Father Rafic reports on the trip that took place on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

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On Saturday, May 6, the Jerusalem kehilla set off, together with the children from the Saint Rachel Center and their families, for a trip in the area of the Judean Desert. The two destinations were the site of Qumran and Ein Prat. We had asked the Society for the Protection of Nature and Parks to send us a guide, who would know how to adapt her explanations to the children and guide them in these places. WE left at 9.15 and we reached Qumran at about 10.00. After a short movie, we walked around Qumran and the guide accompanied us with her explanations in the form of a game, whose goal was to help the children concentrate on the subject. At 12.00, we set off in the direction of Ein Prat (Ein Fara’), one of the three springs that have their origin in Wadi Qelt (which runs between Jerusalem and Jericho). The way to Ein Prat became narrow and twisting towards the end, in the cleft of the mountain, however we were privileged to have a wonderful bus driver, who overcame this with a smile and a good spirit… When we arrived, the children jumped into the water in order to catch a few unlucky fish, who were making their way through the stream. Meanwhile, the adults prepared the table and with difficulty, we were able to get the children out of the water so that we could have our meal. After the meal, quite a lot of the the adults joined the children and went into the pool of water. We all played together and had great fun.

At the end of the trip, when we returned to the kehilla, those that so desired remained in order to celebrate mass and thank God for the beautiful day that we had had. In this mass, we read readings that were connected to the places in which we had walked: Jeremiah 13 (where Jeremiah, who was from Anatot, was commanded to bury his belt) and Mark 1 (about the John the Baptist, who lived in the Judean Desert and called on the people of Israel to repent and prepare for the coming of the Messiah).