February 24, 2017
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!
Below is a wrap up video that serves as a nice summary of the trip and a reminder of all that we did.
February 23, 2017
That’s not just the story of our last day, but the last part of our last day, as we celebrated Communion near the Garden Tomb, possible site of our Savior’s resurrection.
Our final day was spent covering much of Jesus’ last day in Jerusalem, as well as his return, as our resurrection hope.
We began early at the Mount of Olives, catching a spectacular view of the Old City and especially the Temple Mount. In the time of Jesus, he and the disciples would have looked up, though, since the Holy of Holies stretched much higher than the dome on the rock.
February 22, 2017
As one of our folks said at dinner tonight, “We’re not sure if we spent more time underground or above ground today.” We also heard a lot of information from our excellent guide, so if today’s summary seems a little cloudy, you will know why.
We started early, so that we would not have to wait long to go to the Temple Mount. Thanks again to our guide, Yehuda, we were able to get right in, but the rules are very strict up there. Visitors must be quiet and must not touch. No bags are allowed, but cameras are. There are also certain things guides cannot talk about (mostly Jewish and Christian things, unfortunately).
February 21, 2017
Today we visited three places, ending our day at the Israel Museum, where we looked at a detailed model of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. We also got to see a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, as well as artifacts from several of the places we visited.
So that’s how our day ended, but it began with an ascent up Herodium, another palace-fortress of Herod the Great.
“Is this tour about Jesus or Herod?” someone wondered aloud on a previous Crossings tour. Indeed it sometimes feels like it’s more about Herod, because we’ve now visited three memorable sites built by him. In the midst of our day, though, Terry helped us to see the wonder of the baby Jesus in the shadow of Herod’s reign.
February 20, 2017
Today we said goodbye to our place by the Sea of Galilee and headed west, then south. We visited Nazareth and Megiddo in the morning, then Mount Carmel and Caesarea Maritima, on the Mediterranean Sea.
As we drove through the somewhat large and busy city of Nazareth, Yehuda told us that it was very small until the 19th Century. In fact, it might not have shown up on many maps, and it is a far cry from the quiet village it was in the time of Jesus.
February 19, 2017
After a chilly devotional by the Sea of Galilee, we were treated to a perfect day in the Golan Heights. Our driver and guide were pleasantly surprised at how clear this winter day was, allowing us to see things clearly on our morning drive to Dan, including stunning views of snow-capped Mount Hermon.
Dan: City of much biblical history
Our day began in Dan, a city mentioned in several OT places, starting in Genesis 14. As we entered the excavated city, Yehuda showed us where, how, and why the city gates were placed. As we reached the upper part, we entered into what was one of two “temples” in the Northern Kingdom, after the division of Israel and Judah.
February 18, 2017
Our crisp, cool morning began with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee.
After the crew raised the American Flag and played the National Anthem, we were treated to a number of worship songs, starting with “10,000 Reasons.” What a thrill it was to sing, dance and sail together across the Sea. We even had the chance to wish one of our own a happy birthday.
Halfway across, the captain shut down the engine, and Terry read two familiar Sea of Galilee accounts: Matthew 14:22-32 and Luke 8:22-25. Each story involved a sudden storms, common to this area, and bringing a restless fear to Jesus’ disciples.
February 17, 2017
As we awoke today near the Sea of Galilee, the sun was out and the birds were singing (and we had no rain the entire day!).
How fitting that our first two stops would center around Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, where the “birds of the air” help us understand Jesus’ charge to entrust our lives to our Father’s care.
Our first stop was atop Mount Arbel, which overlooks the Sea of Galilee and many sites of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. As we stood in this remote place, Terry highlighted Jesus’ habit of going to isolated places to pray. Perhaps Mt. Arbel would have been one such place. While there, we were given some time to read, pray, and leave our anxieties there.
February 16, 2017
Within the wilderness and the bitter taste of the Dead Sea, there is a comforting oasis, known as “En Gedi.” As soon as you enter En Gedi, you see and hear what is missing in the surrounding areas: rich green colors, active wildlife, and the sound of fresh-falling spring water. Perhaps the author of Psalm 42 was thinking of a place like this, when he wrote, “As the deer pants for flowing streams of, so my soul longs after You, O God.”
February 15, 2017
Today was packed with activity and fun, and what better day of the week to ride camels than Hump Day (“What day is it?!”).
The Judean Wilderness
We began the morning with a devotional by the Dead Sea (a few of us ended the day there, as well, floating in some very cold water!), then it was off to the Judean Wilderness. As rode through this vast area, then stopped to take a short journey ourselves, it was easy to see why the Israelites grew discontent in a short time. Fortunately for us, the day was not a summer day, which could see temps in the triple digits. It was windy and cold, though, and we were reminded that no matter what the season, it would not be the place anyone would want to spend 40 years.
February 14, 2017
After some traveling challenges that put us behind a day, all 41 of us came together around midday and visited two major sites, before settling into our hotel beside the Dead Sea.
We first stopped at a site overlooking the hometown of Samson (Beth Shemesh), located near the Philistine city of Timnah. As we stood and looked out over these two places, Terry Feix introduced a word-picture of Samson’s life, evidenced by the proximity of his hometown and the land of the ancient Phlistines.
January 6, 2017
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!