On Wednesday evening the whole group made their way to the Ophel Gardens, the steps leading up to the Temple, for Worship and an official greeting from the Minister of Tourism. We had an excellent teaching about the steps themselves. They are the original steps of the Second Temple Period (boy I hope I am remembering this correctly) and it is believed that Jesus himself walked up them (at least the bottom ones, they may have been added to near the top) and into the temple, and that Peter preached from them at Pentecost, and very likely Paul spent time there as well. In other words, we gathered at the place the church was born at Pentecost. They are situated right above the ancient City of David and from them you can see the Mount of Olives and the hills of Judea.
That particular day we (Matt and I) had meant to go with the whole group to see the Holy Sepulcher and the Via Delarosa but we ended up in some horrible film like series of ridiculousness whereby we repeatedly missed each other over the course of a whole hour, and then we recriminated each other loudly and unpleasantly in front of Gadget Vicar and Ashley Noll (have I already posted on this?). We were forced to sit and have coffee/tea until the second bus. Turns out it would been been too exhausting for us to go with the whole group. God knows what we need most of all.
Hot Tired GAFCON Baby
Archbishop Akinola and the Israeli Minister of Tourism greeting each other. The assembled primates were all given a bible and certificates of pilgrimage. We all received certificates later.
A Mikveh (sp?) ceremonial cleansing bath. Several hundred have been excavated right there in the shadow of the temple but it is believed that at the time of Jesus more than 1000 were in use at that particular sight. After Peter preached at Pentecost and 3000 came to faith they were probably baptized in all the baths right there.
Young Muslim boy looking down from the Dome of the Rock while we all worship Jesus loudly and longly.
One thousand two hundred GAFCON pilgrims trying to organize into Provincial Groups for Pictures in less that 20 minutes against the backdrop of the temple.
View towards the Mount of Olives. Looks like a funeral is in progress.
Archbishop Akinola with serious Israeli security in tow.
The worship choir that led the singing all week.