As you will know from a previous report, we booked a 'trip of a lifetime' with New Creation Church to visit the Holy Land during Easter/Passover 2010. This is the first in a series of reports from our trip.
Monday 29th March - Qatar.
We flew Singapore - Qatar - Amman with Qatar airways and, as there was a 6 hour stopover in Qatar, the travel company, Omega Tours, arranged a city tour in Qatar. This included the camel market, fruit and vegetable market, the Asian Games stadium, the Royal Equestrian Centre and one of the souk/central market areas. Whilst this excursion brought back memories of working in Kuwait for me, it was Shanhong's first visit to the Middle East and so very new for her.
We left Singapore around 2.00am, so on arrival in Jordan, it was a case of having a good shower, change, evening meal, and heading to bed! In case anyone is really interested, our first night was spent at the Ramada Hotel and Suites in Amman.
Tuesday 30th March - Jordan - Mount Nebo and Petra.
Tuesday saw a change to the original plan - one of many that occurred throughout the trip! So, rather than the advertised Bethany, we went to Mount Nebo, where, according to the Bible (Deut. 32:49), Moses was given a view of the promised land. Certainly we could see a long way - over the Jordan River, including parts of the Dead Sea. We also saw the 'brazen serpent' raised up for the tribes of Israel, so whoever looked at the serpent would live. Whilst on the top of the mountain we had a time of Praise and Worship led by Bob and Kathy Fitts, and some sharing from the Bible led by Pastor Daniel of New Creation Church.
Thus the trip had truly begun. Like the Israelites of old, we had looked over the Holy Land, given praise to our God, and were looking forward to entering and exploring the land together. There were 78 of us in total, split across two buses ('Grace' and 'Favour') - mostly from our own Church (but as the church has approximately 22,000 attending the English services, we knew nobody), but also from other churches in Singapore, Australia and even Hawaii!
After lunch we headed to Petra, a spectacular ancient city nestled away in mountains south of the Dead Sea and made famous as the 'rose-red city' for the stone structures carved into the rock. This was also the set for the hiding place of the Holy Grail in the movie 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"! The following are just some of the photos taken in this amazing city.