Thursday 17 October 2013

Israel Houseparty part 5

The wall
The following day we had to leave behind Sahar because as an Israeli he is not permitted inside Palestine. We travelled on the coach to Bethlehem, and had to journey through the checkpoint to be able to enter the town.  The wall is quite shocking to see and we continue to pray for peace in the land.

Bethlehem Bible College
Once inside the wall we went to Bethlehem Bible College, the venue of our first performance of Rock.  We left Roger and Mary there to help with the organisation, and the rest of the part went to visit the shepherds field and the church of the Nativity.  It was a bit of a frustrating day away from Shoresh organisation, but it was lovely to experience the peace of the fields and to explore the caves.

In the chapel at the Shepherds' Field
We had a lovely time in the church at the Shepherds Field.  While inside the church we sang 'Bethlehem in the Land of Judah' from While Shepherds Watched (Annie led it and we all echoed).  There was a wonderful acoustic in there, and it sounded amazing!

Entering the Church of the Nativity
The church of the Nativity is an interesting place with a very small door - you have to bow down to go in.  Sadly, once inside we discovered a very long and incredibly slow-moving queue, and we simply did not have time to stay.

Rock sopranos and altos
After another falafel lunch we went back to Bethlehem Bible College for an afternoon worship seminar meant for the students of the college - but sadly it seemed to be mostly for our own benefit!  This seminar was followed by a thought-provoking lecture from Bishawa, the honorary principal of the college.  He shared about the plight of the Palestinian people.  It is interesting to contrast the thoughts he shared with what we have witnessed on both sides of the wall.

Some of the tenors and basses
After the seminar we had a wonderful dinner provided for us by the college - lasagne and salad, much to the delight of many of the houseparty guests!

The evening performance went really well.  Sadly there weren't a huge number in the audience.  Hopefully in future we will have a stronger connection with the people at this wonderful college.

The view from the shepherds' field

The outside of the chapel at the shepherds' field

Inside the Church of the Nativity

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