Departing Amman along the desert road for Petra our journey would take us south from the land of the Ammonites, through Moab and into ancient Edom. At AL QATRANA we passed by the Ottoman train line completed in 1908 for pilgrims to travel to Mecca from Damascus and to transport Ottoman troops south into Arabia. Then it was Muslim pligrims and the military; today trains transport minerals to the port of Aqaba. The land is rich in phosphate and where there is phosphate there is uranium. The development of uranium mines could help to solve Jordan's 23 billion US dollar debt. Water, a precious resource, is being piped 370 kilometres north from the Rum Valley aquifer through the desert to Amman. It is anticipated the aquifer will provide the city with enough water for the next 60 to 80 years. We stopped at AL ABYAD ('The White') - named after the phosphate landscape - and entered a highway shop called the 'Midway Castle'. President Obama visited Petra yesterday and his 300 strong staff and security also stopped at this shop for souvenirs. No doubt it was a good day for business at US taxpayer's expense. Tourism in Jordan is down 40 percent due to the crisis in Syria and the instability in Egypt. It's good to be here and support their economy. After a three and a half hour drive we arrived in Petra. The Greeks referred to the Nabataeans as a people 'living in the rocks'. Petra is in the land of Edom, near where Jacob and Esau reconciled. Solomon traded with this city; the Magi would have definitely passed through here on their way to honor Jesus, and Paul may well have passed through here from Damascus on his way to Arabia / Sinai (Acts 9:19-31; Galatians 1:11-18) after his conversion. Petra controlled the trade route from Africa to Asia, having established the city as their capital in the 2nd century B.C. The Romans ruled Nabataea and, after working out how to sail the up the Red Sea to Egypt navigating the northerly winds, Roman trade in this region became more sea based rather than reliant on the camel couriers. So Petra's influence steadily diminished. Petra is pure ancient awesomeness. The 1.2 kilometre walk through the high walled Siq to the famed Treasury is a natural wonder of light and shadow that illuminate its colored mineral rock faces and camel train carvings. Camel trains up to 1000 strong came through here to trade and to transit before heading south west to Egypt, east to Arabia or north to Damascus. From the Treasury building (made famous by Indiana Jones) we walked to the 4000 seat theatre and then entered the tombs of the Nabataean kings. Their massive tombs are carved into red cliffs that rise high above the ancient city. One of four royal tombs was turned into a church in the 4th century AD. Inside the church we sang 'How Great is our God', the cavern producing the most natural, almost eternal, symphony of surround sound. A Byzantine basilica built between 500 AD and 600 AD is also being restored with great care. It is covered with a protective roof since the stone is sandstone and easily worn by the weather. The Nabataeans lived in a rock carved city yet their city and their civilization crumbled. The church built on Jesus doesn't dissolve or disappear. 'Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.' (Matthew 7:24-25) Build to last! A lesson from Petra's past.