October 31, 2016
Ken Peterson shared a devotion with us this morning. He related the many stones we see everywhere in Israel with three important biblical points: Sacrifice – required a stone altar, Savior – the cornerstone, Sustainer – Psalm 18, God our rock and our sustainer.
We headed out to the City of David, an area just south of the Temple Mount where the original city of Jerusalem was built by the Jebusites before Israel conquered the land. David and his army defeated the city and David built his capital here and surrounded it with walls. We were able to view recent archaeological discoveries that have just been uncovered in the past few years. We saw the foundations of what could have been David’s palace, the stone retaining wall next to it and ancient houses on the terraced side of the hill.
October 30, 2016
We started our Sunday morning with a devotional. I, Dan shared some thoughts and verses about the resurrection and how we have the anticipation of seeing our loved ones again and the promise of a reward for what we do for God.
It was a short drive to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament building. We were privileged to take a tour. The guide explained how Israel’s parliamentary form of government works and how it differs from our government. We finished the tour with a view of the huge tapestry by the artist Chagall.
October 29, 2016
We began our day atop the Mount of Olives with an incredible view of the Temple Mount. It was a memorable experience standing where Jesus stood gazing at Jerusalem and where He will one day return. We paused at a Jewish cemetery where Jim explained the Jewish hope for a Messiah and their hope to be resurrected in the day of his coming. Those who are buried on the Mount of Olives will in their view, be raised first and enter Jerusalem with him.
October 28, 2016
Dan Brown led devotions today, sharing from Genesis 3. The first negative results of sin were fear and blame. He then shared from 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” Jesus has taken our blame and His love casts out our fears.
We took a beautiful ride out of Jerusalem and headed east into the Judean wilderness and down to the Dead Sea. We passed bedouins with their sheep and goats along the road. We traveled along the Dead Sea to Masada. The group took a cable car high up to the top of Masada. I happened to walk the snake path. King Herod built on top of this mountain plateau and during the revolt of Rome, almost 1,000 Jewish Zealots; men, women, and children took over the place. There was enough food and supplies to stay up there for years.
October 27, 2016
This morning we packed our bags saying goodbye to the Ramot Holiday Resort Kubbutz on the Sea of Galilee. We headed to the Jordan River, which isn’t quite as big as many expected. Some in our group were baptized in the river this morning by one of our ordained pastors, Harold Summers. It was a privilege for many to be baptized in the same body of water as their Savior.
On our way to our next stop we drove through Kfar Kama an early town funded by Baron von Rothschild, a great friend of Israel. We then passed Mount Tabor thought to be the site of the transfiguration. The great thing about the land of Israel is that it’s not very big, about the size of New Jersey and you don’t have to drive far to see a significant place where Jesus walked or where the Israelites were.
October 26, 2016
Another beautiful day here in the Holy Land! On our way to our first destination, Miriam pointed out the Arbel cliffs. These are where the Jewish rebels stayed during the revolt against Herod. You could see the caves way off in the distance that were used as a shelter for the Jewish people.
We arrived for many people’s favorite part of the tour, the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. The waters were very calm this morning. As we went out on the water Jim shared with us from Luke 22 when Jesus and the disciples were caught in a storm and Jesus calmed the waters. It was easy to imagine the contrast of the choppy water and the calm afterwards. It is amazing being out on the same body of water Jesus was on and walked on! Jim noted that Jesus questioned the disciples faith. And challenged us that when the storms of life test our faith, and they will, are we fully relying on Jesus.
October 25, 2016
We had another full day today of touring. This morning Dan Brown shared a devotional with us on God’s delivering grace and God’s sustaining grace. He showed how God sustained the Israelites in the wilderness after He led them out of Egypt.
On the way to the kibbutz on the Lebanon border, we rode through part of the Golan Heights and passed the ruins of Chorazin.
October 24, 2016
Boker tov! (Good morning or Good day!)
We began our first full day of touring with a devotional from Harold. He taught us about the unique tie Israel has to God’s promises. Sometimes it’s hard to believe we’re actually here, in the land of the Bible.
Something I appreciate about this tour is there is a balance of biblical and modern Israeli sites. We took a bus tour of Tel Aviv. Simchat Torah (Holiday: Rejoicing Over the Law) has begun and the streets are fairly quiet. Tel Aviv has a fascinating modern history. Miriam talked about the architecture of the buildings and also about the history of the modern state of Israel and the vision Theodor Herzl had for the Jewish people to have a home once again.
We have all arrived safe to Tel Aviv, Israel after a slight delay.
We were told we would be packing in a lot of sites and they weren’t kidding. Our guide Miriam opened the tour taking us to the modern city of Modi’in, the hometown of the Maccabees. We stopped for lunch at an indoor Israeli mall.
October 20, 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!