We, that is Wilma, myself, our daughter Odia and Larry had struck up a conversation with a tour guide. We were with several hundreds of other folk who had registered with the "God TV 2013 Israel Tour" in the Ben Gourion airport. We were groupd at an exit door with all our luggage, waiting to be loaded onto our bus for Tiberius a city on the Sea of Galilee.
It was this tour that had actually been what we had signed up for a few months ago. We spoke to our kids, inviting them to join us, which they did. Wilma and I had arrived in Israel and Jerusalem a week earlier to kind of "soak in" the air, atmosphere, the ambiance and spiritual dynamic of the place. We had now seen the Old City of Jerusalem, we had prayed at the "Western Wall"...we had kind of gotten an understanding of the place. We had fallen in love with Jerusalem.
Today that week was up. We had taken a schuttle bus from our Bed and Breakfast and arrived at the Ben Gourion Airport to meet Larry and Odia and to join up with the tour group at the same time.
There were, to our surprise, 950 people who had registered for the tour experience.
The trip to Tiberius was a great time for us to re-connect and catch up with our children.
Meanwhile, there was a serious accident on the freeway and we had to take a detour. Next we had a toilet break stop, but no matter, we were busy talking, getting up to speed with one another. Sharing what was happening back home and our Jerusalem experiences.
We are in the Leonardo Hotel, with a view, of the Sea of Galilee. I am sitting at our hotel window right now, watching the sunrise over the sea. I can see the shore on the other side to the east. There are palm trees on the near shore and it's very quiet, not a leaf is moving. Beautiful.
Here are some random photo's I took out of the tour bus on our way to Galilee.
street camera's in Canada?
Middle: McDonalds in Hebrew.
Third: our view of Galilee out of our 17th floor window.
At some point in the conversation we exchanged names, introducing ourselves to him. It was fun to see him try to associate our names with books he'd read and so on, in an effort to remember them. Then he heard our daughter Odia's name and He stopped in his tracks remaining strangely silent. Then he said, "I have never heard that name before!" He scrunched up his face trying to remember, "That is a Hebrew word you know." Then he began repeating snatches of Hebrew scripture...."You know what it means don't you?" he said, still thinking..."Has anyone got a Bible?" Larry dove into his pack...
"Here," he said to Odia, showing her a passage, it means, 'I will be thankful', and he read a passage to show her.
What a blessing for me as a father to sit here, early in the morning before the Sea of Galilee and revisit this amazing moment as we stood among our luggage in the airport. My heart bursting upon hearing that amazing blessing given to our daughter. A definition of her name that rings true to her beautiful spirit. A spirit of joy, fun, generosity and yes, also "thankfulness!"
as I've been writing this.
My heart is full.
Sea of Galilee by Cliff Derksen