|Our group at the Nymphaeum, or fountain complex, in Jerash|
In harmony with our concept of having this be a "pilgrimage," not just a tour, our local guide Roberto let us start our bus trip with a devotional. I shared some thoughts about Father Abraham, an important figure in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Called from his home in Ur, he came to the Holy Land in response to God's call, and here made covenants, came to know the Lord, and be called "the Friend of God." I shared my prayer that our time in this Land on both sides of the river the next two weeks would help us deepen our own relationship with the Lord. We then sang "Come, Ye Children of the Lord."
|The countryside of Gilead.|
|The River Jabbok from an earlier visit on June 27, 2012. In a site like this Jacob wrestled with an angel and saw the face of God.|
|The honorific Gate of Hadrian (Roman emperor, A.D. 76–138) leading to the entrance of Jerash.|
|Ian Christensen and Rachel in the stands of the hippodrome|
One then entered the city proper and emerged through the actual gateway into a massive oval forum, or open square, that was surrounded by columns. On a hill to one side are the remains of a temple to Zeus and a Roman theater.
|Rachel and I with our neighbors and friends, Ruby and Bill Beaston|
|The oval forum|
|Steps leading up to the Zeus temple with the theater in the upper right|
|The proscenium of the theater|
|A legacy of the British period are drum and pipe bands!|
Like many other Roman cities of the time, Jerash was laid out in a grid pattern around a cardo (Main Street) and decumanus (Center Street). These main roads were colonnaded on both sides. Remains of temples and later Byzantine churches fill the hills above these streets. While not directly connected with the Bible or the ministry of Jesus, it is a fantastic site to visit!
|With Tim Wright and the Beastons|
|One of several Byzantine churches|
|A view of the area still to be excavated|
|The cella, or inner chamber, of the Artemis temple|
|Colonnaded Cardo, or Main Street, of Jerash|
We stopped for a quick view of Shobak Castle, a Crusade stronghold in the south of Jordan, before visiting a Nabatean site called "Little Petra," which was a warm up for our visit to the more famous Petra tomorrow. As we were driving from there to Wadi Mousa, where we are staying tonight, we drove through the small Beduin town of Umm Sayhoum, where Rachel lived last year while she was doing her archaeological dig in Petra. That made her pretty excited!
|Mary Fletcher trying her hand at making pita|
|Montreal, or Shobak, Castle|
|Gayle Tingey with a Beduin woman demonstrating traditional spinning|