Today was HOT!
Our bus was showing 41 degrees Celsius. I wanted to know what that was in Fahrenheit.
There you have it. 105 degrees.
It sure was a good thing that today’s activities included water!
Early this morning, we walked down the street from our hotel in Nazareth to Mary’s Well.
This is a well in the area that Mary used. I was intrigued by the old stairs that led down to the well.
Think about Mary walking to this place to draw water for her family – and a little Jesus tagging along with her and playing on these steps.
We drove towards the Galilee region for most of today.
This area is rural and the landscape is much more like what I expected to find when visiting Israel.
There is expansive farming in this area. In both photos above, you see the Sea of Galilee in the distance. It was a lovely blueish green color.
We stopped at the Jordan River and several people from our group participated in a baptismal service in the same river Jesus was baptized in.
I was baptized as a little girl and Brian was baptized within the past several years. We both wanted to take this opportunity to recommit our lives and be renewed in Jesus Christ.
This area was lovely and super organized for services on the water. My professor we joined on this trip brought her father along and he is a Pastor. Dr. Hamid baptized us today and we’re so thankful! This is certainly a day we won’t forget.
I also won’t forget the HUGE fish that were eating my toes the entire time we stood in the water.
These were not little minnows people!!!
Next, we drove around the mountain to the Church of the Beatitudes. This is the location that Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount.
The inside of the church was beautiful and had windows to remember the beatitudes Jesus shared as part of His sermon in Matthew.
Next up – eating St. Peter’s fish for lunch on the Sea of Galilee.
I was pretty excited…until I saw the EYEBALLS!!!
After eating our whole St. Peter’s fish, we caught our boat for a ride on the Sea of Galilee.
One of the guys on the crew showed us how they would have cast a net back in the day of Jesus.
He didn’t catch anything – on either side!!! haha
We sang worship songs as we rode along the shore. It was incredible to sit and think about all the events that happened on this water. I thought about Jesus walking on the water. Can you even imagine???
Towards the end of our ride, the crew taught us a traditional Jewish dance.
Our time in Israel is quickly coming to an end, but these images and experiences will be with me for a lifetime.
You may have noticed Jerusalem in the news tonight. It was Jerusalem Day here – a controversial holiday that celebrates the control of Jerusalem by the Israeli government. When we returned to our hotel there were thousands gathering to march through the Old City as a statement for their support of the state of Israel. Not everyone agrees with that. It is so very complicated. We stayed inside our hotel room and watched CNN reporting from right down the street. I will never be able to watch the news about Jerusalem the same again.
Praying for peace in Jerusalem takes on an entirely new meaning now.
In case you missed it – from the past week on the blog: