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The Feast of Tabernacles in
Jerusalem
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The Feast of Tabernacles is one of three major feasts in the Bible, along with Easter and Pentecost.
The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem has, organized a special conference and festivities
on the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, for Christian people from all over the world.
  

On the Feast of Tabernacles, Christian people from the various nations can meet with each other, participate in the festivities and have a great opportunity to be a living testimony to the fact, that there are Christian individuals all over the world, that love their creator the God of Israel, believe firmly in the promises of God for Israel in the Bible and wish to be a blessing for the nation of Israel by their words and deeds.
Mr. Olafur Johannsson is representing the International Christian Embassy in Iceland. He has for many years, organized tours from Iceland, to participate in the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.
This year, the festivities took place in October from the 10. to the 18.
 

The International
Christian Embassy
in Jerusalem


 

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  The tour started with a flight on Thursday the 9. of October from  Keflavik to London, and then from London to Tel Aviv. We went from Ben-Gurion airport to Jerusalem, and arrived there in the early hours on the 10. of October.
 


View over Jerusalem to the south 
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On the Saturday, 11. of October we travelled to En Gedi near the Dead Sea, where the festivities started. In En Gedi more than 3. thousand people from more than 100 countries gathered together.  In En Gedi we had a light meal and participated in a spectacular program with worship and dancing.

                        From the festivities in En Gedi

 

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Ariel Sharon

The opening ceremony started at the conference center in Jerusalem on Sunday evening the 12. of October.
The Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Ariel Sharon honoured the gathering with his presence. He addressed the audience with warm words of welcome.
           
             The text of Mr. Sharon's speech.
Then the representatives from Iceland among other nations were called to the stage, and the Icelandic flag appeared on a screen

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The next day, we travelled around Jerusalem
and went to the Mt. of Olives.  

 Our group on the Mt. of Olives, Jerusalem in the background

We walked down to the garden of Gethsemane and were reminded of the agonizing time, that Jesus spent here. Then we drove to the Zion Gate and went into old Jerusalem. We toured the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and many other places.

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                           Waiting for the march to start

The annual Jerusalem March, started on the 14. of October, early in the afternoon. More than 17.000 people both Jews, Christians and Christian Arabs, accompanied by Christian visitors from more than 100 countries walked through the streets of Jerusalem. This day is unforgettable, to us all because thousands of  Jerusalem residents welcomed us on the streets.

 

   
 
 

The march has started

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We started the next day with a visit to the Hope School in Beit Jala,
that Christian Friends of Israel in Iceland have supported for many years.

Arabic students that are supported from Iceland
 

Then we went to Ein Kerem and visited a church, that was built to commemorate the birth of John the baptist.
When we went back to Jerusalem, we stopped by the statue of the menorah outside the Knesset.

The statue of the menorah

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The next day, we toured Southern Israel.
We went to the famous mountain fortress on Mt. Masada.

 
 

View from Mt. Masada to the Southern end of the Dead Sea

 


After this, everyone got a chance to
 lie on the Dead Sea, but there you can't sink.
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The next day, we had no schedule, but in the evening
we had dinner together at an Arabic restaurant
in the old city.

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    After a good night sleep, we woke up early and toured Northern Israel. We went to the city of Nasaret in the Galilee. In Nasaret we saw the beautiful church, that is built on the place, where the tradition tells us that the angel Gabriel visited Mary.
Then we went to the sea of Galilee and we went up to the hill of the multiplicaton of the fish and the loaves. After this, we went to Capernaum, where Jesus performed many of his most spectacular miracles.
     
   

Our group in the ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum

 
    Then we went to Eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee and arrived at a Kibbutz, called Ein Gev. There we had a meal and after the meal, we had an opportunity to sail on the Sea of Galilee for one hour.  
   
   

Starting to sail on the Sea of Galilee at Ein Gev

 
       
    After this, we went to the baptizmal place called Yardenit,
and two of the participants were baptized in the Jordan river.
 
     
                    Mr. Johannsson baptizing in the river Jordan
 
 
     
                        And baptizing again in the river Jordan  
    The next day, was used by the group to tour
Jerusalem and do some shopping.
 

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We used the day before our departure, to see garden called Gordon's Golgotha, but many people think that this is the place where Jesus was crucified.
In this garden we saw the emty tomb.  

We used the opportunity to reminisce the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ with a holy communion.

 

 

 

The tomb is empty!

 

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The participants used the last day in Jerusalem to tour different places in the city. Some had a look at the Dead Sea scrolls, others walked on Via Dolorosa etc.
In the evening we went early to bed, because everyone had to wake up at 3 o' clock, board the bus to Ben Gurion airport, and start the travel back to Iceland.