Today, there was a nice change of pace on our journey through the Holy Land. We started off the day with our typical routine of eating breakfast, having a devotion by the sea and then loading up the buses to head to our first site. On our way up the mountain to Susita, the leaders of the trip decided to join in the American culture of April Fool's Day. They got out of the bus and began to inspect it, acting as if the bus had died. They proceeded to get everyone off of the bus and begin to walk up the mountainside, while a bunch of the guys attempted to push the bus up the hill. This set the tone for the way the rest of the day was going to happen, a day full of joy and laughter.
We learned about Jesus healing the demon possessed man and how deeply He cares about each of us. We got a tour of an ancient Roman city and learned about all of the distractions that this brought into the faith. After that, we spent an afternoon in a park, soaking up the sun and taking part of Sabbath. The place that I felt God the most today was on our boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. The story of Jesus walking on water has always been one of my favorite stories. I was overwhelmed imagining this story coming to life right next to the spot that we were on the sea. The song "Oceans" began playing as I stared out into the sea, and the lyrics became a prayer for me.
"And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine"
It was in that moment that I realized how much God loves us and cares for us. No matter what storms we might be going through in life, no matter what problems we are facing, there is nothing that our God can't overcome. When we call upon the name of God, He draws near to us and is able to calm the storms. I am able to rest in God's embrace, and that's exactly what the Heartland community was able to do today.
Jake O'Connor, Heartland Intern