A simple shepherd boy became king. In a moment of great failing he abused his power and sent Uriah to be slaughtered on the grounds upon which we were now standing. We merged with the ruins of walls and colonnades and surveyed the valley of homes and mosques before us.

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The midday call to prayer had just begun. Towers belted out the chilling Arabic lexis that reverberated throughout the basin. Echo layered upon echo, causing a cacophony that rose in a crescendo amounting to an all-out aural assault. Hell’s bells were ringing in our ears.

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Where blood had been spilt by a king who lusted for what was not rightfully his, minarets had sprung up to declare the area as a present foothold of the enemy. Here, lambs were led astray.

We started our descent down the hill towards the Roman coliseum. Our attention was diverted by the comedy of three young boys chasing lambs down the street. They managed to coax two of the sheep into a penned-up area, but a third darted across the road and hopped over the outer rim of the citadel. A sheer drop was just steps away. By the time we caught up with the boys, they had managed to wrestle the struggling creature back to safety. They laughed as they relished in their victory.

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Just as the Master Shepherd had explained, it was worthy to leave the ones of safety in order to bring home the one that was lost. Three simple shepherd boys illustrated the teaching of our King.

We stood in a valley of lost souls, a valley of historic betrayal and current deception. The broader region it represents, is an expansive territory of sheep that need be to sought and rescued, brought away from the lust and greed of the human heart, and into a place of obedience and hope.

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