Where is Your Faith?
Good morning from the Galilee! There is a break in the rain so we should be having just clouds for a little while.
As I am writing we are taking a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee on the boat named the Shield of Abraham. We are singing “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” and “How Great Thou Art”. It brings tears to my eyes to hear such beautiful praise to God, especially in this location. Diane Showers, Jim Showers’s wife led us in a couple of other praise songs and hymns. “Great is Thy Faithfulness” was a perfect choice to describe God’s love for us!
Jim Showers shared from Matthew 8 which describes when the disciples were frightened during a storm while on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was resting below the deck. Today the water is very calm and beautiful. Jim shared how sometimes our lives go from very calm to a tempest. We lose control of our lives. When the disciples called for Jesus, he asked them “where is your faith?” It doesn’t matter how much faith we have, it’s where we put our trust. We can’t fix things, but through prayer with thanksgiving we can take our requests to God. “The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:7). Amen!!
After the boat ride we headed to the Jesus Boat Museum. There we watched an informative video and were able to see an ancient boat from the first century AD around the time of Jesus. It was discovered in 1986 during a drought and preserved. https://www.jesusboat.com/ginosar-home-of-jesus-boat/
We left the area on the banks of the Sea of Galilee and headed upward to Caesarea Philippi. During our bus ride we learn all about the geography (Jordan River, various Tels), animals (jackals, hyrax), and vegetation (mango trees) of Israel.
As we climbed to the Golan Heights, a part of Israel that was controlled by Syria before 1967, our visibility became more limited due to the rain and clouds. We drove along a fence that was placed on the border between Israel and Lebanon. This area is vital to Israel’s security.
At Caesarea Philippi, we learn that many gods were worshipped here. Jesus spoke here about the church while surrounded by heathen worship. Today we saw rushing headwaters of the Jordan River flowing from Mt Hermon springs down to the Sea of Galilee. Usually very little flowing water can be seen here. However since there has been plenty of rain recently, we were able to see the beauty of rushing water. This water is an answer to prayer for Israel. https://www.bibleplaces.com/banias/
We stopped for lunch in a Druze town. The family restaurant served falafel and schnitzel. The Druze in Israel speak Arabic and identify as Arabs but are very pro-Israel. You can read more about them here https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/druze-in-israel/.
The next stop for some was the Police and Government Center of the former town of Quneitra—Syrian territory before 1967 in the Golan Heights. While standing on the roof of the destroyed building we could look into Syria. A United Nations building was on the Israeli side of the border. They have chosen to be on that side of the border because they are not safe on the Syrian side. On top of the hills nearby we could see Israeli Army posts. Sadly, this is the reality of this land. As I said before, the Golan Heights is a vital area for Israel’s safety. https://www.bibleplaces.com/golanheights/
On the way to the Jordan River we drove along the border of Jordan. The view was amazing as we drove down the Golan.
We had the privilege of witnessing the baptisms of 23 of our new friends. In John 1:29-34 we read about John baptizing Jesus. What an emotional experience to publicly proclaim your life in Christ in the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized!
For dinner, we headed back to the Galilee and ate at the Lido Decks Pagoda Restaurant overlooking the sea. It was definitely a dining experience. Dish after dish came out. In case you are wondering, this is where you can find amazing salmon! The manager, Tayla, was originally from Philadelphia PA near The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry’s headquarters. She treated us to a couple of songs: “God Bless America” and “You Are Standing on Holy Ground”.
What a perfect end to a great day!
Blog author: Debbie Helbig
Administrative Assistant for Ministry Advancement
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
Photos: Brett Helbig