Hi again. I wanted to share a fun little story that happened yesterday up at the Sea of Galilee. It was on my list of "like to see" places on this trip. One friend here wanted to come but ended up not being able to, so I went for the day. On the bus, I tried to find some mentions of a nearby mountain named Tabor (supposedly it's the mountain on which Jesus transfigured) and before finding that, I found a verse where it says Jesus went on a mountain one night to be alone with the Father and pray. That stuck out to me more than anything I read.
As I exited the bus in Tiberias (or Tiberia in the local tongue), I found myself with that lost feeling again (funny how I'm starting to feel more comfortable with that feeling). It felt even heavier because I didn't exactly know what I was doing there. I knew I wanted to see the sea, but didn't know where exactly. All the sites mentioned in the Bible were far away and I was on foot. To make a long story a bit shorter, I just said all that in a quick prayer and started walking towards the water. I began to walk along a highway along the water towards a place called Nof Ginnosor. There's an awesome view of the Sea there and so I began my way. It felt closer last time I was here (that time was on a tour bus) and I found I had a long walk ahead of me. After two hours, I found myself about 3/4's of the way there. Along the way I stopped to explore a trail a bit, but turned around as it led to some bee hives. It was a beautiful hike and I was just trying to think of what to do. I could see the places I wanted to be way off in the distance but felt they were out of reach for this day and I began to feel a sadness. I even began to try hitchhiiking (no one stopped). Then I was reminded of the verse where Jesus came to be alone with the Father. So (without getting too into private matters) I began to just talk as I walked. I wanted so much to be used by God during this trip and come back with some awesome testimonies, that I overlooked just being with the Father. So here was a good time.
After walking for a couple hours, I stopped at a gas station for some shade and ice cream (it was really hot yesterday). I rested for a while and then tried to decide what to do. I needed to be back in Tiberia in time for the bus back to Jerusalem and I figured I was two hours away and I was starting to feel tired. Then off in the distance I saw a dirt road that lead towards the Sea and decided to at least check that out before heading back. It turned out to be a backroad along some farm fields. It began to feel like an old road and I tried to imaging seeing Jesus walking down it with the disciples. I kept going and then some cars started coming down the road, but they found it was a dead end and turned around. One car stopped and a man got out and walked around. I made it to the dead end and stood to just see the view of the Sea. The man then came up to me, saw my camera and began to ask questions. He spoke in hebrew and I just shrugged and mumbled "english?" The man started to speak in english and we then started to conversate. He found out that I'm a Christian and said to his wife in the car that I'm a Notsri (Christian in Hebrew). Another car appeared and the man then went towards the car. The man's wife got out of their car (it was near to me) and she too began asking me questions about my camera. I handed it to her and she was enjoying the telephoto view of flowers. She began to ask me where I was from and I told her. She then asked me why I was out there to take pictures and I told her nervously (nervously because they were Orthodox Jews and it's sort of a no no to menton Jesus around here) because Jesus was around here and I wanted to see where He walked. She said she knew Jesus was Jewish and from Nazareth, but didn't know He had been around the Sea. I told her there are sites further up ahead where He did miracles and taught as a Rabbi. She seemed to get excited at that and then asked "what sorts of miracles?" So I pointed and said, over there He fed 5000+ people by multiplying 5 loaves of bread and some fish. She said "oh! like the Manna from the sky?" I said "yes". Then I pointed to another spot where He raised a girl from the dead and she said "oh! like the prophet Elisha raising a boy from the dead?" And then I pointed to another spot and said after Jesus had died in Jerusalem, He appeared to His disciples and made them breakfast on the beach. She giggled and said "that was nice of Him." I laughed too and said "yes, Jesus won't let you go hungry." Then she asked if I was raised a Christian and so I told her my background a bit. I told her I was raised Greek Orthodox, but didn't really believe until I was 22. Then I told her my story in how I became a believer. I told her of my heart for the Jewish people as I became attached in reading Genesis. Then I told her how I believed Jesus is the Messiah and she just listened with a smile. Then her husband came back and they offered to give me a ride anywhere I wanted, and so it was back to Tiberia in time for a quick dinner and hop on the bus. I felt excited as they dropped me off in that God directed the whole time. I don't know if the couple became saved or whatnot, but it was cool getting to share my story with the lady. Perhaps it planted a seed for God to grow. So if you think about it and have time, please pray for a man named Ariel and his wife (I don't know how to even pronounce her name).
Give God time!