Today is Day 3 of our Holy Land pilgrimage. It was a day when we explored ancient history in the cities of Zippori and Akko.
Zipoori started as an ancient city located four miles away from Nazareth. It was the administrative and intellectual capital of Galilee and now features excavated beautiful mosaics and an elaborate ancient reservoir. While known primarily as a Jewish city, it became the seat of a Christian bishopric in the 5th century CE. Also known as Sepphoris, Zippori is a multitude of exciting archaeological sites. It was originally rebuilt by Herod Antipas and it is possible that Joseph brought Jesus here to work as a handyman for carpentry and stonemasonry projects. We also saw an ancient 1st century synagogue that Jesus may have frequented. The synagogue is striking in that human and animal figures are depicted in excavated mosaics, which is unusual for an ancient Jewish synagogue. The other unusual aspect is that the entrance faces west, where most synagogues are built to face Jerusalem, which is south from the site.
In the afternoon, we visited the Mediterranean Sea port city of Akko located on the northern side of Haifa Bay. We visited a compound that served as the capital city during the Crusades and walked the Templar Tunnel and Knight’s Hall where pilgrims were housed and tortured almost 1000 years ago.
However, the highlight of the day came when we were introduced to another of our children who receive scholarship money from St. George’s. Sausan Abu-Sinni is a beautiful, 8th grade girl at St. Joseph School in Nazareth. Sausan has three brothers, 2 older, and one younger and told us that her favorite subject is mathematics and that she aspires to be a lawyer. She plays basketball and watches the NBA on the internet. Today’s picture with this blog post is Sausan with Rev. Sarah Kerr and Linda Crane of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville.
We are blessed on this trip to learn more about the children who receive scholarship money from St. George’s. We want them to know that we are not just sending money to them, but that they are children of God and precious in His eyes. We want them to know that we believe in them, want to know more about them and their families, and want to be friends. We want to help them get an education so that they in turn can help their families.
We were blessed by meeting Sausan today.
Blessings, my friend,