March 16, 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!
The post has a wrap up video that serves as a nice summary of the trip and a reminder of all that we did.
If you’d like to do join a future Friends of Israel trip, visit them online at www.foi.org/israel-tours/. You can also learn how pastors, teachers, speakers and leaders can create a study tour with GTI’s turnkey packages!
March 13, 2016
After breakfast we boarded the bus for a tour through Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial. Jim Showers gave a devotional on I Chronicles 29:14-15. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You and of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope.” Looking at Israel, we are pilgrims in this land. It is not our home. We are visitors, not citizens. It’s a privilege four us to be here. We have seen a different culture than our own. We’ve had Tito guiding us and Ruven driving us. We wouldn’t know our way in this country without them. When it comes to being pilgrims in this world, we need the Lord! When we become comfortable we stop relying on God. God wants us to know we are strangers in this world and we should be waiting eagerly for His coming.
March 12, 2016
We started the day with an encouraging devotional from Cone Underwood. He shared that when we quote John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should not perish but have everlasting life.” We should never forget verse 17, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Cone pointed out the beauty of the word, “whosoever” and the joy we have of salvation because of what the Son of God did for us!
March 10, 2016
After breakfast we traveled through East Jerusalem passing by the Damascus gate and the Lions gate to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Steve Herzig shared with us from Zechariah 14:4, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,”. He said that “that day” is the time of Jacob’s trouble. This is a future day where two thirds of the Jewish people will die. More horrible than the Holocaust. In Acts 1:6 they asked Jesus, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” But Jesus told them in Acts 1:7-8, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Steve reminded us that we are not the date setters—that’s God’s job—we are to be the witnesses. If HE is God – Then HE is God! He is sovereign and trustworthy. His promises are true and His Word is sure.
March 9, 2016
This morning after breakfast, we said goodbye to the beautiful Ramot Resort Hotel on the Sea of Galilee. On the bus David Lockhart gave a devotional from Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” We were encouraged to participate, identify, and experience with Christ and the power of His resurrection.
Heading south we passed through the Jezreel Valley and saw where the Jordan River becomes the border between Israel and Jordan. It is at this point, the West Bank of the river is Israel and the East is Jordan. As we were driving, Tito taught us about the two forms of agriculture through cooperative farming in Israel. The kibbutzims are socialistic-type collective communities and the moshav is more separate in economics but collective in their growing.
March 8, 2016
Aboard the bus this morning Peter King gave us an uplifting devotional that reminded us of the perfection of God and the power of the Gospel. It is very refreshing starting the morning with devotionals as we’re driving to our first stop.
As we drove to our first destination, Tito pointed out many cities along the way. We drove through Magdala, which was the largest town in the Galilean area during the time of Jesus. We passed Safed, the highest city in Israel. This is most likely the city Jesus was referring to when He said in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
March 7, 2016
Hard to believe today is our third day of touring! After an early breakfast we boarded the bus at 8 am to leave for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We have been blessed with perfect weather all week and today was no exception. As we drove, we saw hyrax (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyrax) among the rocks along the road. We passed Peter’s hometown of Bethsaida and the Mount of Beatitudes.
Aboard the boat we sang a mix of traditional Jewish songs and songs of our Christian faith. In the middle of the sea (the Sea of Galilee is actually a fresh water lake), with the engines turned off, Steve Herzig gave a devotional from Luke 4 and 5 about the account of Jesus and the disciples great catch of fish. He reminded us that Jesus authenticated who He was through many miracles around the lake. Peter, James, and John left everything they knew to follow Him. Steve challenged us, like the disciples, we need to invite Jesus on the boat by responding to His call. We must forsake all to follow Him. Living a life of faith does not stay close to the shore! We know that Peter was willing to take that step of faith and we must too.
March 6, 2016
Boker tov! (Good morning or Good day!) We woke up to a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea. After a full night of rest, there was a buzz and renewed energy as we enjoyed each other’s company around the breakfast table. The buffet at the Dan Panorama hotel in Tel Aviv was beyond compare with a seemingly endless amount of choices both familiar and exotic. After a fascinating driving tour of Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Netanya, and the northern coast we stopped at Caesarea Maritime.
March 5, 2016
Greetings from Israel!
It’s hard to believe we’re here in the land of the Bible.
Our flight into Tel Aviv arrived on time and after meeting for the first time as a group, we loaded the bus to start the tour. Talk about hit the ground running!
Our first stop was the ancient port of Joppa. This port town is just south of Tel Aviv’s modern city skyline on the Mediterranean. Stepping off the bus you could hear the birds singing, feel the breeze of the sea, and smell the flowers in bloom. It was a great start to the trip. I was amazed as we were walking the narrow streets that many buildings dated back to the Ottoman period.
March 3, 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!