Joshua Wilderness Institute - Israel

Mar 26 - Apr 7, 2017

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Following the Footsteps of Jesus

Shalom!! It’s Kaitlynn x2!!! (Caitlynn Callan/ Kaitlyn Farris). Currently we are writing this sitting next to the Sea of Galilee. Today we started out at Capernaum along the sea of Galilee. All I could keep thinking about was my savior walked along these shores. We learned that was where Jesus called home.

We were able climb Mount Arbel, and oh what a climb it was. We learned about how much war and blood that mountain has seen. From Herod the Great to the Crusaders, it has seen it all. But looking around and seeing how beautiful it was covered in wildflowers. It’s a lot like the gospel. Hurt, pain, and brokenness but in the end covered by beauty. There Rachel taught on pursuing Christ and how we should be climbing mountains for him, and how Jesus specifically set time aside and literally climbed a mountain to have time with the Lord. This was extremely convicting, because we generally don’t do that even when we know we should.

Mount Arbel

Mount Arbel (Hebrew: הר ארבל‎‎, Har Arbel) is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Mt. Arbel sits across from Mount Nitai; their cliffs were created as a result of the Jordan Rift Valley and the geological faults that produced the valleys.

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Then we went to Chorazin, and learned about community. During that talk we realized how much we have been blessed with our community this year. It is so easy to take it for granted and to not appreciate it at times, but where else on Earth would we be able to find community quite like this?

Lastly we got the privilege to hike up to the mountain of Beatitudes, where Kelsey recited the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). This was hands down my favorite part of the day! Sometimes all you need is to go to the scriptures and nothing else is necessary.

Mount of Beatitudes

The so-called “Sermon on the Mount” is recorded in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6. The alleged discrepancy between Matthew’s version being on a hill and Luke’s being on a level place is easily reconciled with observation of many level places on the Galilean hillsides. Scripture gives no indication of the exact location of this event, but the Byzantines built a church to commemorate it at the bottom of the hill. Some of Napoleon’s men placed it on the nearby Arbel mountain.

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The last place we stopped was Tabgha. That’s where Jesus first called Peter to be his disciple and where after Jesus rose again he told Peter to feed his sheep. It was moving to think that that was where Jesus called Peter to him and then sent him to share the gospel. I couldn’t help but think of how it fits in my own life. God calls me to him; I reject him and in the end, he still calls me back to share his good news and what he’s done in my life. Another thing that stuck out to me was something Rich said, “Hey knuckleheads, follow Jesus”.

This trip has been so amazing and we can’t wait to see how God teaches us more.

p.s. hi mom

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Day 3: Ein Gedi, Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls), Jordan River, Jericho, and our new hotel #gti #jwi105 #jwiisrael17 #jwi17 #mindblown #jesus

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“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'” ‭‭{Mark‬ ‭1:9-11} It's a little unreal that we were able to sit in the water where Jesus was baptized and where His ministry began; it really makes you think back on your life and whether or not you're living a life truly for Him or for yourself. . . . #jwiisrael17 #goatsnotsheep #conquertheland

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Geography lesson on the Sea of Galilee. We're in the region where Jesus did most of his ministry. #jwiisrael17

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Reflecting in the synagogue at Capernaum, the center of Jesus' ministry. We explored the city, imagining what it was like when Jesus walked the streets. #jwiisrael17

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Climbing Mt. Arbel; we could see the whole region of Galilee and we talked about how Jesus would spend time alone with God to pray. #jwiisrael17

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At Chorazin hearing about community in the ancient world. #jwiisrael17

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Kelsey presenting the Sermon on the Mount at the Mount of Beatitudes. #jwiisrael17

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Tabgah-- Jesus called Peter to be his disciple here. The disciples weren't perfect, but they obeyed and followed Jesus and they were never the same. #jwiisrael17

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Standing with our feet in the water of the exact river where Jesus was baptized. No words can explain what this is like, to experience in person the words we read in the Bible. The Bible isnt full of stories, it's full of realities. Standing here, in this water, i am left in awe at who Jesus is and all that He's done. #jwiisrael17

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Day 4: Capernaum, Mt. Arbel, Chorazin, Mt. Of Beatitudes, Tabgha #gti #jwi105 #jwiisrael17 #jwi17 #mindblown #jesusministry #seaofgalilee

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•Israel • Sea of Galilee• "Jesus said to her, 'Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" John 11:40 #jwiisrael17

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Only in Jericho for 20 minutes but of course we found a rooftop to explore #jwiisrael17 #goatsnotsheep #conquertheland #keepexploring

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Also found a camel with a gold nose ring 💍🐪 #hewearsbetterclothesthanme #jwiisrael17 #goatsnotsheep #conquertheland #keepexploring

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