Our Last Day

December 21, 2015

As I write this, we are sitting on the plane flying home. As I look around the plans I see stories of lives that have been radically changed on this journey, friendships that have been forged, and hearts that are full from this experience.

Earlier today we said good bye to our guides, Ronan and Sam and Eileen Meier. We are forever indebted for their wisdom, insight, and kindness on this trip. In many ways, they are what have made this trip so special and we are truly honored to have learned from them.

On our final day in Israel, we went to the top of the temple mount and viewed the Dome of the Rock. Ronan shared with us about Islam and helped us come to a better understanding of the key tenants of their faith.

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More than I could have ever imagined

December 19, 2015

“Jesus love me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…”

How many times have you heard this song? Probably a million. But have you ever stopped to think , really think, about just how much Jesus loves you?

We did that today.

We started off our day at the Mount of Olives where Jesus and his disciples spent so much of their time. We even walked down the very street where Jesus rode a donkey in to Jerusalem. Hosanna to the King of Kings!

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Today we walked in Jerusalem

December 18, 2015

Today we walked in Jerusalem. Before we left for this trip I wondered how I would respond to being in Israel. I am not an emotionally based woman. I don’t cry easily or often. I just don’t respond like most women I know. I am most trusting of truth. Reality. Facts. Substance. My prayer was that I would be open to what God wanted to teach me. I wanted to absorb all He wanted me to see, to touch, to smell …and I asked Him to help me feel.

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The hustle and bustle

December 17, 2015

Abba, Thank you for this amazing journey! Not just today but this entire week. My heart, soul and spirit are so moved and overwhelmed with the depth of details that I am learning.

Today we again started the day at the edge of The Sea of Galilee, Matthew 5, Blessed am I as I realize I am poor in spirit and need you. Pastor Ryan reminded us that we can come to You in confidence prayer, or Hutzva as our Israeli friend and guide, Ronan would say.

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Snapshots in My Mind

December 16, 2015

Beginning the day standing at the shore of the Sea of Galilee…Pastor Ryan spoke on Hebrews 11 and the great cloud of witnesses (Biblical patriarchs that we’ve been learning about) that surround us today. As he spoke at that site, I felt that cloud of witnesses cheering me on in my faith.

Getting on a boat for a Sea of Galilee boat ride…Dr. Sam taught about the imagery of the Sea being the most powerful symbol of evil for the Hebrews and how when Jesus calmed the seam he was actually conquering that very image his disciples had of evil and death. I felt the power of Jesus to conquer the fear in my life.

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Jesus in Galilee

December 15, 2015

There are really no words to describe the overwhelming emotions of experiencing the Holy Land. Today we had the opportunity to climb Mt. Arbel, a mountain that overlooks the Sea of Galilee. It is thought that this is where Jesus retreated regularly to pray. Mark 1:35. After the climb we were able to get alone with god atop the mountain. Can you imagine walking where Jesus walked and touching the places he touched? We are doing just that, and it’s amazing!!

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Strongholds

December 14, 2015

Another extraordinary day here in Israel, this morning we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise over The Dead Sea and the Mountains of Moab. After a heartfelt group prayer on the shore we loaded up the bus and headed to Masada the South Eastern border of Israel in Biblical times.

Upon approaching the Judean Mountain range that Masada was constructed on, I could only imagine how incredible this fortress would be based on the location. As we loaded up on a gondola (with an occupancy of 80+1, lol) and taking the 1,200 ft ride to the top we ascended on the ancient ruins established originally as a “stronghold” by the MacAbees in 150BC as a business camp and later built up under the reign of Herod the Great.

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Overcoming Fear

December 13, 2015

How does one explain the events of a day in just words? They just don’t seem to do justice to what we were able to see. As a group we experienced so much together through each and every step.

As our day started out, we were welcomed by a beautiful morning of rain showers before we headed over to Tel Be’er Sheva, which is the location of one of the advanced water systems of that day. We were able to walk underground through what was once the ancient city’s cistern and visit the ruins of old dwellings & storehouses. Wrapped up the Be’er Sheva tour near a well similar to the one that Abraham dug.

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Unlikely people. Extraordinary work.

December 12, 2015

God uses people who humble themselves before Him. God uses people who realize and admit they have sinned. God uses the most unlikely people to do His extraordinary work. Samson—called to be set apart—only prayed two times. Reading the story of Samson causes quite a few exclamations of “Oy vey!” Yet, God uses him at the very end of his life because Samson cries out and asks God to remember him. Another example discussed today—David. The man who is known as the man “after God’s own heart” messed up. A lot. Even after all the miraculous things God had done through him, David still had times of error. He lies, runs away from God, commits adultery, murders, and schemes yet he always did remember where all the good in his life came from—God. God was very patient with David—very patient. God also shows a whole lot of grace towards him. Through David, God does amazing things, yet David was also very human. Being reminded of these people encouraged me that even in my times of failure, God can use me if I let go of my pride, repent, and let Him work. It is encouraging that one of the most revered people of the Bible messed up and God still valued and loved David. God’s grace is sufficient and He wants to use us for His glory. No need to try to become perfect first; God will take you as you are and do extraordinary things through you if you are humble and repent.

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The Story Begins!

December 11, 2015

We made it! After two flights, our team from The Bridge safely landed in Tel Aviv. There we met up with Ronan our tour guide and Egal our bus driver. Straight from the airport we headed out to the top of a Judean mountain called Har Adar. Ronan shared with us that it’s the site of a key radar installation during the six-day war. At the site there’s a monument that allowed us to get a perspective of the various locations that we will see in the next few days. One of the things that is so striking is how close everything really is. Most sites could have been reached in a day or two’s walk.

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A Long Flight Ahead!

December 8, 2015

After many months of anticipation, our study tour is upon us! Early in the morning on Thursday Dec. 10th, we’ll be departing on our two-leg journey to Israel. If you want to follow along with our flights, check out the links in this post.

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Preparing for Israel

November 25, 2015

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!

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