Shabat Shalom! – Day 6 in Israel
This morning we had an early start to catch a boat across the Sea of Galilee. We took a time of silence with the Lord as we watched the waves of the same lake Jesus walked on rush up against the boat. Alyssa spoke to us about when asking God to do big things in our lives to not be afraid to step out in faith when He answers our prayers. Peter asked Jesus to allow him to walk on water, Jesus said come, and Peter began to walk until he became fearful and started to sink. Sometimes we fail and that’s okay. Just like Peter, we ask Jesus to save us in times when we sink under the wave. We then had a dance party and experienced Jen dance--it was one of the best moments of Joshua! Everyone had a smile on their face and no one was afraid to dance.
After dancing off the boat onto the land, we made our way to Bet She’an and learned about the Roman influence during the first century. The ancient structures were amazing. We saw the marketplace, the bathhouse, the theater--they even had public restrooms! Compared to the nearby villages, this city was the hot spot and everyone wanted to be a part of it, even if it meant compromising your faith.
Located 17 miles (27 km) south of the Sea of Galilee, Beth Shean is situated at the strategic junction of the Harod and Jordan Valleys. The fertility of the land and the abundance of water led the Jewish sages to say, “If the Garden of Eden is in the land of Israel, then its gate is Beth Shean.” It is no surprise then that the site has been almost continuously settled from the Chalcolithic period to the present.
Under Mount Gilboa were some absolutely gorgeous natural springs that Gideon brought his men to as it is written in the book of Judges. Then Craig and Rich taught us about finishing strong and challenged us to live a good story by using the examples of King Saul and Gideon. We stayed there for two hours and enjoyed the three clear water pools. There were little fish that ate the dead skin off our feet! People pay big bucks for that, and we got it for free! Everyone was screaming and laughing. It was refreshing to relax and have fun with our Joshua brothers and sisters.
After a short hike to Susita, Rich taught from the book of Mark how Jesus healed the demon-possessed man. The man then told everyone about what the Lord had done for him. Jesus impacted one man’s life and that single act changed an entire pagan city. Every person’s story matters!
We are so excited for the rest of this week to learn and see the Bible come alive!
--Laura and India
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