12 January 2012

Baptism in the Jordan River

Getting baptized in the Jordan River was probably the thing I was most looking forward to during my trip to Israel. Believe it or not, I had never been baptized prior to this trip (which took place in 2010), unless you count getting baptized as an infant (which I don't, seeing as I had no real choice in the matter.) I don't know why I put it off for so long, but when this opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity to get baptized in Israel - in the Jordan River! I mean, how awesome is that? Rain was predicted for today, but the day started out sunny - and gradually the skies turned grayer and darker. I was hoping and praying the rain would hold off until after the baptism, and indeed it did! This became one of those life-defining moments, one of those experiences I would consider my best. This ranks up there with my excursion to Mt Pilatus in Switzerland.

Before the baptism, our huge group stopped at a famous fish restaurant for a little bit of lunch. The two lunch options where fish or pizza. Not knowing what kind of fish to expect, I foolishly picked the pizza (which really was not very good.) I tried some of my stepdad, Rick's, fish and it was delicious! When in Israel, go with the fresh, yummy fish instead of the pizza resembling America's worst microwave variety.

                    Ricky and his yummy fishy                                     Christy and her nasty pizza

After waiting for 400+ people to scarf down their lunches, the time had come! We headed to our baptismal site, Yardenit, on the river Jordan. I can't believe just how many people got baptized that day! If you watch the video at the end of my Capernaum post, you'll see just how many people there were. It was exhilarating, renewing and amazing to be part of this! We were all so joyful and excited, making our way to the pastors in the ice cold water, slipping from the moss underfoot...I remember it all so vividly. And who got the honors of baptizing both Christy and I? Why, no other than our bus pastor in Egypt, Pastor Ken! What a great experience that I'll hold dear to me forever!

Baptismal site

Christy and I in our baptismal garb

Christy, before and after being baptized

Sandy and Rick providing us with some worship music

Me, before and during my baptism

Christy and I, glowing from the Spirit within

Rick getting baptized by our bus pastor, Pastor Sam

It's a tough gig, standing cold water for probably 2 hours

Creature from the black lagoon?

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