Jordan is a wonderful country to explore. I love it because of the friendly people and the many biblical sites. Since we had already explored the south and middle of Jordan, we spent two days in the northern area. While our daughter Emily was in a Jordanian school with her friends, Janet and I took off with cameras, maps, and books.

Our first stop with the River Jabbok where Jacob wrestled with the angel (Gen 32). I was going to get a bottle of water from the river for my “water collection” but it was full of sewage and smelled too bad. Rats! On my shelves at home I have water from many biblical sites but this water was just too nasty. Next we went to the site of Elijah’s birth – Tishbe, which we found by asking many of the locals. It is a small hilltop in ancient Gilead and there archaeologists have discovered the remains of a huge church which was in honor of Elijah. And down below is the Brook Cherith where Elijah hid out and was fed by ravens. And it was on the Jordan side of the Jordan River that Elijah was assumed into heaven in a whirlwind. Today it is called the Hill of Elijah.

Catholic schools in Jordan? Yup, my friend Fr. Imad Twal runs a school with over 800 kids and we had a great time there helping them make Easter eggs and talking with all the kids. We were besieged by excited kids asking questions and shouting greetings.

There is more to tell than I can possibly relay, but it is safe, exciting, and very friendly. And, what is the most enjoyable thing in the world? Discovering all this wonderful history of the Bible. More later about our crossing into Israel and the bomb scare.

Steve Ray  4/8/04