Virtual Pilgrimage – Yardenit, Israel

Today’s guest blog is written by Pastor Bruce Van Sickle, of the Evangelical Free Church of Green Valley. Pastor Bruce has traveled to the Holy Land as the leader of numerous pilgrimage groups. In this short reflection, he shares some memories of Yardenit, the traditional site on the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized by John.

Yardenit! One of the baptismal sites in the Holy Land that is most serene and scenic it its surroundings.

I have led four tours to the Holy Land and each one has had this stop included in the itinerary.

My first experience included a married couple wanting to be immersed at the same time. It was accomplished!

My last tour had two unique situations that are worth noting.

One woman had just become a Christian and this was her first baptism instead of a re-commitment like most of the others. I had her go first and share her testimony. What a beautiful moment!

When we were ending our time of baptisms for our group my line kept getting longer. There were three men from Nigeria and one from Brazil.

I asked them some questions and they affirmed their faith in Jesus Christ and so I baptized them as well. And then a fifth man from Portugal who spoke no English showed up at the very end. Through the Brazilian translator, he also affirmed his faith and so I baptized him as well. I felt a bit like Phillip with the Ethiopian eunuch in the Book of Acts. But it was a day to remember!

Pastor Bruce Van Sickle