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Lady Flames' Israel Journal: Edition 1

May 31, 2010  Tiberias, Israel  RSS
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The sun rises over the Sea of Galilee.

The sun rises over the Sea of Galilee.

Photo Gallery

Below are the first two journal entries chronicling the Liberty women's basketball team's trip to Israel, through the players' eyes. Also, please be sure to check out the Photo Gallery link above for a selection of pictures from the Lady Flames' team bonding activities prior to departure and their first day in Israel.

PREPARATION
The past two weeks have been full of basketball and team bonding activities. We had 10 days of practice and six days of weight training to prepare for our trip. Each day, the team worked hard on the court to get prepared for Israel.

For team bonding, we all got together and did many different activities. We shot each other up playing paintball, went to the student center and climbed the rock wall and went bowling. We also had a movie night and saw "Letters to God," which was very inspiring.

One night, we went to the Barber's house (our Athletic Director's family) and had an AMAZING dinner, after which we hung out playing music, games and watching TV.

Our last team bonding activity took place at the Falwell farm. We got to swim in the lake and play on the jet ski and tube, which everyone LOVED. The Falwells also provided an amazing BBQ dinner with the best apple pie for dessert that I've ever tasted!

During the two weeks leading up to the trip, we also did a Bible study as a team. We went through the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Every day, we discussed a chapter and then watched the corresponding video.

With all of the activities and time we spent together, the team definitely grew closer while preparing for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. I'm so excited to see what the Lord has in store for our team. We are all so thankful for this opportunity that Coach Green has given us to go to ISRAEL!
~Kittery Maine


TRAVEL DAY/DAY 2
We made it! After a long, long 10-hour flight and a seven-hour time difference, we finally made it to Israel. After getting a lot of sleep, we were all excited to start our tour.

Our first day was full of activities and sites to see! We went to Tabgha, Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes, took a boat ride around the Sea of Galilee and ended up in the Jordan River.

Tabgha is the location where Jesus performed the miracle of multiplying the five loaves and two fish. It was amazing to be able to stand on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and imagine the miracle that took place in that spot over 2,000 years ago.

However, my personal favorite was the Mount of Beatitudes. It was gorgeous. It was a very powerful experience to be able to sit on the mountain and listen to Coach Green read the words that Jesus had spoken to his disciples.

We also had a very interesting lunch! We all ate Tiberias' delicacy, St. Peter's fish. St. Peter's fish is Tilapia, fried and served whole. I think some of us were intimidated by the fact that our lunch had eyes and was staring right at us, but it was a ton of fun and we enjoyed every minute of it!

Another highlight was the Jordan River, where we had the opportunity to be baptized. It was a very special time, and I'm glad I was able to share it with my teammates. We had fish nibbling at our toes the whole time, so that made it even more interesting.

Well, we are off to sleep. As I write this, there are fireworks shooting off over the Sea of Galilee. This is truly a beautiful and amazing place. I can't wait to see more of the Promised Land tomorrow! Thank you for reading and I hope y'all enjoy the pictures!

P.S. I love you, McLeod family!
~Rachel McLeod
 

NOTE FROM THE SID
We now know more about the Friendship Games tournament in which the Lady Flames will compete, beginning on Saturday.

Liberty is one of eight participating women's squads and has been placed in Group A, along with Jordan, ASA Israel and the Israeli Arabs selected team. Group B consists of Germany, Nigeria, Palestine and Israel's Under-20 National Team.

The Lady Flames are guaranteed three games of round-robin play, one against each of the other teams in their group. If Liberty finishes as one of the top two teams in its group after the round-robin portion, the Lady Flames will move on to a four-team single-elimination tournament. This tournament will include the first and second-place teams from Group A and the top two squads from Group B.

Here is a look at the Lady Flames' tournament schedule:

Saturday, June 5 – 12:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m. Eastern) – Liberty vs. Jordan
Tuesday, June 8 – 3:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. Eastern) – Liberty vs. Israeli Arabs selected team
Wednesday, June 9 – 10:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m. Eastern) – Liberty vs. ASA Israel
Wednesday, June 9 – 3:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m. Eastern) – Semifinal Round
Thursday, June 10 – 10 a.m. (3 a.m. Eastern) – Championship Game

Below are a couple helpful links:

Friendship Games main website

Friendship Games full schedule of events