Israel Study Tour with Riverside Community Church

Apr 13-23, 2016

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Day of Rest and Work

Today was most certainly a day of rest and work. We began with a good breakfast and a great devotional on service and allowing others to serve you from Scott. We were surprised when the bus pulled up to the docks! We went into the boat and began our journey across the Sea of Galilee. Once we were in the middle, we had a great discussion retelling the stories of Jesus on the Sea of Galilee and discussing Jesus' great love for us and belief in us as He calls us out of the boat.

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River, rainfall and springs on the northern side. More properly designated a lake, the Kinneret (the OT and modern name) is 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. At its deepest point the lake is only 150 feet deep. The rabbis said of it, “Although God has created seven seas, yet He has chosen this one as His special delight.”

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From there, we saw the first century, Galilean fishing boat. It was incredible to see something like that and visualize Jesus and His disciples in it. We then did some shopping, much to Scott's disappointment!

From the museum where they held the Galilean boat, we left for the Jordan river. Scott taught how we can't be sipping Jesus but must be completely immersed in Him, dripping wet in Him. We then went to the river and baptized or remembered the baptism of some of our team. One of the great blessings for Scott and me was that Edna from Haiti and Janie from Brazil came running up asking if we would baptize them! Edna was looking for Protestants to baptize her, and Janie was the only Christian in her group and wanted to be baptized! It was a blessing to make those dreams a reality and see both of these ladies' great love for our King.

That was the "rest" part. From the Jordan, we headed up to Beth She'an. We started in the back and crossed two ancient gates as we climbed up a large hill. Once we crested the hill, we saw that those gates led to a Roman city of the Decapolis with markets, a gymnasium, an auditorium, and other buildings and areas specific to Roman cities. Our lesson was to understand how Hellenistic this culture was and compare it to our not so different American culture. Our call as Christians is to be a light in these dark places, so we are faced with the question, "how will we be a light to our culture?"

By Brian Gunter

Beth Shean

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.

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Featured Upcoming Tour

GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
Septemer 5-17, 2020

Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.

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