First of all: Drink like camels, die like dogs. And because of this little motto for our class: drinking lots of water equals pee stops all day long.
Pee stop 1: before we leave the kibbutz.
Now it should be noted that Rebecca and I (Kristin) are hiking buddies and have not left each other’s side the entire trip. We both are asthmatic and help set the pace for each other…and make sure the other doesn’t die.
Today was a very powerful day for a lot of us! This morning we had another fishy and cheesy breakfast followed by devotions. However, today’s devotions weren’t like the others. We spent our time with God out on the sea in a tour boat! Chad led by asking us to spend a few minutes in silence while worship music was played throughout the boat. I (Kristin) spent my time staring out into the water and just freaking out about the fact that Jesus walked out there and now I was just floating in a boat in that same place. The water looked so peaceful but thinking about how the Bible describes the waves that night and that they get massive and scary…crazy, and hard to believe. I (Rebecca) was looking out onto the sea while reading Revelations 4, which describes how the 4 creatures worship God forever and ever.
Pee stop 2: back again at the kibbutz because “we have a one hour drive and a two hour hike!” thanks Ronen.
After our adventure on the sea we made our way to Bet She’an. Now the coolest thing about this city was our trek towards it. We had to casually make our way through a barb wire fence…no big deal, and then found ourselves staring at yet another city gate. Cool beans. Until Brad had us read 2 Samuel and the death of Saul which pretty much described how the Philistines hung him up most likely on the very city gate we were standing by…again, no big deal. So then we keep heading southward on this hill and then >BAM< we look over a cliff and there is this huge Greko-Roman city! There was mosaic tiles, second biggest city of the first century, columns, theatre (that we sang the Doxology in…no big deal), bath house, it was cool.
Pee stop 3: you get the idea.
Lunch at Magdala which was delicious falafel in pita and some ice cream.
Pee stop 4: at the restaurant.
Hike up to Hippos/ Sussita and look at more columns and mosaic tiles.
Pee stop 5: defile abandoned Syrian bunkers.
Hike to Bet Saida. Birth place of five out of the twelve disciples…no big deal.
No pee stop: that’s new!
Then we made our way down to the Jordan River. This was a special moment for all of us as a community as we watched some of our brothers and sisters make a public statement of faith in the same river Christ was baptized. I (Kristin) was one of the people who was ‘dipped’ into the river. I had been baptized before at a younger age but looking back at my motives behind it and my understanding of what I was doing it didn’t mean as much to me as it did now. I also have grown so much this year and made my relationship with Christ real and for me it was a time to tell my family and friends “I am a follower of Christ” in a really honest and genuine way. It was also special to have Rich baptize me since I had made it clear to him many times throughout the year that I did not want to be in Joshua and was ready to quit any moment. Even as we were out in the water Rich asked me “Remember when you were ready to quit?” Yes Rich I remember all too well and am grateful that by the grace of God and His strength that I am here in the Holy Land with my best friend Rebecca!
Pee stop 6: finally back at the kibbutz
Well folks, that was our relieving day!
Over and out!