|Group picture at Gibeon|
From there we went to the Augusta Victoria Church, a Lutheran Church built by Kaiser Wilhem - one of three churches built by him in Jerusalem. This particular church was really beautiful. The basilica was incredibly ornate, and there were beautiful paintings all around. There were great acoustics in there, and we sang some of the more Lutheran hymns in the hymnbook, including A Mighty Fortress is our God.
|Augusta Victoria Church|
We then went to a variety of other cool sites around Jerusalem, but my favorite was easily the Greek Orthodox Monastery. From that site, we could look out over Bethlehem. We then read some scriptures and sang Christmas carols. We got to the third verse of Angels We Have Heard on High - a song I've sung for years, and one I sung extensively while in Teen Tones - and I had a surreal experience. The third verse starts out, "Come to Bethlehem and see..." and all I could think was, "I did! I'm here! I came to Bethlehem!" That line made it sink in just a little bit more that I am, in fact, in Jerusalem. I know, obviously, that the song is referring to people at the time of Christ's birth. However, I felt like it still could apply to me today.
|Group pic with Bethlehem in the background|
Our first field trip was definitely a success. The combination of seeing sights, combined with reading the corresponding scriptures, and then singing hymns makes for a really powerful experience.
(All pictures taken from Dr. Hunstman's blog (so just copying a URL, not uploading and using bandwidth...), until I can get to Hebrew U to upload my own. Don't worry mom- I'm following all the rules. :)