November 19, 2017
Today we went to the Western Wall and the Rabbinic Tunnels, the City of David, the Stepped Stone Structure, Pool of Siloam and Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Then we went to lunch with the giant bagels and ended the day at Yad Vashem. Some of us went over to the Jaffa Gate area and explored a bit.
November 18, 2017
Mount of Olives
Atop the Mount of Olives, overlooking the many tombs on the hillside, and the beautiful view of Jerusalem, our group sat and listened to Ronen and Pastor Paul teach. Looking towards the temple mount, we read of the near-sacrifice of Isaac on that mountain (Mount Moriah), and of Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. We then descended the mountain, and walked through the city to our next destination.
November 17, 2017
Ronen, our tour guide, is our rabbi for the week – our teacher and explicator of the text (and the geography), and make clear he has.
Today he began our lessons within minutes of leaving the kibbutz in En Gev, starting with what exactly is a kibbutz. They began as a collective group attempting to resettle the land. Today they range from a full collective with everyone sharing in profits and work to just a village in the area where the original kibbutz was. It’s people attempting to morph and change to fit the needs of the time. Unlike the ultra Orthodox Jews that he briefly explained next – someone had asked if Jews were still taught the way they were taught in the synagogues of old, and Ronen explained that only the ultra Orthodox were. He also explained that this is a problem Israel is trying to solve because their children are not suited for life in a modern world, having no modern education.
November 16, 2017
Today is Thursday November 16th, day 5 of this forever life changing trip. As they say in Hebrew this has been a “Sababa” kind of day. Said with a thumbs up it means, good, all is well. I say AMAZING! Our day began and ended in the Sea of Galilee. This morning at 8:30 AM four sisters in Christ were baptized, Zoe Utterback, Suzanne Newman, Peg Keffer and Kathy Donley. As they came out of the water the group shouted, “Glory be to God”.
November 15, 2017
Today marks our fourth day experiencing the holy land. What a sacred time of having the Bible come to life. The foundation of our faith lies here.
Today we woke up to the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on water. My favorite experience today was taking a wooden boat where we worshipped and danced in rejoicing. It was a reminder of the need to trust our Lord and not doubt when life looks shaky and the storm arises. For we need only to stay focused on him and we will not sink.
November 14, 2017
We started with a visit to the area where King Saul and his three thousand soldiers pursued David in front of the Wildgoats’ Rocks. And sure enough, the wild goat (ibex) was there. We learned about other wildlife in the area- the hyrax or rock badger- and that in David’s time there were bears and lions in the area. We saw the many caves that David had as hiding places which resulted in his opportunity to slay the King of Israel. Due to David’s faith in God, he decided to spare the king and demonstrate his loyalty to both the king and to his God. The clear cascading waterfalls from the spring created a stark contrast to the surrounding desert terrain as well as a vivid example of living waters.
November 13, 2017
We spent our time in the desert in the south of Israel, the Negev. The Negev is vast and hot and barren and the thing that kept occurring to us is, “Why here?” Why did God bring the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) here to this rough place?
Someone said, “No wonder everyone grumbled and complained.”
It dawned on me yet again that (no new epiphany here) that we really shouldn’t be too quick to judge anyone else for their lack of ability to maintain a strong faithfulness to God. You and I struggle with the same thing daily.
Oh, and camel riding is NOT for the faint of heart. 🙂
November 12, 2017
It’s a good place to begin. Any trip that starts in a garden seems like it’ll be a good trip. Our first stop here in Israel was a Biblical Garden in the hill country of Judah called Yad Hashmona. I took a bunch of photos there, only to discover that I had forgotten to put my memory card back into my camera. I want to go back and recapture them, but those photos are gone now. But even with that little mishap, a garden is still a good place to start a journey. Adam and Eve started in a garden. Theirs was a garden with a choice. They were going to choose to obey God or not. One way would lead to life and the other way would lead to death. “I have set before you life and death,” God would tell them. “So choose life.” (Deut 30:19).
Good morning from Israel! Quite the whirlwind of travel and planes and luggage and people. The details there aren’t all that exciting except to say that it was long, but not overly stressful.
However, the thought that came to me this morning is that whether or not we’re ready, because “Here we go!” All the preparation that we have been putting this is now at the point of testing. Did we remember the razor? Did we leave enough cat food? What about the name tag? Did we remember the blasted name tag!?!?
Now we get to really see if we’re ready.
November 8, 2017
Our trip to Israel will be here before you know it!
Once we’re on the ground in Israel, we’ll post periodic updates and photos. Check back often or get update notifications using the subscribe options on this page.
We’ll be sharing our travel experiences online with you, our friends and family, to not only bring you along on the journey with us, but to also solicit your ongoing prayer and support. Most of us on this trip have been preparing mentally and spiritually for what will be a life-changing experience in the land. We’re also preparing physically as we train our bodies to handle all the time we’ll spend on our feet walking. So please pray that we would be diligent in our preparations and we would all be ready to learn what God has to teach us!