Down to the water
Greetings from the shore of the Galilee! As I write to this, I’m being serenaded by the sound of small waves on the shore as I look at the lights of Tiberias across the sea. It’s been such an amazing day.
We left the Dead Sea early this morning and headed to En Gedi, the very place where David hid in the caves from Saul. En Gedi is a beautiful stream in the middle of the desert, and it makes sense why David would hide there. (For details of the story read 1 Samuel 24). We followed the stream as it weaved through the canyon, in and out of rocks, and enjoyed seeing and hearing the many waterfalls. The group took a break in one of the pools and sat underneath the falls. After the hike up the water felt cool and refreshing.
En Gedi is the largest oasis along the western shore of the Dead Sea. The springs here have allowed nearly continuous inhabitation of the site since the Chalcolithic period. The area was allotted to the tribe of Judah, and was famous in the time of Solomon (Josh 15:62). Today the Israeli kibbutz of En Gedi sits along the southern bank of the Nahal Arugot.
Next we visited the lower Jordan river, the spot where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). The “mighty” Jordan isn’t very big today. The Jordan River was where God split the waters for the Israelites cross into the promise land after wandering for 40 years in the desert. At this site we got to experience many different cultures and people from all over the world being baptized.
After that we drove through Jericho on our way to Mount Temptation. It was here where Jesus,full of the Holy Spirit (just baptized in the Jordan), was led into the desert for 40 days and was tempted by Satan.
Our last stop of the day was the hotel on the shore of the Galilee. Our group went down to the water and several people got baptized. It was great to see our entire group wade into the Sea of Galilee to support one another in such a meaningful experience. There was a lot of cheering and tears shared as the group continues to bond and get to know one another.
Tomorrow we will be spending the entire day visiting sites around the Sea of Galilee, starting with Mount Arbel. Thank you for the continued prayer over our group and this trip of a life time.
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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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