Rum

The desert scenery of Wadi Rum is spectacular.   It is located about two hours south of Petra with some spactular views along the way also.

Ride Through the Wadi

I passed on the opportunity to take a camel ride choosing a truck/jeep instead.  The driver, almost no English, and his young son, giving me Arabic lessons on the way, were a delight.  The sand dunes of the desert had me remembering Lake Michigan dunes.  When we stopped for tea and conversation with a desert trader.  Sun set was thrilling and the shadows on the landscape added much charm.

Campfire,  Tea and Dinner

Tea made on an open fire was served.  I was glad for the open fire as the temperature dropped with the setting.  Dinner of traditional  Jordanian was served and enjoyed with people from France and Spain.

The Tent

The plan was to get into the tents before the generator was turned off.  The tents had beds and very warm blankets.

I did take time to see the multitude of stars, however, this picture does not do it justice.

You know it is morning when you open your eyes to this.   I opened the tent flap so I could read my Bible.  I took a "selfie" where I sat as I prayed for you.  I pray for all of you who are on my email list as well as all who will read this blog.  I am praying that we will all know the reality of God-with-us and have a friendship with Jesus. 


Back to Ammon and on to Mafraq

A four trip back to Ammon,  a shower and this internet.  

I am praising God for all the lessons I learned in this solo travel!  On to Mafraq! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Petra -

The Town of Petra from the Seven Wonders Hotel

History from Biblical Era

Petra is mentioned in the First Testamen as the Israelites approached Edom after their 40 years in the desert.  Just after 1000 BC King David moved to take control of Petra and all of Edom.  King Solomon consolidated Israelite grip on trade and technology and for fifty years diverted Petra's prophets into his own coffers.  We have all read of the Israelite kingdom collapse. 

The Nabateans came on the scene in 647 BC.  They grew in power and Petra's golden age was first centuries BC and AD. 

Petra By Night

My introduction to Petra was a candlelit walk through the Sig with only the light of candles every few feet to guide the way.  Once I, about 100 others too, reached the Treasury,  we listened to Bedouin music played on a pipe.  We were served tea and listened to stories about Petra.

The Treasury building by night.

In the Light of Day

Walking the Sig, 1.22km to the Treasury in the day time caused praises to God for my safety the night before. Some of the path still show first century stones, some areas have been redone, some and some still in need. 

The Treasury was designed to impress.  Like most of the remaining monuments, the entire building was sculpted in situ, gouged out of of unshapped rock in a kind of reverse architecture.  Good to see it in the light, however I could not get the whole boilding in my photo.

So much to learn, not enough time.  

My guide explained how water was brought down.

He said a lot of the monuments were actually tumbs.  The wealthy people had the larger fancier structures.   There were many along the way and I went inside one.

My guide explained much more,  just a few photos should peak your desire to visit.

The history lesson is over I enjoyed the walk back.  I enjoyed watching artists. 

Buying from children.

Seeing children enjoying their family outing.

 Feeling sorry for the horses.

This young man was very glad I bought a necklace from him.

As I walked through the Sig, for the 4th time, I took time to enjoy God's beauty in the rocks and the changes of coloring from the setting sun.


The United Methodist women's reading for today, Isaiah 22:15-25, with this Petra background it is more understandable.

"Go say to this steward,  
To Shebna, who is in charge of the palace: 
What are you doing here and who gave you permission 
to cut out a grave for yourself here,
Hewing your grave on the height
And chilseling your resting place in the rock?
Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you....."

Shebna was a steward who failed to take care of his assignment.
My prayer is that God will find us faithful stewards of our call.  

Back to Bible Times in Jerash

History of This Historical Site at Jerash

Set in the fertile hills of Gilead, Gerasa, the former name of Jerash, was founded in 170 B C.  The relatively small settlement at that time focused around the Temple of Zeus.  Archeological investigation has revealed settlements going back to 1600 AD.

It was  under the Romans during the first century that the basic town plan as it survives today was laid down.

Walking in Jerash

Enough of our history lesson, walk with us on the colonnaded. Use your imagination as view the Temple of Zeus, and the Temple of Artemis complex.  Stand in the plaza with us.

Holly's lesson on a moving column.

 If you get tired sit in one of the theater seats.

(Remember my tablet crashed and this replacement tablet will not let me move photos around, or next to each other.  As soon as possible I plan to get to a PC and reposition the photos)


Seeing these old stones gives a background view of some of the Bible's context.  The way the original authors depicted their life with God establishes the standards for understanding our life with God today. 

Richard J Foster in his book, Life with God, had a lot to say on this topic.  We will understand that the Bible is the "means through which we are introduced to Jesus and invited to follow him in this life of humility and service..."  We understand that "in Christ, our origin is God and our destination is God, we will yield fruit of service to others....God is writing us into the beautiful culmination of this grand story: human beings as the dwelling place of God who is fully present with them."

With all my heart I say ilhamdilla-Praise God's grace and mercy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Downtown Ammon

Ammon is a huge City, a population of 2,842,629.

Saturday I took a taxi to the downtown area.  It was extra crowned because it was a holiday weekend honoring Prophet Muhammad's birthday.

Using the tour book I got for Christmas from my brother and sister in law, Jim and Janet, I found my way to and around a Roman Theatre.  Also  the Jordanian Museum of Popular Traditions.

I did  shopping and ate sweets at Habibah which according to the tour book  is the best patisserie in Ammon.

Praise God with me that I got to learn about Ammon, Jordan.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Arrival and Adjustments


Boats, train, plane and 23 hours to arrive at 6:20 PM in Ammn.

Gift of Grace

God had arranged that I meet Holly last summer at Traverse Bay UMC.  She lives and works in Ammon.  She and an English Arabic speaking friend, Haloup, met me at the airport, helped me obtain a phone and delivered me to the hotel.

A Tourist

My first day to be a tourist was blessed with Holly and Haloup' s company and transportation.

We visited Mount Nebo viewing the Promised Land from where it is believed Moses stood.
 (Photo pending finding a cable for camera connection to new laptop, sorry).

In Madaba, at St Georges church we saw mosaic map of the Holy Land.  It was laid between 542 and 570 in a Byzantine church that stood on the same site.  Over 2,000,000 pieces were in the original.  Amazing mapping for that era.
(Photo pending)

There were many beautiful mosaics which I am sure were acts of worship by their creators.
(Photo pending)

The last place we visited was the site where it is believed that Jesus was baptized.
There is a beautiful church built by the site.

It was my opportunity to consider the Christian's concept of God.

God the Son being baptised, God the Holy Spirit coming in the form of a dove, and God the Father's voice  saying,
This is my Son, whom I love;with him I am well pleased."  Matthew

To the right shows how this area probably looked in Jesus' time.

As I stood with pilgrims from Jordan at the Jordan side of the Jordan River, straight across the river were Israeli pilgrims.   We were all there to honor Jesus.

My hope is we will all honor Jesus by doing what he taught, "Love One Another."