Ecclesia with Breaking Bread Journeys: Nablus, Mount Gerizim

August 2, 2015. On our first official tour stop we made our way past the security checkpoint into the West Bank to visit Nablus. It is very rare for tourists to come to this area. We were certainly a spectacle, but were received with warm welcomes by all we encountered.

Our first visit was to Jacob’s Well at The Greek Orthodox St. Photini Church. How fitting that our first site is recognized as a significant location for Jewish, Samaritan, Christian, and Muslim traditions.

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We were able to draw from the actual well that Jacob dug by hand to a depth of 41 meters (135 ft). Pastor Chris Seay shared with us from the passage of John’s Gospel, Chapter 4 about the conversation of the Samaritan woman with Jesus.

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Next we visited a soap factory in Nablus run by Palestinians. The soap is made purely from olive oil and is cut by hand from large sheets poured onto the floor of the factory.

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Our tour of Nablus then took us through the market where were able to visit many shop owners who were kind enough to let us sample their fresh sweets, breads and snacks. Everyone was so friendly and embracing.

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Next we visited a Palestinian women’s volunteer center where women are trained in cooking and catering, and enjoyed a very generous, authentic Palestinian meal that was a true feast. We were able to hear from two local leaders their perspective on the region’s tensions.

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Some of my new friends from the group, a family traveling together…

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Next up, we visited a Samaritan museum on Mt. Gerizim. This Samaritan Priest explained to us much about the Samaritan faith and its deep history in the region. This is Chris with his daughter who is traveling with us, greeting the Samaritan priest…

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Next we were able to hear a Jewish perspective, from a winery owner on Mt. Gerizim who allowed us to sample his award-winning wines…

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And finally I was able to photograph a horse! One of my favorite animals…

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Then we drove on to Galilee where we’re basing out of for three nights… managed to a get a few shots along the way. The scenery is breathtaking.

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