Pilgrimage to the holy land Jim and Marlisa Bannister
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
and Biblical Jordan
January 6 – 18, 2014
Jim and Marlisa Bannister
We spent much of our day today touring
Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, and the
Church of the Annunciation, which is built over the
place where Mary received the good news from the
Angel Gabriel. After lunch we visited Cana, the
place where Jesus performed the first Miracle by
turning water into wine at a wedding celebration.
Marlisa and I renewed our wedding vows in the
church there. See attached photo.
Lots of other wonderful experiences, too numerous to
Image of the Mary's house grotto beneath the Church of the
Annunciation in Nazareth.
This is the place where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and
told her the good news about the birth of a son to be called Jesus.
We also visited the church in Cana where Jesus performed the First
Miracle by changing water into wine at a wedding, renewed our
wedding vows there and walked in a beautiful wilderness where
Joseph and Jesus traveled about 45 minutes each way on foot to a
nearby large city when Jesus was a young man.
Our hotel in Tiberius is right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
More great, life changing experiences coming in the days ahead.
Very full day of sightseeing yesterday (January 9) including
many places where Jesus performed miracles in Galilee.
At one point, we were less than 10 yards from the border
of Lebanon, which is heavily patrolled and mined 😌
Off to Jordan this morning (January 10).
We visited the location on the bank of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus made his
resurrection appearance, multiplied the catch and then ate fish with his disciples (see
John 21). he arose from the dead.
In the distance is the temple atop Mount Tabor, which is the place where many
Biblical scholars believe Jesus ascended into Heaven in the presence of three of his
Lots of touring in Jordan today after a somewhat unnerving border crossing from Israel. Lots of Uzi sub-machine guns and
passport control at the Jordanian checkpoint!
We are now at the beautiful Marriott Jordan Valley on the Dead Sea . . . at 1200 ft
below sea level (the lowest spot on the earth's surface).
We were at the River Jordan today and renewed our
Baptismal vows. Christian pilgrims being Baptized in the River
Jordan on the Israeli side of the river only 40 yards from us on
the Jordanian side. You can see the Israeli flag flying. We
had several Jordanian soldiers with semi-automatic weapons
on our side (just in case some Jewish SEALS tried to swim
Photo of us at the Dead Sea near sundown today. Jerusalem is directly across the
Sea behind us. A beautiful sight. Jim floated on his back earlier. You cannot swim or
sink. The water is 37% saline.
Marlisa in her new
We bought this at
Petra, Jordan during our
visit yesterday to the
amazing Nabatean city
dating to about 300 BC.
The Treasury building there
was the location of a
major scene in the Indiana
Jones/Lost Ark movie.
We are back in Israel (West Bank) today.
Great outdoor lunch in the Palestinian Zone of Jericho, the oldest, continuously
occupied city in the world (over 10,000 years old) and, at 1,300 feet below sea level,
the lowest city on earth.
We saw the sycamore tree where Jesus told Zaccheas to come down and are
currently en route to the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus was tempted by the
We highly recommend a Holy Land trip for everyone😌
Holy City of Jerusalem as viewed from the Mount of Olives at dusk this evening
Elisha Spring in Jericho.
I hope you can enlarge enough to read the writing on the wall.
We are en route to Bethlehem this morning. It is only 7 miles
from our hotel in Jerusalem. Highlights of what we saw today in
Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Film at 11:00😌 :
1. Church of St John the Baptist, birthplace of John. Great
painting over the tomb showing Mary holding the newborn
2. Mary's Spring. Used by Mary to fetch water when staying with
Elizabeth and Zecharia for 3 months prior to John's birth.
3. Church of Visitation at the site where Mary came to stay with
and help Elizabeth prior to childbirth.
4. Shepherd's Field in Bethlehem where the Angels appeared to
the shepherds and told them of the birth of Christ. From this site
we could look across in the distance and see the Church of the
Nativity which is the site of Jesus' birth. We go there next. Wow!
5. Church of the Nativity. Incredible! Too much and too spiritual
to describe. I will just say that we kneeled at and touched the
star marking the spot where Jesus was born😌 Enough said!
Jerusalem Jim and Manger Square Marlisa
Simply put, this star in
the floor of a grotto
beneath the Church
of the Nativity in
Bethlehem marks the
spot where Jesus was
born over 2,000 years
Touching this place
was the most spiritual
experience of our
We hope you can
feel this with us.
Jim & Marlisa
Yours truly in front
of giant Christmas
tree at Manger