March 16, 2010

BIG Day!

Greetings from Galilee!

BIG day today! It was our last day in the desert, so we definitely made the most of it. We began the morning with a hike up to the top of Masada. A challenging hike for us all, it didn't get our hearts racing as much as Boaz's (our Israeli guide) account of the events that transpired there. After a brief tour and a pat on the back for making it up the Snake Path, we promptly hiked back down to the bus to head to Ein Ghedi. There we learned about David's retreat from and confrontation of Saul. We also spent some good time experiencing "living water." After we finshed our hike in Ein Ghedi, we made our way to the north end of the Salt Sea for lunch and then a tour of Qumran. There, we learned about the Essene community and their passion for the Text. We finished the site with a tough hike to the top of the mountains next to the ruins (1500 above the Salt Sea) and enjoyed a beautiful sunset. We then got on the bus and drove north to Galilee to stay the night. It was easily our biggest day of hiking so far - easily 8 miles today and everyone did great!

We now all have our bags (yay!) and it looks as though everyone is feeling and sleeping well. We are certainly wiped out after a long day of hiking and learning, but the lessons God taught our hearts today are resonating loudly tonight.

Here are some more pictures for you: 1. Group shot of those who made the hike to the top of Qumran. 2. The guys after a long and difficult hike to the top of Qumran 3. Kimberly taking notes while at Qumran 4. Matt teaching the group at Qumran 5. Hiking out of Ein Ghedi 6. Boaz teaching the group about Masada 7. Some of the Forge girls celebrating their ascent of Masada


  1. Way to go everyone- y'all did it!!! It's my joy to continuing praying for y'all. Came across these verses and have been praying it over y'all ever since! Can't wait to hear more BIG days and the God sightings y'all continue to encounter at every turn- He gives and He gives and He gives!- Suzanne

    8As we have heard, so have we seen
    In the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God;
    God will establish her forever. Selah.
    9We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God,
    In the midst of Your temple.
    10As is Your name, O God,
    So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
    Your right hand is full of righteousness.
    11Let Mount Zion be glad,
    Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
    Because of Your judgments.
    12Walk about Zion and go around her;
    Count her towers;
    13Consider her ramparts;
    Go through her palaces,
    That you may tell it to the next generation.
    14For such is God,
    Our God forever and ever;
    He will guide us until death. Psalm 48, the very words of God

  2. Matt and Darcie,
    We are praising God for your wonderful trip. We went to the butterfly exibit today with Heidi. Right now we are listening to Praise Baby with her. She has been so good, never crying, and sleeping great. We do not want to give her up tomorrow!
    Love, Deedee and Papa

  3. Thank you for taking the time to post updates and share pictures. We look forward to them every day. The pictures are amazing and we can't wait to hear every detail when you get back. We continue to pray for all of you every day. Love, Pat, Carol and Hunter Harding

  4. Wow, it WAS quite a day! Kudos to everyone! :D Hi to Loren!
    Vic and Suebee Ransom :D

  5. Looks like yall are having quite a trip. Please tell Patoya her entire family says HI. Brad and Donna

  6. Glad to hear that everything's going well. Love seeing the pics.

    Matt, want to let you know the news - we are having a GIRL! please let emily know... look forward to seeing you guys when you get back.

    Matt and Katie

  7. Not sure if I can get a message to the group but I will try:
    To Jake, It's Dad,
    Not sure if you will visit Mt. Carmel or not. ( One of the most beautiful places in all of Israel. )
    If you do, as you walk up the Mt., sing the Sh'ma in Hebrew. While you sing remember the story of Elijah (Yahweh is God). The Bible says, (Psalms 24:3-4), “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in HIS HOLY PLACE? He who has CLEAN HANDS and a PURE HEART, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.”
    May our God give you His eyes and His ears to do His will.

  8. Matt, thanks for the updates and pictures, it looks and sounds like you all are having a great time learning about the Holy land. What an awesome experience it is for the group. Praise God for the work and spiritual growth the Forge is providing to these young men and women. We're praying for the group each day. Tell Bryce we said hi!
    Love John, Nancy, and Ian.