Monday, May 15, 2006

Fortress Gate # 2

We had a good day on Sunday. After joining a local congregation for their Sunday morning worship we set off for Tripoli, a city in the north of Lebanon. We did the tourist thing; stopping in Juneh to ride the cable car to the top of the mountain to see the statue of the Virgin Mary. The view from the top was breathtaking. A bonus was a few Cedars around the statue. There are relatively few of them left and they only grow at high elevations. The way down was problematic because the line was so long to get on the cable car.

Because of the time, we scrapped our other plans and went directly to Tripoli. We toured an old castle and prayed over the city of Tripoli. Then we went down to the market. We were so late that most of the shops were closed. However, there was one soap shop open. Triopli is very proud that soap was first imported to Europe from Triopli and families have been the soap making business for generations. We had a delightful visit with a brother and sister at the one shop we found open. We realized that if we had carried out our time table we would not had the quality visit that we had.

Our real purpose in going to Tripoli was to visit the two Palestinian camps. Our driver said an Emphatic "NO" when we asked him to go there, but in the end agreed to drive us through El Baddawi, the smaller of the two camps. One interesting thing we noted: At the entrance to the camp there is a huge monument with the word "ALLAH". Our prayer is that it would truely be a place where God is honored.

We finally got home after 9 PM. Exhausted!

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