March 30th 2017

Tonight, I watched the sunset over the Sea of Galilee. I am struggling to fully grasp that I am in Israel. I am in the Holy Land! I am in the setting where God chose to write the greatest love story of all time. I am amazed and I am humbled.

Today was really exciting to me! We went to Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Qumran means "two moons." Most likely this is because when the moon is high over the Dead Sea, the reflection from the water makes it look like two moons are out. I have known about the Dead Sea Scrolls for a long time. I knew the story of the shepherd who found the scrolls by accident because he was throwing stones and broke a clay jar. Since then 12 caves have been discovered and over 800 scrolls, whole and partial, have been found and studied. I love history! I love that these scrolls are copies of the Old Testament dating back to the first century. These scrolls strengthen the knowledge that my faith is based on fact. These events happened and the stories have been told in the exact same way for over 2000 years. We were able to climb up into the mountain for a bit, walking close to the cliff'sedge and going near some of the caves. I was a little disappointed that we did not go to an actual cave because we had other sites to get to, but my eyes were opened to how amazing and difficult it must have been to hide these scrolls. There is debate as to who exactly hid them and why they were hidden, but whoever it was had to climb and scramble and use all of their will to make sure that all of the scrolls made the journey and that the Word of the Lord would withstand the test of time.

We are staying the next few nights in a hotel on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is simply beautiful. I think of all the stories that happened in or around this body of water. From my hotel room where I am sitting right now as I type this, I can hear the waves crashing agaisnt the sand. All I can think about is Jesus walking on that very water! It has never been more real to me. I think of Peter who stepped out in faith when Jesus called to him, and he also walked on the water. Peter sank when his fear overtook his faith, but Jesus was still with him. I do not know where I am going after this internship. That is scary. All I know for sure is that I do not want my fears to sink my faith. Jesus is calling me out to "walk on water," to step out and do what He asks. He is not saying that I am alone. Instead, He is holding out His hand, inviting
me to do what seems impossible and walk with Him on top of the waters.

Our intern class is best described as goofy. We love being around each other and making one another laugh. So when Henry, Jake and myself discovered the outdoor gym here at the hotel, we had a blast playing on all the equipment. We probably were not using any of the machines properly but it was so humorous to watch each other try. Laughing until we were crying, I
have never been more grateful for the people that make up our little intern family. I am so glad we have all been called here to be a part of each others lives and experience Israel together.

Thank you for reading and being apart of the Heartland Family!
Until next time,
Vicki

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