http://youtu.be/BanKfBS64DA. It was informative and helped us understand a bit of the context of where we are and of the state of Christianity here.
A true gift to me this trip is the amount of praying and reflecting we are each called to do. Scripture is read in each place we visit, context is given, and we are given time to "be" in that place.
We then walked along a path up to the ampitheater. There were local school children who were there on a field trip -- they were on some kind of writing assignment, but it didn't stop them from trying to perform on the stage! I didn't take a picture of them as it didn't seem right to me at the time to intrude on their fun!
We then got back into the bus and headed to lunch. As usual, we began with "mezzes" -- hummus, babaganoush, salads, pita, and then were served an aromatic rice dish along with lamb kebabs and grilled chicken. Pastries and Turkish coffee were served afterwards.
We headed back to the guest house and prepared to eat dinner. After dinner, we prayed and talked together about our experiences that day. We have broken up into small groups for more concentrated talk and sharing, which is greatly beneficial.
Today we talked and learned and prayed a great deal about Mary, Joseph and Jesus, but especially about Mary. She said YES to God -- profoundly courageous. We started looking at where we need to be profundly courageous in our own lives. This day has given me much to pray about and ponder . . .
I leave you with some of the pictures of this day -- I will try to annotate where they are:
Orthodox Church/Mary's well:
Church built over the synagogue:
Church of the Annunication: