Day 3: Sea of Galilee, River Jordan, TiberiusTuesday, November 6, 2012 By: Sandy Thorn Clark
SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE TUESDAY’S HIGHLIGHT: A celebratory ride on the calm waters of the Sea of Galilee with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, president and founder of The Fellowship, was the highlight of the second full day of the Journey Home Tour. The rabbi told his guests that the ride on the wooden fishing boat was the perfect time to be silent, to be a sponge, absorbing the spirituality of the holy sea. Playing his guitar, Rabbi Eckstein led the enthusiastic audience in singing “Put Your Hands in the Hands of the Man from Galilee” before soloing on “He Will Bring Shalom (Peace) to Us and All the World” and “Let Us Sing a Song of Love.” Rabbi Eckstein urged the tour members to trust God, which he admitted is particularly hard for Jews because of the Holocaust. While many ask, “Where was God?” during the Holocaust, Rabbi Eckstein said a better question would be “Where was man?” He reminded us that life is a partnership between God and man, adding that perhaps there is more man can do today to preclude another Holocaust and stressing the importance of each person becoming a beacon of light in the world.
RIVER JORDAN BAPTISM RENEWALS EMOTIONAL: More than 40 members of the tour renewed their baptisms and two experienced first-time baptisms in the cool waters of the River Jordan during a ceremony under sunny skies. Pastor Jerry Clark and James Ray performed the baptisms, which were made even more memorable when J.R. Dupell and his son, Jack, both of Tampa, Fla., assisted with the baptisms of each other and Ronald and Yolanda Luckett of Des Plaines, Ill., were baptized along with their 11-year-old son, Israel.
Edith Faylor of Chinook, Wash., celebrated her 72nd birthday by renewing her baptism.
SOBERING REALITY OF MODERN ISRAEL: Tuesday began with a somber visit to a private bomb shelter in an apartment building in Tiberius. The shelter was one of 2,000 bomb shelters renovated as a result of an emergency appeal to Fellowship donors when it became obvious that existing bomb shelters were inadequate for family protection and security during the 2006 War with Lebanon. Several tour members were moved to tears when they learned that the six families who use the small room have less than a minute to seek shelter once sirens warn of terrorist acts. “Unimaginable” is how Ruby Rives of Golden, Col., described what Israeli families face on a daily basis. The Fellowship is now providing 100 mobile bomb shelters for Israeli communities near Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and Egypt as the result of escalating rocket attacks.
VIEWING WHERE JESUS BEGAN HIS MINISTRY: The Journey Home Tour stopped on the serene and stunning Mount of Beatitudes, where it is believed Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. They sang “The Lord’s Prayer” and “Amazing Grace” before Pastor Clark spoke briefly on the importance of recognizing one’s blessings. “There’s a difference between wanting and needing,” Pastor Clark reminded, adding, “The Lord has given us all we need to accomplish His will in our life.” The group also had a sunrise service on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and visited Tabgha, where Christians believe Jesus performed the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes; Capernaum, where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law; and the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, where it was revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Son of the Living God.
WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE: After an early morning visit to the archaeological wonders of Beit Shean, the tour heads up to Jerusalem for prayers at the Western Wall, the holiest of Jewish sites, and an afternoon reflective stop at Yad Vashem, the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust.