Friday, August 13, 2010

The Best day in Israel

Hello to all! I am sorry I am posting so infrequently. It has been a busy summer in Kuwait. I have all five kids home and we are trapped inside most days because it is so HOT! I will begin posting more frequently after school begins again. If the choice is to blog or play with my kids, the kids will always win. I have learned it is better to engage them and be a playful parent. If I spent time blogging more often, fighting would most certainly ensue. Thank you for being patient with me! I have not stopped blogging : )

Now, back to Israel. This day in Israel was my BEST day. We were blessed to drive to see the the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and the City of Nazareth. We had a picnic in a park near Galilee and had some time to stop for a photo with the sea in the background. It was absolutely beautiful! I could have spent a long time near Galilee. It reminded me of many of the beautiful inland lakes I grew up near in Michigan. The sea was full of boaters, jet skis, people swimming and many resorts alone the shoreline. Our picnic in the park was a much needed break from the car after a long drive.

When we were down at the Sea of Galilee we went on to Yardenit a baptismal site on the Jordan River. Our three oldest, Grace, Faith and Luke asked Jesus to be Lord of there lives between four and five years old. Since that time the oldest, Grace has asked consistently to be baptized. Over time and as the her younger siblings came to belief in Christ, they would ask us to be baptized as well. We had decided if we were posted in Kuwait that we would try to get to Israel and the Jordan River to baptize our oldest three.
On this morning, it was very hot and humid. This baptismal site is very popular with many Christan pilgrims. The parking lot was full of tour buses and many people were getting ready to be baptized. We paid a fee and the "Big Three" and daddy got dressed in white baptismal robes. Kelly had wanted to baptize them all, which absolutely thrilled my heart!!! Once all were appropriately dressed we headed for photos and the river.

I loved taking photos of this time in the river. The birds were singing and many people were watching our family. You cannot tell from these photos, but we had drawn a large crowd. Grandma and Granddad Briden, Timmy and Hope were watching from the background as well. I would be lying if I said I could see all the photos I was taking. I was very misty eyed as all this occurred, so I was glad the photos turned out as well as they did.
One, two, three in they all went with Daddy's help. They were making a public profession of their faith in Christ. This makes my heart swell with joy! I think the photos of them after show a little bit of each their personalities. Grace is peaceful and calm (Most of the time), Faith is full of life and excitement, Luke is a happy guy, full of a great sense of timing and humor. I am so proud of the fact that Kelly baptized them and that they have such a knowledge and love for Christ. God is so good and I thank him for this time on the Jordan. It gave me chills, while the water lapped my toes, to picture Jesus being baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist. The river was very clear and full of fish. It was an amazing setting and I could feel God's presence as my oldest children walked in obedience to Christ and followed him in baptism.

After our time at the Jordan river, we drove up to Nazareth. Nazareth was the town Jesus grew up in. It was neat after all these years of studying the bible to see these places. Nazareth was up in the hills. It was actually more beautiful up there that I expected. We ate at a mall food court. The kids were all tired of being in the car for most of the day. We were able to eat, burn some energy and talk about the day. After dinner we prepared for the drive back to Jerusalem. The drive was so green and full of farm fields. I have missed green while living in Kuwait. After a long day we made it back to our apartment in Jerusalem. Thanks be to God for this great day!!! I will always remember this time in our lives. I remember clearly what my brother, Rick, said when I shared with him our first post would be Kuwait. Rick said "Wow, you will get to see the Holy Land! That will be amazing!" I have focused on that often as we have lived in Kuwait. It is hot here and there aren't many yards for my children to run in, but I have lived a dream. I have seen the Holy land!!!!!!! Thanks be to God for making this dream come true and for blessing us with safety. I will post some pictures of our second week of vacation soon. We spent that time relaxing (mostly) in Cyprus. God Bless you and I will be back soon~