June 29, 2016
Today was our last day in Israel. It was fitting that we spent our day walking the same road that Jesus walked. He walked the route from Mount of Olives to the place he was crowned king, Golgotha. Though he wasn’t crowned King in the way we would have expected, or even in the way that some of his followers would have hoped, we have no doubt that on that cross the great battle was won, and Jesus arose again as King.
We started our journey walking to the Garden of Gethsemane. It was here in this garden that Jesus prayed for another way, a different way. It was in this same garden that Judas, his friend, betrayed Jesus with a kiss on the cheek. We took time to remember that just before this he was anointed (like a King) with oil. The aroma from such an anointing would have filled the air as the Romans came to arrest him.
June 28, 2016
Today was a day filled with mixed emotions for our group. We knew what we were in for today. We knew that we would see not only the Western Wall of the ancient temple, but that we would also end our day at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum located in Jerusalem.
We boarded our bus for a short drive to the temple wall. The presence of the Israeli military was felt heavier than any other site we had been to. It is clear that this is their holiest site, a site where no act of violence can find its way in. It’s the only place in Israel so far where we have not only walked through metal detectors, but the only place where we also have had our bags searched. The importance to keep such a site holy was clearly visible by the protection given.
June 27, 2016
Our first day in Jerusalem was an incredible one. The current hotel that hosts us boasts a stunning view of the city. Morning couldn’t come fast enough for us. We were finally ready. Jerusalem.
After a quick breakfast we were on the bus and out to the city. As we drove through the city one can see how important it is to the people to preserve the history of this place. Amongst homes and business extends beautiful ancient history.
June 26, 2016
We pulled out from our kibbutz along the Sea of Galilee for the last time today. It has been an amazing experience in Galilee, but we are off now to Jerusalem!
There were three sites that took our attention today as we traveled to Jerusalem: Meggido, Mt. Carmel, and Caesarea.
Meggido sits upon an ancient hilltop settlement in Northern Israel. The site is absolutely stunning. We began our Meggido experience with a short film explaining the diverse and complicated history surrounding the site. Twenty-six different civilizations made their home atop Meggido. Meggido’s location boats an impressive amount of power for those who called it their home.
June 25, 2016
Today was our last day in Galilee, and though we are sad to leave this beautiful area, we are ready to finally head to Jerusalem. Our guide, Ronen, told us on the first day of our trip that one-day we would be ready. That day has come.
Our last day in Galilee was a peaceful day, a Sabbath day. We started our day with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Along the way we sang songs and danced and celebrated the beauty that we have experienced so far. While on the boat we began to wonder what an ancient boat might have looked like to Jesus and his disciples. And as it turns out, the spot we arrived at on the other side of the lake held such a treasure.
June 24, 2016
When we started our day we were ready for comfort. After a long day of hiking and seeing many sites in Galilee, we were ready for what one might call, a “comfortable” day. In fact, we were ready for a day on our terms; yet, what we learned seemed to put this thought to the test.
Every morning we gather and share a meal together. We share stories of how we slept, dreams we had, how sore our bodies are; but when we walk on the bus, we are ready for adventure. We are like the Israelites in the desert, sandals strapped, food in hand, chasing after the cloud by day and the fire by night. This trip has stretched us and reminded us that though we often seek what is convenient for us, it is actually the difficult path, the hard path that grows us.
June 23, 2016
Pulling away from our hotel we looked out at the calm and serene Sea of Galilee. It was here in this region that the majority of Jesus’ teachings and ministry took place.
“Welcome to…Jesus land!” our guide Ronen called out on the bus.
We all perked up in our seats to look out, as if expecting to see Jesus himself standing at the shore calling to some young fishermen to become fishers of men, or to see him teaching upon a hill top, or even retreating to a mountain for prayer. We know the stories, but they were once again coming to life before our eyes.
June 22, 2016
“We’re still in the desert!” Ronen shouted as we boarded the bus for our third day out and about in Israel. There were a few chuckles on the bus as some of our minds immediately went to the Ancient Israelites in the desert, wandering 40 years before making it to the Promised Land. I can only imagine the groans from the Israelites, as Moses too might have begun his day with, “Well, we’re still in the desert!”
“But,” continued Ronen, “we are on our way to living water. Mayim chayim!”
“Mayim chayim!” we shouted back to Ronen.
June 21, 2016
As we began our second day, our guide Ronen, wore a shirt with the phrase, “It’s good to be the King,” plastered across his chest. Little did we know that this would be the lesson learned at our first very site for the day.
It’s about a 20-minute drive from where we were staying, but on the bus we could quickly see our first site for the day: Masada. Rising above the valley containing the Dead Sea sits the ancient fortification, towering above the desert below. After a nice cable car ride to the top of the mountain, we began our trek throughout Masada, and quickly learned how good it was to be King.
May 21, 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 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!