Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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About 45 people gathered at Eden Community Church to go for a trip to Israel and Jordan, with no passports needed, no frame to walk through and no having to belt up on takeoff. We followed the footsteps of a group of 16 people who spent the whole of April exploring the land of the Bible under the leadership of Phillip Donnell and some local guides.

Phillip began the evening at 7pm with saying why he would want to visit Israel, the Holy Land. The Old Testament describes the history of the nation of Israel, and the New Testament gives the history of a special Man, Jesus Christ. God had to send the Man somewhere, and this Man who came into Israel is the focus of what is most central in our lives - our relationship with Jesus. The Holy Land is therefore our place of roots. Some described the Holy Land as the Fifth Gospel after the four Gospels in the New Testament - we can sense Godís presence in new ways as we visit the place.

Joy took us to the first three days there, visiting the Mount Of Olives, Jerusalem and Mt Zion. Paul shared some of his experiences, and David K showed some of his photos. Eileen took us to Hebron and Ruth showed us the village of Nazareth. Marian showed us some of the old churches including Church of the Beatitudes and Church of Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes.

We took a break for a yummy pot-luck dessert, a great time to catch up with on another. Katrina brought along a shofar (a traditional trumpet-style musical instrument) and we were able to have a go at it.
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Michelle took us to Jordan where the group had reaffirmed their baptisms, before we went to the Kings Highway, Petra and Jordan with Katrina. Barbara showed us the Tabernacle and the Dead Sea, and Linda shared about Masoda National Park. Barbara shared a little about the history of Jerusalem. Showing a panorama of Jerusalem from the Mount Of Olives, Phillip said that when Christ returns He will land on the Mount Of Olives and go into Jerusalem, with the Last Judgment to take place in the valley. Phillip quoted Psalm 24 Open up the ancient gates and let the King Of Glory enter. The return of Jesus Christ is the only real hope we have in our present lives.
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