Tuesday, March 17, 2009

O Little Town of.....

Okay, I know I'm behind on showing you everything from Jordan, but today was such an awesome day! I'll catch up on Jordan after. So today we spent the whole day in Bethlehem, which isn't too far away but happens to be located in the West Bank, so it takes our teachers some preparation to get us there (don't fret, we were safe). Here are some fun highlights from the day:

We went to Bethlehem University and got to meet and talk with the students there. Since Bethlehem is in the West Bank (Palestinian territory), the students are 70% Muslim and 30% Christian. We had a panel of a few of the students and we got to ask them just about anything. It was SO interesting to be able to ask about their everyday lives, and how the conflict has affected them personally. It's definitely a different life than the one I have known.

One of my new friends

We also met up with our Islam professor, Dr. Musallam, who is from there, so he took us on a tour of his hometown. He is such a good man and I really respect him.

And of course, what would a city be without a falafel stand...?

The street vendor making my favorite food: Falafel!!

We went to the Church of the Nativity, which is believed to be the place where Christ was born. I guess with all the research on the area, it makes a lot of sense. It is the highest point in Bethlehem. That was really cool.

Me and Lex where the star on the floor indicates the very spot believed to be the birthplace of the Savior.

At the church, we learned something really cool. You know that verse in the New Testament when Christ says, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God"? (Matt. 19:24). I always thought that referred to an actual eye of a needle. Apparently, it refers to a type of door made in Jesus' time. It was a short, half-sized door big enough for people to get through but small enough that it would be easy enough to block up in case of an attack. I guess people would bring their camels through that door, but the camel would have to kneel down and scoot through as its owner coaxed it all the way through. So the Savior wasn't saying it's impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. He was saying that it is much more difficult and requires extra effort. Cool, yeah? I thought so too.

Us going through the door of the eye of the needle

At the end of the trip, we went out to Shepherds' Fields. There, in the vicinity of where it is believed that the angel came to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus Christ, we talked about the birth of the Savior and the people that each played a significant part in it. It was dark by this point, and a little cold. Brother Wilson pointed out that we're only about 2 weeks away from the actual time of year that the Savior was born, so this is probably what the weather was really like. It was quite the experience to sit there and imagine what had happened in that field or closeby, and the feelings that must have been felt there. It was the perfect way to end the day. The only problem is now I'm in the Christmas mood! Only....9 more months!


  1. Yay! A new post! I cannot believe all the amazing places you are posting about. It is making me jealous!

  2. Angie, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experiences! I have *loved* hearing the nifty tidbits that you've shared along with your testimony. And keep the pictures coming!

  3. Falafels! I tried them when I was in Europe (thanks to Kelly, who fell in love with them in Jerusalem). Love hearing about it all!


  4. Wow, not many people can say they have been able to stand in the spot where Jesus was born. It's amazing.
    By the way, you are looking so pretty these days. I need you to infuse some of that prettiness into my post baby frumpiness.
    Love you sis!

  5. The Shepherd's field was one of my very favorite spots! I miss it so much. I'm glad you're having a good time.