Galilee and Shiloh

Community Highlights Africa & The Middle East Galilee and Shiloh

I've fallen a bit behind. The internet connection was not so good earlier.

Yesterday was an amazing day. It's so hard to say a favorite place in Israel. There are so many. But the Sea of Galilee is at the top for me. We left at 5:30 for the 2 hour drive up to the Galilee. It was so beautiful watching the sun rise over the desert hills as we wound our way down into the Jordan Valley, the lowest place on earth. Heading northward, it never ceases to amaze me how fertile the land is. All throughout the valley, farms grow a variety of produce. Banana, coconut and date palms abound, flowers, vegetable plants. Scattered here and there Bedouin herdsmen guided their flocks through the hills in search of grass.  The rain that had fallen earlier dampened the air and moistened the soil. Further north, the border of Jordan ran perpendicular to the road we were travelling on, a tall barbed wire fence posted with signs warning of land mines. You could almost touch another country at that point. Across the valley the mountains of Jordan rose tall above plain. Rain clouds veiled some of them.
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Eventually the landscape changed as we began our steep ascent to the Golan Heights. The dizzying drops off the side of the road had skeletons of cars in some places that had not made the turns. A line of brought green vegetation marked the Jordan River's course through the ravine. A broken train bridge towered over it.
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Eventually we reached the top and everything flattened into the fertile plateau of the Golan heights, which stretched to the horizon looking much like something from one if the Midwestern States. Cattle ranches and vast fields and orchards covered the landscape.
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We pulled off to an overlook called Mitzpe Shalom, or the overlook of Peace and walked to a balcony. Before us was stretched out the entire sea of Galilee, sparkling blue against the surrounding hills. It was a bit hazy but we could make out the city of Tiberius and the jagged cliffs of Mount Arbel on the opposite side of the lake, and the various kibbutzim lining the shore. The air was clear and fresh, and a warm breeze was blowing.
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After that we made our way down into the basin of the Kinneret and headed to the ancient ruins of Capernaum, where Yeshua based most of his ministry around the lake. There was s lot of teaching, then we went down to the waters edge in a place where Dad had done some teachings last time we came. I felt a mixture of overwhelming joy at being there again, the lake that is such a refreshing place to me...and also a pang of sadness at the thought that my family was not with me there, for the first time. So many memories there, the pictures taken together. I sat on a bench looking over the water and just reflecting on the journey I am on, thanking the Lord for His faithfulness in bringing me back to His land.

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We had a while there, then headed to the Nof Ginnosar, where we ate a picnic lunch. Then we headed to the docks to board the boat. There is nothing like being out on that Sea in a boat. It just so happened that the boat was the very same one we had taken in 2017, so it was partially reliving the experience. I stood on the bow of the boat as we sailed out with "I Love Your Presence" playing in the background. It was such an amazing experience, there are simply no words to describe the feeling of the wind across my face, the sound of the waves gently lapping against the boat. And the perfect silence out there.
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Too soon we headed back to shore and boarded our bus for the 2 hour drive back to the base. The sun was setting as we reached the hills of the Shomron. It was a very long day. Everyone ate supper and headed to bed early.
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This morning we were on the bus by 6:30. I rode in the van this time. We headed across the valley to the vineyards of Shiloh. Another very special place for us. We started in one vineyard, and were reminded of the story in the bible where the daughters of Shiloh went out to dance in the vineyards. Then we headed by bus a short distance to another one, which was literally in the shadow of the Tabernacle platform. Looking up from the vines I could clearly see the ancient city of Shiloh and the flags of the tabernacle platform. It was an amazing feeling to be harvesting in this place where the ancient vineyards had once stood. And now the vineyards have been planted again. Simply amazing.
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It was a hot 5 hours on the sun, then we were back at the base for lunch and a guest speaker talking about Jerusalem. We had a couple hours of free time before supper and another guest speaker. Tomorrow we are on the bus for 5:30 heading to Jerusalem.

This featured blog entry was written by Jordan Long from the blog Israel Journey 2019.
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By Jordan Long

Posted Wed, Oct 30, 2019 | Israel | Comments