Israel Study Tour with Pastor Steve Williams

May 16-26, 2016

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Building on Rock

Breakfast was amazing as usual with eggs, fruits, and veggies. Once we stuffed ourselves till we couldn’t fit another bit, we headed out to the Golan Heights to start our day off.

Here, we visited Katzrin, a small village where we learned how houses were build and had the chance to make pita bread and try fresh pressed olive oil. We also learned the term carpenter has a wrong meaning associated with it. As americans we think being a carpenter is to build houses with wood, when you live in this region there arent many trees, if not all. The term carpenter was originally meaning to use rock, yes this means Jesus was a carpenter who worked with rocks not wood.

Katzrin

The ancient Jewish farming village of Katzrin was built around a spring, which still flows. Although there were standing ruins on the site, archaeological excavations have increased the number of accessible ancient buildings. An ancient synagogue was discovered in 1967 and excavated between 1971 and 1984. Other parts of the village were excavated beginning in 1983. Some of the buildings have been reconstructed on their ancient foundations and furnished with replicas of household goods and tools

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As soon as we had a chance to catch our jaws from the shock of Jesus’s actual profession, we headed to Mount Bental, where an old Israeli army bunker still exists. Even though this site has no biblical significance, it still gave meaning and importance to notice how close daily life happens when the Syrian border is a mile away. With keeping this in mind, Ronen drew out the dramatic history between the bordering countries and the fight to keep Israel. To hear and see first hand the evidence to keep the promise land was a real treat and gave a sense of appreciation with the Israeli people.

Next on our stop, we headed a down the mountain to Banias, or Caesarea Philippi. Once situated and finished our lunch, we talked about how Jesus’s foundation for our faith in Him and God, can mean many different things person-to-person. Matthew 16:18 is where Jesus is asking Peter what he should build his church on to stand sturdy against the gates of hell. Banias was a great visual of these hellish conditions. From nymphs to Greek mythological gods, this region was home to many sinful doings.

Caesarea Philippi

This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship. Numerous temples were built at this city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

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We ended our day with a boat ride on the waters of Galilee. On this unique boat ride we learned a traditional Israeli dance, sang a few songs in Hebrew, and listened to Pastor Steve give a powerful message about finding our deep ends, where we are most uncomfortable, and working in that area. Being out on the waters and seeing first-hand the waters where He walked, preached, and fished with his disciples, puts every childhood story to life. The presence of God during this time was almost palpable. It was ultimately a perfect way to end another perfect day.

Parker Anderston

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