Study Tour Wrap Up

March 12, 2016

Now that we’ve returned from our study tour you’ll hopefully be able to talk to one of us in person about what we saw, heard, learned, and experienced!

Below is a wrap up video that serves as a nice summary of the trip and a reminder of all that we did.

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Prayer, Communion and Departure

March 7, 2016

Our last day in Israel began with our tour bus driver winding his way through East Jerusalem traffic to the Mount of Olives. With Old Jerusalem as his backdrop, Ronan read Old Testament prophecies of the then yet to come Messiah. On our walk down the Mount of Olives we rejoiced in the Lord, singing praises to him.

On a grassy place along the hillside, Bryan talked to us about two cups – Jesus’ cup of suffering and his cup of covenant communion. From Matthew 26:26-29, we read Jesus’ instructions to his disciples and Hickman led us in communion together. At the traditional site of The Garden of Gethsemane, Ronan read of Jesus’ prayer and betrayal which is also recorded in Matthew 26.

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Pray for the peace of Israel

March 6, 2016

Our first stop of the day was the Temple Mount. Ronan talked to us about the obedience of Abraham in offering his son Isaac and about the heritage of the Jews. We visited the Western Wall and the Western Wall tunnels under the Muslim quarter. He talked to us about the four walls of Herod’s temple and the construction and history of the temple.

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Clash of cultures

March 5, 2016

Today we said goodbye to the Sea of Galilee proceeding south along the Jordan River. We viewed the country of Jordan to the east as we progressed toward Bet She’an in the upper Rift Valley fault line. There we discovered the city of Schytopolis, archeologically unearthed displaying the magnificence of it’s columns, structures, mosaics, bathhouses, and tributes to Greek gods. Visually the city was another ‘wow’ – but Ronan appropriately pointed out the obvious clash of cultures and belief systems and re-emphasized the trap that compromising God’s will sets. Before departing, we spent precious time together with our families in solemn, earnest prayer to defeat compromise and promote our desire to more deliberately spread the gospel.

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Knit together by God’s love

March 4, 2016

We visited the village of Katzrin built in the second century. We sat together in a one room house like homes where Jesus taught and healed. We were challenged as we read the story from Mark 2 about the men who lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof to see Jesus. Even though Jesus was interrupted in His teaching, He responded to their faith and healed the man. Bryan asked “Are we willing to be interrupted to do God’s will?”

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Authentic Community

March 3, 2016

After spending our first two days in the desert, it was refreshing to move to a cooler environment. We began our morning taking a boat across the Sea of Galilee. We stopped in the middle of the lake to experience the peace and stillness. Ronan explained how quickly storms could come and disrupt the peacefulness. Regina led us in singing “It Is Well”. A good reminder that no matter what storms arise in our lives, His presence brings peace in the midst. Ronan taught us some Jewish songs and dance, and we laughed hard as we danced and sang on the boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. I don’t think we’ll ever look at each other the same way again.

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Thirsting for Water

March 2, 2016

Our second day began with a sunrise float in the Dead Sea. Because we were all wearing white hotel robes, someone commented that we looked like an army of angels.

After a delicious breakfast and wonderful cappuccino, we packed up and headed to Masada. Some hiked the snake path, including Melinda who ascended first, while others rode the gondola to the top. Ronan recounted to us the history of Masada. The snake path to the top was a teaching point to keep fighting and to not take our freedom or independence for granted.

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Fruit and compromise

March 1, 2016

Daylight found us this morning somewhere over Italy making our way to Tel Aviv. Once landed, we were off in the tour bus to our first stop – a hike to Tel Gezer. Ronan, our amazing host, introduced us to the land of Israel with conversations ranging from land regions, to plant life, to Sabbath regulations, to favorite foods… He talked to us about the importance of the standing stones of remembrance at Tel Gezer and the importance of not compromising on carrying out God’s plan. Whether it be a broad command such as possessing the promised land or a Biblical truth we each must apply personally, we must guard ourselves against compromise.

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Preparing for Israel

January 4, 2016

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…

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