On Wednesday the 26th of March, during the Lenten season, we took the women to Jericho, for a spiritual recharge, education, and entertainment.
Upon their request to continue the yearly ritual, we organized a spiritual trip for them to go to Jericho because that was where Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting and meditating during the temptation by Satan, commemorated at the Mount of Temptation. We started at the Latin Church, where we heard the reflection from Fr. Mario Hadshiti, who spoke of the word of God in the season. It was about how fasting is a way of life, not only for the 40 days of Lent. The 51 participants listened, asked questions, and discussed with him; they said it was spiritually uplifting and that they enjoyed Fr. Mario’s way of teaching.They asked if we could organize more meetings with him in the future.
Afterwards, we all went to the Russian Museum that is on the Russian compound in Jericho, where they have old pictures and archeological remains from the Byzantine and Islamic eras.The women were able to have a tour around the museum and also the garden, as well as having a break and talking with one another.
For lunch we went to a restaurant and all of us shared a Lenten meal of maqlubeh and had the chance to rest, catch up, and reflect about what we heard and saw earlier that day.
After a good meal and relaxing, we had free time during which women went to the YWCA center,where they sell goods made by women of Jericho.It’s an organization that Sabeel encourages others to visit and support,and the women spent their time buying different pastries and herbs and spices. Some of them wanted to do more shopping so they went to the market.The women always ask to go to the YWCA store; it’s their favorite store to go to when they are in Jericho.
We all gathered across the street of the YWCA, so whoever was done with their shopping spree joined us and we enjoyed eating local Palestinian ice cream! All of them agreed that it was a great way to spend a day.