Saturday, June 7, 2014

Israel 2014 - Virtual Tour Day 2

          This morning the sun was out and the sky was clear. We woke up in the lovely Holiday Village on the south shore of the Sea of Galilee. The rooms are more like duplexes or little cabins (or casitas for New Mexicans) at the beach. The lush green grass is filled with tall palm trees, bright colored flowers, a few friendly cats and three roaming peacocks. Some of our group heard the peacocks crowing (?) at 4:30 in the morning, so they were not as thrilled to see the peacocks wandering around, as the rest of us were.
Peacocks roaming the grounds of our Galilee hotel.

            We began the day driving to the first century ruins of Korazim, a town where Jesus performed many miracles. The ruins were built of black volcanic stones called basalt. There we found small houses, a wine press and a first century synagogue. The synagogue had a square stone pillar called the Moses Seat. This was where the Law of Moses was read. Vince taught that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows us by name, loves and protects us, and is willing to lay down His life for us.
The family at the first century village of Korazim.

Stone olive press.

Leroy offering wisdom from the Moses Seat.
Teaching about the Jewish prayer shawl in an ancient synagogue built with basalt rock.
            For our second stop, the bus ascended up a winding hill to the Mount of Beatitudes. The road was filled with round purple puffball flowers, that someone in the group affectionately called Dr Suess Lorax flowers. They were unusual and made an impressive welcoming path up the mountain. When we arrived we spread out on the beautiful garden grounds and spent time alone reading the Sermon on the Mount, at the very spot where Jesus spoke the words. Incredible!
Thousands of 'Lorax flowers' (zavat in Hebrew) welcomed us as we drove up the mountain.

View from the Mount of Beatitudes.

            Riding on a boat on the Sea of Galilee is one of my favorite parts of the tour. We read about this lake throughout Jesus’ ministry. This is where he called the Disciples to join Him. It is easy to see why He spent most of His time here. To be out on the lake, like Jesus was, looking at the mountains surrounding the lake where He walked, is a surreal experience. It is a beautiful, peaceful place. Even driving over the mountain, when we caught our first view of the Sea of Galilee, evokes peace and tranquility.
View looking east, from the boat on the Sea of Galilee.

            After lunch we visited a 2000 year old ‘Jesus boat’, that was unearthed from the shore of the Sea of Galilee in 1986. The movie showing how the archeologists carefully preserved the boat, while removing it from the soil on the shore was impressive. What an incredible discovery!
A fishing boat from Jesus time, discovered buried on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in 1986.

            By late afternoon, it felt cool and refreshing to go into an air-conditioned movie and shop called The Galilee Experience. The owners are Jewish people who believe in Jesus as Messiah, and they show a movie about the history of the Galilee area. Afterwards, the owner treated everyone to  ice cream, while we shopped in the gift store.
            Back at our Galilee hotel casitas, we had time for a quick swim in the beautiful pool, before celebrating the beginning of the Sabbath, with a Shabbat dinner. Every evening the holiday village has something fun going on for the guests. Tonight looked like a kid’s party with blow up jumpers, bungee jumping, cotton candy, a kid sized mechanical bull, and the most interesting, a human foosball game. Here the kids attached themselves to a horizontal pole and when the ball came towards them, the kids on that pole worked together kicking and pulling to try and kick it away. It looked like lots of fun! 
Israeli kids playing human foosball at the evening party at our hotel.

                       It is incredible to be here and we can't wait to see what God does tomorrow. 
                                            God's blessings to you from the Land of the Bible!

If you missed Day 1 of the Israel tour, click here.


  1. Riley has said you will need an intern for your next tour. She is volunteering!

  2. Yes! We would love to have Riley as an intern! She could help me with the virtual tour along the way! :)
    Our next tour, God willing, will be the last week of May 2016.