Msasani NLC Fellowship Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
A group of 19 pilgrims from Tanzania led by Mr Geoffrey Shoo travelled in August for a 12 day tour of Egypt and the Holy Land.
The group began their tour in Cairo visiting the Pyramids of Giza – one of the standing seven wonders of the world and the Sphinx. They also visited the Old section of Cairo to see a Jewish synagogue, the hanging church of AL MUALLAQA as well as other sites. In the evening the group enjoyed a dinner cruise on the Nile River.
Departing from Cairo the next day, the group travelled through the Suez Canal to St Catherine where they experienced an early morning climb up Mt. Sinai where the Ten Commandments were revealed to Moses and saw other sites in the area before continuing to the Taba border to cross into Israel.
After an overnight at a Kibbutz in the Negev the group began their tour of Israel with a float in the Dead Sea before continuing on to Masada, the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and Jericho with the Mt. of Temptation.
The next few days were spent touring the sites of Jerusalem which included a majestic view from the Mount of Olives over all of ancient and modern Jerusalem. Visit the Chapel of the Ascension, the Pater Noster where Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. The Church of Dominius Flevit – where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. The group walked down the “Palm Sunday Road” to the Garden of Gethsemane, Mt. Zion and visit the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu (Palace of Caiaphas). The upper room where Jesus had his last supper with the disciples and where the holy spirit descended on them and they started speaking in tongues and the Dormition Abbey where there is a great sculpture of the Virgin Mary which symbolizes and marks her eternal fall and being assumed into heaven. While in Jerusalem the group also visited Bethlehem the city of David, to visit the birth place of Jesus, marked by the church of Nativity and kneel at the place of birth of Christ in the Grotto of the Nativity.
The group enjoyed a walking Tour within the walls of the old city of Jerusalem, viewing the Temple area with the Dome of the Rock, the Mosque of El-Aqsa and visiting the Western Wall also known as the Wailing Wall which is considered the most sacred site by the Jewish people. Also included in this tour was the pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the man who had been crippled for 38 years, the church of St. Anne and walking along the Via Dolorosa (way of the cross) following the 14 Stations of the Cross from Pilate’s judgment hall to the empty Tomb in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. Finally they visited the Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Golgotha.
Departing north driving through the Jordan Valley they travelled to Nazareth to the Basilica of the Annunciation and the church of St. Joseph. Continuing from there to Cana where Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast the group then went to a Kibbutz for an agricultural tour to see the high technology used used in agricultural activities, visiting a dairy farm, Banana & Avocado Plantations, and learning about water irrigation systems and more. They ended their day at the Yardenit Baptismal site on the River Jordan. Other places visited in the region included Banias (Caesarea Philippi), Capernaum, the chapel of loaves and fishes at Tabgha as well as the nearby Mount of Beatitudes, the site of the Sermon on the Mount and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
On their final day the group visited the Church of the transfiguration on Mount Tabor before driving to Mt Carmel & Muhraka. They continued to Tel Aviv for dinner before proceeding to the airport for their flight home.