A couple of my new friends, Aimee and Bridget, both separately invited me to go to this event at their church called "Journey to Bethlehem." It is an outdoor walk through of what it might have been like to be in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. First, you enter the church and take tickets that have a "family name" on them. Our family name was "Zechariah" this year. Then you wait in the sanctuary where they have special music going on and watch for your family name on the big screen. When it comes up, you go back and line up to take the tour. You are assigned a guide (ours was named Josiah) and they take you through the tour as if you were characters in the story.
They had live actors playing various parts throughout the journey and then at one point you see Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus as you see here. They had lots of animals there too including geese, ducks, sheep, goats, donkeys, and even a camel at the end! It was quite cold that night, I think in the low 40's? And in that temp you can last for a little while, but with the little ones and walking for a bit it got pretty cold! They had fire pits along the way which helped somewhat and at the end they had a tent with warming lamps and warm apple cider.
The camel was in a cage at the end of the journey and she walked around showing off for us when we got there. The kids thought the camel was pretty cool! It was a neat way to hear the Christmas story and I think the kids enjoyed it. It was a little hard keeping them corralled as we were walking, but it worked out. I had to laugh when we went into the "tax collector's" tent and were supposed to be "quiet and respectful" to the man in charge. Daniel meanwhile "stole" a coin off of his table to look at it and interestingly the Roman guard there did not put him in chains as he should have. Perhaps he didn't notice? Anyhow, I was wondering how the actor did not laugh at this and I managed to pry the coin from his hand and put it back on the table.
Thanks to my friends for inviting us to this fun event. It was a neat experience for sure!