Just recently, I watched Sidney Poitier’s 1967 movie, To Sir, with Love. One of my favorite scenes was when Sidney Poitier’s teacher character brought an unruly class of teenagers to the London Museum for the very first time. Seeing the fascination on their faces, brought back my own memories of my first time.
We were living in Santa Rosa, California, around the mid sixties. I just had a cast removed from my last corrective orthopedic surgery and I was again up and walking on my wobbly legs. My father announced that he had a treat for me. And so, he packed up the entire family into our brown Pontiac Bonneville station wagon and off to San Francisco, we went. When my Dad was pestered relentlessly (not by me, of course) on where he was taking us, there was a loud collective sound of ‘aw’ in the car, when he said the museum. Some of my siblings were hoping for a day at the zoo or at the Embarcadero where they can eat fresh crab and shrimp cocktails on the wharf. But my dad wanted to take us to the California Academy of Sciences and natural history museum which was located within the vast Golden Gate Park. It was my first time in a museum. I was 8 years old. The exhibits that were foremost in my memories were the animals of the Sierra Mountains. One in particular was the display of an eight foot tall ferocious grizzly bear towering over me. A lot of the stuffed animals that I have seen that day were giants to me. I could not get enough of it. When I got home, I made a promise to visit as many different museums that came my way. To this day, I have no regrets except that I had not established a small museum of my own… yet.
When was the last time you visited a museum? I sincerely hope that you will visit one soon and bring your kids. Why? Well, if you look closely at the definition of the root word, ‘Muse’, a museum was meant to provoke long and careful thoughts in you. I get some of the best inspiration whenever I go to a museum… any museum.
My wife and I once went to Friday’s Harbor, a quaint island town in the San Juan Islands in Washington. While walking through the town, next to the harbor, I came upon the Whale Museum. It was not a large museum. In fact, it was in actuality, a single room. But it was packed with artifacts specifically dedicated to the mammals of the Puget Sound. I spent 2 hours in that place learning about seals, humpback whales and the orcas. I enjoyed my time in that small museum so much that I was inspired to adopt an orca.
These days, I am mostly bedridden but I do make a point to seek out virtual museums on the internet. The effect is still the same.
Visit a museum soon before the cobwebs get thicker.
Every two or three years, my church would organize a Holy Land trip led by our Pastor. I always get enthusiastic and excited when the organizers promote the next trip by showing videos & pictures, telling stories of their last successful trip. Then, those friends and church members who signed up to go would make plans & discuss what they will see, feel and eat when they get there. I am ashamed to admit that I do feel a little envious of them because I knew that again I could not go with them.
Many cannot afford to go to Israel and tour the sites of the Bible. Some, like myself, are unable to travel due to health problems. So, we are left to wait for them to send postcards of their adventure which is nice. However, I would have loved to see where Jesus himself walked and make some kind of connection. Fortunately, the Lord had given me a way to connect vicariously with the help of technology and an active imagination.
For years, I have been a vicarious* tourist of the world without leaving the comforts of my bed. I travel using the online programs Google Maps / Google Earth.
[*vicarious – experienced or realized through imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experience of another]
I have enjoyed visiting numerous country sides, cities and towns of several countries. I may have not been there physically, but with a little imagination I was as good as there. I especially include my the time exploring the Holy Land. It’s kinda funny, but I believe that in my virtual tour, I visited more sites than those who actually visited there. I don’t mind telling all of you that finding these biblical sites even though I was only there vicariously was to me quite enriching. So, I wanted to see if I can guide other people to what I discovered and see how they react.
During the last Christmas Season, I invited my small discipleship group and my niece with their respective kids to join me on a virtual Christmas tour of discovery. We went to see where the angel Gabriel visited and gave good news Zechariah & Mary. We went from the northern region of Galilee down to the hillsides of Bethlehem where the angel appeared to the shepherds. We went as far as Egypt where the infant Jesus was carried to… away from Herod’s murderous clutches. I also brought them to the ruins of Babylon to illustrate where the magi may have come from. Because they were able to navigate the different locales using Google Maps/Street View controls, they expressed enjoyment like as if they were there themselves.
Well, Holy Week is at hand and I have it in mind to set up a way for others to either…
 join me in an even more extensive guided tour of the sites of the Bible as me as your tour guide via ZOOM…
 to go touring on their own using itinerary guide modules that I will provide here in my website.
But before we can go ahead with our tour, I am sure that many of you don’t know how to implement Google Maps or Google Earth. So, I encourage you to watch the video below. Then spend some time to experiment and practice… practice… practice.
Youtube have other extensive videos on this subject, feel free to search them out.
Well, I’m assuming that you have learned how to use Google Maps with it’s Street View functions. Let’s go touring!
6 Itinerary Modules
Google Maps Tour of the Bible will be organized into 6 itinerary modules.
In this first module, we look into the sites described in the Old Testament where the patriarchs of old walked. We’ll start in the land of Ur or modern day Iraq where Abraham originally hailed from and end at the Nile delta of Goshen where Jacob brought his entire family to save them from a draught.
The second module will trace the footsteps of Moses leading his people out of bondage of Egypt. One of the things we will look at are the two possible crossing points of the Red Sea and locations of Mt Sinai. We will also look at the wilderness where the tribes of Israel wandered for 40 years.
In the third module, we will visit the sites where the Judges walked. We will see where Gideon defeated an army of 10 thousand with just 300 men; where God used one man to humble the Philistines; and how the Ark of the Covenant was captured.
In the fourth module, we will visit the sites where the Kings & the Prophets . We will see where David slew Goliath; where Elijah confronted 400 Baal priests; and where Solomon gained his great wisdom.
5 – Walking the footsteps of Jesus
In the fifth module, let us go see where Jesus went fishing with his disciples; where he gave the Sermon on the Mount; where he changed water into wine; and also see the garden where he sweated blood. We will also walk around a large model replica of the city of Jerusalem when Herod ruled. Because Jesus covered a lot of ground, Module 5 is divided into 2 parts.
In the sixth and final module, we will follow where the Holy Spirit led the disciples from Judea to Turkey, Greece and eventually all the way to Rome. Some of the places we will see are where the Apostle John wrote Revelation; where Jesus’ mother eventually lived in her old age; where Jesus caused Saul to be blind on the road to Damascus; and much more.
About the Guided Tours:
Guided tours will be conducted via ZOOM.
Each module session may run up to 1.5 hours (max 2 hours).
Viewing of Google Map links will work better on Laptops/Desktops.
— Cell phone viewing is possible, however keep in mind that you will be navigating on 2-3 open windows.
To join guided tours, contact Rhon Bautista, head librarian of Union Church of Manila
Holy Week Tour:
[* Manila time]
Module 1 – April 9 Saturday – 2pm*
Module 2 – April 9 Saturday – 5pm*
Module 3 – April 10 Sunday– 2pm*
Module 4 – April 10 Sunday– 5pm*
Module 5 – April 13 Wednesday – 5pm*
Module 5a – April 14 Thursday – 5pm*
Module 6 – April 23 Saturday – 5pm*
If you want to schedule other group guided tours, please contact Rhon Bautista – email@example.com or scan the QR Code below.
If you want to send me a message then click CONTACT ME.