In October, our family had the privilege to spend a week in Israel. We were invited by Wspolnota Drzewo Oliwne (The Olive Tree Fellowship) to participate in this amazing tour. The trip was very special because it aligned with Agnieszka’s and my 15th wedding anniversary!
I visited Israel last year to teach at an international conference. However, for this year’s trip, we traveled as a family to visit the Holy Land for the first time. Agnieszka, Dawid and I had always dreamed about making this trip together and walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
We had a holy and inspired trip! We were in Jerusalem during Sukkot, or the Feast of the Tabernacles celebration. At the time the Jerusalem Temple existed, it was one of the three pilgrimage festivals that the Israelites were commanded to make to the Temple. From a spiritual perspective, it is meant to be a time of commemorating the Exodus and dependence on the will of God (Leviticus 23:39-43).
We participated in the Jerusalem march with thousands of Christians across the world to show the Jewish people that they are not alone. It was a wonderful and joyful experience to walk the streets of Jerusalem, to bless and be blessed. Watch this short video from the international march ( Feast of Tabernacles 2016 on Vimeo) and you’ll understand why this was an exhilarating experience to our family!
We also visited many places where Jesus walked, taught and ministered to people. We loved being at the Blessings Mountain where He preached His famous Sermon on the Mount. We also saw Tabhta where Christ multiplied bread and fish to feed the thousands. The Mount of Transfiguration was deeply moving. At Capernaum, known as the Town of Jesus, we saw parts of the 4th century Synagogue built on the remains of the “Synagogue of Jesus”. We took a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus calmed the storm and walked on water.
It was a life-changing pilgrimage for all of us. The Gospels came to life as we walked in the footsteps of Jesus. On the last day, we visited a baptismal site at the Jordan River. Many were gathered there. Agnieszka started talking with a man who was standing in the river in his baptismal garment.
Through conversation, we learned that he was a seaman from Indonesia who came to the river specifically to be baptized. However, there was no one there who could baptize him. I walked into the water and had the privilege of baptizing this Indonesian man and blessing him. It was an unforgettable experience. That’s what I call being in the right place at the right time!
We are so grateful to God for the privilege to have spent this week in the Holy Land. Imagine our 9 year old son, Dawid, praying everyday and thanking God for what He did for us. Dawid realized in a deeper way the significance and history of his own name as we walked along King David’s streets.
We also visited one of the sites in Jerusalem called the Tomb of Jesus. I say “one of the sites”, since there are several possibilities of the actual location. What really matters, though, is that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive, still ministering to all of us. What a blessing it is to know Him and to share Him with others in ministry.
Wojtek, Agnieszka and Dawid