September 20, 2014
I could tell you a million things about our last day in Israel, like all the sites we went to and the wealth of information that our tour guide gave us. But I would rather leave you with this overall impression: Israel is a land of contrast.
Beautiful stone buildings surrounded by trash. Orthodox Jews in classic black outfits carrying cell phones. Women in long skirts, with their heads covered in scarves of red sparkles. Young school girls in conservative black skirts and white shirts but carrying pink Hello Kitty purses. Cobblestone roads covered by bicycles and busses. Sheep and their shepherd on the side of hill next to an overpass covered in graffiti. Old meshed with new. Generous people living in a harsh environment.
September 17, 2014
We started the day by going to the Western Wall! Watching the Jewish people be so devoted, focused, and confident in their prayers was inspiring. We had a tour through the Rabbinic tunnels which span the wall literally underneath the Muslim Quarter of the city. This wall is the closest you can get to the place that the Jews consider to be the most holy and sacred place on earth. Then we hiked through Hezekiah’s tunnel in the Old City! It was super awesome because we were trekking through ice cold water in a dark, smoothly-carved tunnel. And it was long!! John Ellis recorded a video that lasted 22 minutes and Steve McCormick only hit his head on the rock above five times! Haha
September 15, 2014
To get the full impact of this story, you need to know that I am a middle-aged, Awkward, Heavy Geek. You would bet money I could not enjoy a trip that included hiking. I would have joined you in that bet myself. so why I am growing and loving this trip to Gods country so much? The genuine Christian love shown to me by the people of Rocky Peak.
September 14, 2014
I am standing eighteen inches away from the water at the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The Sun is on my back, warm but not heavy, painting rosy strokes on the clouds above and putting a soft glistening touch on the rolling hills across the big lake. The breeze is gentle, and the waves lap the rocky beach lazily, a peaceful, constant murmur in the background. Thanks to the technology of the day, the sound of familiar worship songs fill the area. I look up to the skies, I lift up my hands, and along with 44 of my closest Israel study tour friends, we sing our hearts out, blasting our praise in adoration of our Lord. Abandoning all other thoughts, surrendering ourselves to his perfect and good will. We sing and shout, shout and sing, united in mind and heart…
September 13, 2014
Blessed is the early bird riser who starts her day with worship on the shores of Galilee… For she will “catch” my voice and follow me throughout this day. Blessed is the princess hiker who trains to climb Mt. Arbel… For she will find a crusader castle and know I am her Strong Tower King.
September 12, 2014
We started at the lowest point on earth with a teaching at the beach of the Dead Sea. We were reminded by Mike that like the Dead Sea we can’t just have the spirit flowing into our live, it also has to flow out of our lives to others. We then strained our bodies to reach a physical high by climbing the face of Masada and learning about this last independent Israel stronghold. They went almost two thousand years from the fall of the fort to the forming of the new nation.
September 11, 2014
Hello from the LOWEST place on the face of this Earth! The Dead Sea. This is Brad here and I thought I’d give you an update of what we were up to today. Needless to say, there were still a few of us making some adjustments to our circadian rhythm (i.e., jet lag), but we started off with a terrific breakfast and then made the trek to the Wilderness of Zin.
September 10, 2014
Today we visited multiple, beautiful sites in Israel. We spent our day in the Shephelah, the lush, green Judean foothills. Our first stop was a recreation of a biblical town and garden. We got to see oil and wine presses, ceremonial baths and had a chance to orient our selves geographically. Then we moved right on to Gezer.
September 9, 2014
We’ve finally made it to our hotel for the night. 20+ hours ago we set out from our homes and met at LAX. After 2 planes and a bus rides, 2 airline meals and lots and lots of sitting we are now getting ready to go to sleep. Even as the exhaustion starts to take over we’re reminded of the exciting adventure that awaits us tomorrow.