Sunday, June 8, 2014

Israel Virtual Tour 2014 - The Day of Rest

            Saturday in Israel is called ‘Shabbat’ in Hebrew.  When in Israel, we do as the Israeli's do, so our group enjoyed a day of rest. We could not have chosen a more beautiful place to have a rest day than on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Some of us went kayaking in the lake. Some of us relaxed in the shade and the sand. The weather was perfect, sunny, but not too hot. The water was blue green and refreshing.

Nobody was able to walk on water, so they decided to kayak instead.

Kayaking on the Sea of Galilee. Tiberius in the background.

Deborah and Mark kayaking in the Sea of Galilee.

What better place to spend our day of rest than on the beach by the Sea of Galilee.

            In the early afternoon, we took a five-minute drive to where the Sea of Galilee empties into the Jordan River. Many of our group decided to be baptized at the traditional spot where it is believed John baptized Jesus.  As is custom here, they wore white robes going into the water.  Don't they look angelic?  Each person introduced themselves and said why they were getting baptized. For some it was the first time and for others it was a rededication. We laughed when an older Israeli man wanted to take a group picture, so with a heavy Hebrew accent, he said
“Have all the Goliaths move to the back row, and have all the Zacheuses move to the front.”
A little Biblical humor.  
Beautiful friends getting Baptized in the Jordan River.

            It is always moving hearing why people are dedicating their life, for the first time, or again, to the Lord who loves them so much. There were several people who were not in our group, who joined us in the water to have Pastor Vince baptize them. We didn’t know why, but they got in our line and followed along telling us their name and why they were committing their life to the Lord as well. We clapped for them, just like we did for our friends. Later, one of the young women told Vince she was born in Ethiopia, but currently lived in Tennessee. She traveled alone to Israel, and it had been a lifelong dream of hers to be baptized in the Jordan River, like Jesus. She checked in and rented the robe, but the people in charge said she could not get in the water unless she had a pastor with her to do the baptizing. She was extremely grateful to join our friendly group and have her dream fulfilled. We were blessed to be able to hear everyone’s story and participate with them in this memorable event.

Date farm along the Jordan River.
            After this, we went to a date farm with an organic grocery store. We watched a short presentation on the history of the Jewish family who immigrated to Israel 100 years before and cultivated many different types of dates and other fruit on their property close to the Jordan River. I am not much for dates, but when they opened several different containers and passed them around for us to sample, they were heavenly. Who knew there were so many different types of dates, and that they could be so delicious?

This is the apple cider fruit infusion. Yummy!

Fruit infusions from the date farm.
            We returned to our hotel in paradise, ate dinner, and had a time of praise and worship out by the Sea of Galilee. We reflected on our day and shared what we were learning on the trip.  It was a perfect day, full of God’s goodness, and as they say here, His Shalom (peace).

Time of praise and worship by the Sea of Galilee! What an awesome God!
            Shalom to you reading this. I wish you His peace on your day of rest.
Blessings, Robyn

If you missed   Day 1 click here.   If you missed   Day 2 click here.

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