During the offseason, one leading NFL quarterback is taking his spiritual life to the next level.
The US sportsman was one of several celebrities and political leaders that were invited to take a trip to Israel by an organistation called America’s Voices in Israel, in an effort to “bolster Israel’s image in the United States”.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who set records as a rookie and will be going into his third season this fall, was submerged in the Jordan River, the same place the Bible records Jesus was baptized, during his first trip to the Holy Land co-sponsored by America’s Voices in Israel.
“This is a part of the world which gets a lot of attention internationally, and this is a chance for me to look beyond the headlines and learn more about the history and culture of this land,” Watson told ABC news.
“It is simply overwhelming,” Watson explained. “To be baptized in the waters of the Jordan River, sail on the Sea of the Galilee, and visit one of the first towns where Jesus preached his Gospel – I am truly in awe of this wonderful land and the wonderful people who live here.”
The organization takes Latino and African-American celebrities, athletes and political leaders on a week-long missions trip to experience Israel for themselves and combat the widespread negative perception in the mainstream media against the Jewish state.
Watson had the time of his life, toasting “L’Chaim!” with locals in Instagram stories shared with his 1 million followers.
“Every visitor feels the uniqueness of the place…and it has been a privilege to see Deshaun…make this special journey,” said Bracha Katsof of America’s Voices in Israel. “I hope many more people will be inspired to come, experience for themselves and learn more about Israel.”
Last year the group brought Mario Lopez to the Holy Land and he was also baptized.
“We are at the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. I’m about to get baptized,” Lopez, 44, said wearing sunglasses, a white robe, and his signature grin. “It’s a beautiful day. There’s a really cool Catholic priest that’s gonna do me the honors. And there’s a sermon going on right now. So I’m going to join these fine folks and then, bam! It’s on!”