And we were off to the West Bank, leaving the serenity of the Pilgerhaus in Tabgha for a very bumpy ride to Nablus. Some of us a bit green around the lips, we arrived at a Greek Othodox church built over the site of Jacob’s well. The story of the Samaritan woman who asks Jesus for living water is set at this location. It’s a tiny well in the lower level of a beautiful church. An ancient iconographer presented his work in the small space.
Mass was being celebrated in the church above us, so our visit was accompanied by glorious chant by the priest and congregation.
Then we went to St Luke’s Hospital, a charity hospital that is a ministry of the Diocese of Jerusalem. Thanks to our United Thank Offering gifts at work, this very underfunded hospital has a comparatively modern labor and delivery wing. But imagine running a hospital that has no working autoclave! They have three old broken ones, so must send their medical implements to one of the other local hospitals for sterilization. We were amazed to hear of all the good they do with very limited resources.
We also went to the baptismal site of Jesus, where we renewed baptismal vows. Then drove on to Jericho for a late lunch. Finally, we drove through Jerusalem to get to Bethlehem where we’re stating for two nights.
A couple of our folks had a little fun fooling around at our rest stop. (The tank has been painted since my last visit.)