May 26, 2016
Now that our study tour is complete hopefully you’ll be able to talk to one of us in person about what we saw, heard, learned, and experienced!
This post has a wrap up video that serves as a nice summary of the trip and a reminder of all that we did.
May 25, 2016
Today was all about Jesus! (I mean, isn’t every day?) But today we spent the day reliving the last week of Jesus’ life. Our day started on the Mount of Olives, which sits just east of Jerusalem and has a commanding view of the Temple Mount and the city itself. Biblically, the mount has lots of significance — just ask “Rabbi Google” how many times it appears in the four gospels alone! It’s where Jesus took his disciples many times, where he wept over the city of Jerusalem, where he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he returned with his disciples after his resurrection, and where he ascended into heaven. We took communion individually and had some time to reflect Jesus’ sacrifice for us — what a powerful moment to have while overlooking the place of Jesus’ death and resurrection! On our way down the mountain (along the same general path Jesus and his disciples would have also taken into the city), we saw the beautiful Garden of Gethsemane and learned that in the Jewish faith, the Mount of Olives is such an esteemed place to be buried that remaining plots sell for over $70,000!
May 24, 2016
What a city! Modern day Jerusalem is home to 800,000 people, divided in approximately thirds between Arabs, Ultra Orthodox Jews, and Modern Israeli Jews. The city was first built by Canaanites about 4,000 years ago. Jerusalem sits on Mt. Moriah, where Abraham came to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22) and later where King David moved his capital city.
May 23, 2016
Today the weather was incredible! Not as hot as yesterday and the sky was a beautiful blue with huge fluffy white clouds. The sun was warm, but a cool breeze kept us comfortable as we hiked up to Tel Beth She’an which is situated in the Jezreel Valley in northeastern Israel. This ancient city was where Saul and his sons were killed and the nation of Israel was defeated just prior to the conquest and reign of King David. As we studied, some of us leaned against the very city walls where Saul’s body was hung by the Philistines (1 Samuel 21)!
May 22, 2016
Breakfast was amazing as usual with eggs, fruits, and veggies. Once we stuffed ourselves till we couldn’t fit another bit, we headed out to the Golan Heights to start our day off.
Here, we visited Katzrin, a small village where we learned how houses were build and had the chance to make pita bread and try fresh pressed olive oil. We also learned the term carpenter has a wrong meaning associated with it. As americans we think being a carpenter is to build houses with wood, when you live in this region there arent many trees, if not all. The term carpenter was originally meaning to use rock, yes this means Jesus was a carpenter who worked with rocks not wood.
May 21, 2016
We started Day 4 off with a 6:30 wake up call, which by this time we are used to, and went up for breakfast. Breakfast was amazing, as usual, as well as the sunrise over the calm Sea of Galilee.
After breakfast, we headed to a spot in which overlooked all of the Sea of Galilee, Mt. Arbel. The original hike many people took during biblical times, and today, would take up to 3 hours. Seeing that it was already high 70’s with a high percent of humidity, driving sounded much better. Part of the history of this mountain comes during the period when Israelis, who did not agree with the politics during that time, would hide high up in the cliffs of this mountain and throw rocks down at the people along the King’s Highway. Rome, did not particularly appreciate this and sent Harod, yes thee Harod back when he was only a general, to take care of this. It didn’t end well to sum it up.
May 20, 2016
Shabbat Shalom! Today we packed up and left our hotel overlooking the Dead Sea to continue toward our travels towards the Sea of Galilee. But the days journey was so full of such incredible adventures that I fell asleep before getting to write a summary. We traveled first to large oasis called En Gedi which is filled with green vegetation, natural springs and wild animals. We came to a spot where we could see openings to caves on the mountain side and sat while Ronen and Pastor Steve shared the significance of the place were were at. We opened the bible to 1 Samuel 23-24 and learned this the the place David and his men fled to while being hunted by King Saul.
May 19, 2016
This morning we got another early start so we could take full advantage of the day. After seeing a great sunrise, we all met downstairs and enjoyed a breakfast overlooking the Dead Sea. With full stomachs and all our gear, we loaded up and headed out to explore the desert.
First stop was Masada. It was just breathtaking looking up and seeing this huge flat top mountain in front of us. We were told that you can hike the snake back trail and actually saw “young” people doing it, but we opted for a nice cable car ride to the top.
May 18, 2016
We didn’t waste a minute getting our trip started. Most of us didn’t get to be until well after midnight and with anticipation most of us were up before our 6:30 wake up call. After a great breakfast we started our day looking at what an incredible impact agriculture has on scripture. I was blown away after hearing the “why” certain things are said in scripture. Ronen (our amazingly knowledgeable guide), really made the bible come alive right out of the gate as we visited Yad Hashmonah and learned about herbs, winepresses, olive presses, burial rituals and cleansing ceremonies.
May 17, 2016
We made it! Two planes and 16 hours later we are on our way to our hotel. It’s 11pm right now and we have been given a brief overview of key words to know, what to expect weather and time wise each day along with some cultural facts of the area. When we get to our hotel we will rest up and be ready for breakfast and day one of our tour! Stay tuned!
April 25, 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!