Bet Shean/Qumran, Israel – Ruined

by Funhog Family on April 8, 2014

O-Live in Ramot

We got up this morning to a chorus of birds, to have breakfast on the front patio with the caretaker’s enormous white lab at our feet and the sea of Galilee in front of us. We call moments like these when the ambiance is just right, “Moments with Jane”. Jane Phillips, a treasured family friend, is so great at setting up her environment for those perfect moments that when we get it right and the moment is priceless, it is a moment just like we would be spending if we were with Jane.





Bet Shean Crowds

The Overlook

BIG column









After our priceless all to quick moment was over, we got in the car for our torturously long drive south to Eilat. We choose two sites to visit enroute. The first was Bet Shean. It was at Bet Shean that the Philistines hung the bodies of Saul and Jonathan on the wall (I Samuel 31:10). We were intentional in arriving before the park opened. I parked in a totally empty parking lot to look around with a smile. Then the comedy began. As we were getting out of the car, fifteen buses pulled in. One on each side of me and another behind me, totally blocking me in. Then a bus driver got out of the bus and started yelling at me to move my car as I was in the completely unmarked bus section of the parking lot. I told him I would be happy to move, but I was blocked in. So, he kept yelling for me to move. I waited patiently until he decided to yell at the bus blocking me. I then had to drive in the wrong way to get to where we parked. We started walking in with the hundreds of others that got off the buses. After entering the park we went straight through it and up the hill to overlook the area. It was beautiful and we had incredible worship music to listen to as one of the large groups started having a concert in the amphitheater (turned out to be Max Lucado and Micheal W. Smith’s tour group). We walked through the whole area in about one and half hours, dodging tour groups.

Theater Time

Then we got in the car to go to Qumran. Qumran is the location shepherd boy discovered the dead sea scrolls. After finding them he tried to get a shoe maker to use them (made of leather) for a pair of shoes. The shoe maker alerted the authorities who went on to discover six jars of scrolls and 1000 artifacts of the sect that lived there. Some of the scrolls had the writings of Isiah on them. From Qumran we headed south for several more hours to Eilat. We did have on God experience en route. I was passing a semi that was turning and I looked back to see the car behind me getting ready to pass as well. What I was not able to see was the guy five or six cars behind him passing all of us at lighteningly fast speeds. I pulled out and he barely swerved by me. Then he started going really slow motioning for me to pull over and fight. I would not pass him, nor pull over so he got bored and tore off down the road passing numerous cars as he went. We thanked the Lord that He had protected both us and the other driver. We made it to Eilat and with Kendall’s invaluable help found our apartment right away.

Camel Crossing

Kendall’s take:
April 7th: Road 90 (People and Places)
Daddy woke me up at 6:00, both of us having had a good nights rest. In fact, that place was the best place we had slept at since the start of our trip. So, daddy left them a special note telling them how much we loved it there, and how much we wished we could stay longer. It was so nice outside that we ate breakfast in the open-air. The check-in lady had a big dog and he came up and let me pet him. We have seen lots of pregnant cats here. Also ones just resting, running around, and sleeping. We finished packing and got in the car. Then we started our love drive on road 90. (I say long drive because road 90 starts at the tip top of Israel, and ends at the very bottom. So we are going to be on it all the way to Eilat. Now daddy doesn’t need help with maps so I wish we had a story! I mean audio drama. We drove and drove and drove. Then we found ourselves driving behind a chicken truck. It had six layers of tightly packed alive chickens. Well, finally daddy passed the chicken truck and then we arrived at Bet Shean.

We got to Bet Shean 15 or so minutes earlier than it opened. We were the only ones there. THE ONLY ONES! We got out of our car to see tour bus after tour bus come into the parking lot so fast, the first ones had no time to park. So all the buses open their doors and all the people came out. By the time we were able to leave the parking lot from having to repark the care (the buses ordered us to move so they could park where we had been; 15 to 20 tour buses had parked their buses and started their tour. 7 minutes after the park opened, we were two in a thousand plus people entering the park. Before we came to Israel, we visited with an old friend and his wife (Mr. Bob and Mrs. Donna Stewart) who had visited Israel before and knew of some good places to see. They recommended Bet Shean as the best ruins in Israel. They also said that they did not get to see the stuff on top of a certain hill because they did not have anymore time, so they wanted us to go see it and tell them about it. Well, since there were so many people, we hurried to the hill first, hoping that when we came down again the tours would be more spread out and not just this huge mass of people. I hurried up the stairs with daddy following at a “much slower” rate. I stopped and sat down at the top, all out of breath. Daddy came up and did a video and took pictures as we admired the awesome view. If you ever go to Bet Shean, go walk up that hill. The view is just breathtaking and can’t be described. Then we walked around to find out what was up here worth seeing. We saw an old synagogue, a fortress destroyed 5 years or so after Solomon’s death that he and David maybe lived in. Daddy pressed a button and it told us that when Saul and Jonathan were killed by the Philistines, this was the place the Philistines hung their bodies on the wall. Then we saw the old house of an Egyptian Governor that had lived there. Then, after seeing all that, we went down and the groups having spread out a bit more, we were able to finish our explore without to much interruption. (When we were on the hill, we looked into the parking lot and saw lots more buses that couldn’t park, drop off the tour, and park somewhere else). We left the park having spent 1 1/2 hours there. Then we continued our drive down to Eilat for the night. Our next stop was in Qumran (where the dead see scrolls were found). We watched a video about it and then went on a little explore of the place. Then we drove past the Dead Sea and saw them harvesting the salt into different things good for you. We passed Mt Sodom and stopped to find Lot’s wife (though we found it was not really her). The mountain was full of salt deposits though. When we were on the road again, we realized we did not have the little orange camera. I remembered all I could about it and we prayed but we could not find it. Daddy thinks we left it at Lot’s wife’s turnoff. I hope we can find it; but we have not searched throughly in the car yet, so I hope it’s in the car. I wish it was safe in my hand. We drove into Eilat and found our apartment. We arrived an hour earlier than we had told them we would come, so we sat down in the car and wrote our journals. After 50 minutes a lady came out to daddy and said, “The office is open.” So he went in and I stayed outside and waited for him. When he came back, we took everything in and then went for a walk by the beach. I found some very cool rocks and I thought it was just so cool that I was walking by the Red Sea. The sea Moses parted and the people crossed over on dry land. I tried to imagine what it would be like to have been there when it happened. When we finished our “rock walk” we went to the grocery store and bought some dinner. It was so funny too. All the names of the foods were in Hebrew, so we had to guess at what was what. Well, since we were buying things without a problem, everyone started to think we could read Hebrew! Well, we went back to the apartment, ate sandwiches, and did our home work. I got snuggled up very tiredly, at 9:13ish. Daddy still had more to do. Good-night!


Katherine Johnson April 8, 2014 at 11:12 am

Hi Friends,
We are praying for you. Hope you are having fun with your Daddy, Kendall. We miss you at church.
My favorite verse is
PSALM 37:4
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Have fun friends.
Love Katherine.

Funhog Family April 14, 2014 at 9:16 am

Dear Kathrine,
Thank you for your prayers!! They bless Daddy and I!Thank you for the bible verse! It is so fun to experience the bible come alive! Even though I’ve been having an awesome time, I miss being home. Please thank your Mother for her awesome letter and gift! It will be nice to use for the plane ride home.I love you and your sweet family!!!
In Jesus,

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