June 4, 2015
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!
Below is a wrap up video that serves as a nice summary of the trip and a reminder of all that we did.
June 2, 2015
We started the day at the Western Wall where we got to witness and learn about the prayer practices of the Jewish people. The Western Wall is one of those places that you hear about all the time so it was pretty great to get to experience it in person.
June 1, 2015
At dinner, Keith and I like to talk about our favorite site of the day and it is always hard to nail down just one. Today was no different. We started out at Beth She’an with the city of Scythopolis just down the hill. Scythopolis was a HUGE city with luxuries that tempted many people to walk away from worshiping the one true God. We were reminded by Pastor Brent that Nazareth was a one day walk from this city and that Jesus likely came face to face with the temptations here. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but One who was tempted in every way yet was without sin. The resisting of temptation produces character
May 31, 2015
Shalom from the Sea of Galilee! Today is day five of our Israel study tour. We started out this morning visiting Qatzrin where a “first century” woman dressed in costume showed us how wheat is threshed and ground. Her presentation had a humorous moment when her “pigeon rang” (aka cell phone) in the middle of her demonstration. We even got to make our own pita bread and experience a little of what living in community was like in the first century. Our tour continued with a stop at an olive oil factory where we learned about different types of olive oils used for cooking and cosmetics.
May 30, 2015
My day started early with a walk to the Sea of Galilee. I watched the sunrise and tried to capture the moment in a picture. After a wonderful breakfast with the group, we headed to hike Mt. Arbel, a desolate mountain across the Sea of Galilee. It was much cooler than the last couple of days and I was much grateful for that. As we were riding the bus, I noticed how the weather and topography changed so much within a few miles. Yesterday, we were in Negev, the wilderness and today all around us was fertile valley;avocado, mango and banana plantations growing around us. After an exhausting hour and half, we reached the top of the mountain and the view was truly worth it. In the quietness, I heard the sound of the wind. Luke 5:16 talks about Jesus withdrawing to deserted places to pray.
May 29, 2015
We began our day with a morning devotion on the shore of the Salt Sea . Pastor Brent highlighted the promise God gave us . It was awesome to think some time we would be back at this place God promised how he will make the salt water fresh and flowing with fish. God is not done with this place and he is not done in our lives. He will continue to renew us like he will renew the Salt Sea.
May 27, 2015
Today was our first day in Israel. It went by in a flash and felt like we were drinking from a fire hydrant all day! (Which actually would have been GREAT since it was 110 degrees!!) So that YOU can get an understanding of how quickly we went through all of our sites, here they are in rapidfire succession! Kiriath Jaharim really stood out to me because I am of Finnish decent. The site was paid for by Finnish donors to honor the eight fallen Jewish-Finnish victims of the Holocaust. Such a great way to honor their memory… It made me very proud!
May 26, 2015
Wow what a long trip but we have finally arrived in Israel. You wouldn’t believe the amazing conversations and adventures we have already experienced. Istanbul was great but we really only had enough time to run through the airport to catch our flight to Israel. A few of us had the opportunity to try some real Turkish delight as well as Turkish tea and coffee. Anyway we have left the airport and are settling down for the night in our hotel. A shower and a good nights sleep is just what we need as we have a full day tomorrow with many sites to see. We will do a full blog post tomorrow so keep following our adventure.
Laila Tov, which means good night in Hebrew
May 25, 2015
The time has finally come at last. Today we all meet at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX to begin the check in process with Turkish Airlines for our trip to Israel. Everyone is really excited and we can’t wait to begin our study tour through the Holy Land. Once we board our flight around 6:30 pm we will travel for 13 hours before we land in Istanbul and then transfer to our connecting flight to Tel Aviv Israel. It’s going to be a long day as we leave on a Monday and arrive Tuesday evening around 8:30 pm Israeli time. We are ready for the adventure of a lifetime, so keep us in your prayers and continue to follow us on the blog. We will make sure to do a short update when we arrive so you will know that we made it to Israel safe and sound. To quote Lao Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” So here is to that first step……