En Gedi to Qumran to a Dead sea beach
Today we hiked quite a bit and most of it was strenuous (some of our group couldn’t do it), so I loved it. We started off at En Gedi, an oasis in the wilderness near the Dead Sea and the place where David cut off Saul’s robe corner. It is a beautiful spot with little waterfalls and pools to wade in and it’s in the middle of the desert. The idea of Living Water is well illustrated here. Views from the top of the mountain were stunning.
From there we went to Qumran, site of the dead sea scrolls discovery. We talked about the Essenes and how they lived and what they did to preserve the Text. Another hike took us to a mountain height that looked down on a large wadi – dry river bed.
After that was a public beach access to the Dead Sea and we all took a dip and rubbed ourselves with Dead Sea mud. Supposed to be restorative and good for the skin. I thought it was pretty nasty. The water is so salty it affects water density and you float really easily. Just don’t put your face in it.
Our evening meal was at Abu Ali’s house – our driver that has accepted John as a brother. They are Muslim and John wants to continue to get to know him and show him the love of Christ. Like most Eastern culture, hospitality is way more important than what we know. They gave us a couple of salads, a huge main dish of rice, potatoes, cauliflower and chicken, yogurt from their goats, watermelon, two desserts, mint tea and coffee. It was fantastic and we all ate till we were stuffed. The family (there are 11 kids plus daughters-in-law and their kids) didn’t eat at all except for Abu Ali. They just served. Took about 3 hours and was a real treat.
Tomorrow we’re off to the Galilee.