Journey to the Holy Land- Part 1: In the Wilderness

Post written by Mary McRae Fowler

In February of 2019, my husband Joseph and I had the incredible opportunity to take a group from our church in Baton Rouge to the Promised Land. As a minister’s wife and a Bible teacher, I have looked forward to going to Israel for years, and I am so thankful that I did! I now read the Bible in a completely different way, and understand it so much better!

Obviously, we saw A LOT while we were there- way too much for just one blog post, so I am going to have to separate this adventure into many different posts. For post number one, I am going to take you into Jordan, where the Israelites spent forty years wandering around, waiting to enter the Holy Land. We flew into Amman, and spent one full day in Jordan before heading across the border into Israel.

Our first encounter with Jordan was seeing the beautiful Dead Sea! This picture is actually from later in the trip, when we swam in it from the Israel side. The first day we were in Jordan we had a beautiful view of the sunset over the Dead Sea.

One our first full day, we woke up early to head to Petra!

Joseph and his family with “Moses’s Rock”

On the way, we stopped at the site where it is believed to be the first place where Moses struck the rock to bring forth water. This is the time that God commanded him to do it, so he did it out of obedience. It is believed to be here because the Israelites were wandering around southern Jordan, which is where Petra is, and this is the only spring flowing from a rock.

Obviously, Joseph had to drink from the completely unfiltered spring.

After that, we headed to see one of the Wonders of the World, Petra! (A huge bucket list item for me)

The most well-known Petra building- known as “the treasury”.
Also, the camels. I LOVE THE CAMELS!

Is anyone else singing the Indian Jones theme song in your head as you read this? I sure am! If you don’t understand why, go watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade because you have obviously missed out on one of the greatest action movies of all time.

No, we could not walk in- Indiana Jones destroyed it, duh!!! (Haha just kidding, but in reality, no, it is unsafe to walk into a building built into rock that is thousands of years old)

The walkway leading to the city of Petra. I can’t tell you how many times I almost got hit by a horse and buggy

Petra was a city that was built into rocks. We walked about a mile and a half to get to the actual city through huge walkways that had been carved into the rock. It was amazing!

I had done research before and knew that there was some way to get up to a beautiful viewpoint of the treasury from above. So we, along with my sister-in law and her husband, paid a few bucks to some Jordanian people and they “guided” us there (more like ran off and let us find our own way). But the view was so worth it!

The people of Petra spent 25 years carving this one building. Isn’t that amazing??

However, Petra is not just that one building- there is a whole city behind it, and lots of other buildings like this carved into caves! So we walked around to see the rest of the city, which was much bigger than I imagined it would have been.

See all those holes in the rock? Those are caves that people would have lived in.

After a long day, we drove the three hours back to Amman and got ready to head into Israel the next day.

On our way to Israel, we stopped by Mt. Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land. However, if you remember the story, he was not allowed to enter. Prior to going on top of Mt. Nebo, Moses got angry and struck a rock to bring out water again, but this time it was not out of obedience. So, God took him up to Mt. Nebo so he could see the Promised Land, but he also died and was buried somewhere around there, where no one will ever find it.

We went to Mt. Nebo and saw the same view that Moses did, right before we entered it. Wow, what an awesome feeling! I can only imagine how wonderful it would have been after spending forty years wandering around Jordan.

See the green side beyond all the desert? That is the Jordan River, and Israel. It really does look like a land flowing with milk and honey!
“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
Getting ready to cross into the Promised Land!

Jordan was a cool place, and I loved being there, but crossing into Israel was a feeling I will never forget!

Stay tuned for a later post about Israel!

Interested in joining us on a trip to the Holy Land? Email me for more information, and once we begin planning another trip I will contact you!

In October 2020, we will be going on a “Journeys of Paul” trip to Greece to discover the places that Paul journeyed to and wrote to. Email me at if you are interested in coming with us!

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