Israel Study Tour - Bridgeway Christian Church

August 31 - September 11, 2015

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A Puzzle

Our last full day in Israel was spent exploring Jerusalem and area around Bethlehem. We started out practicing our archeological skills at the Temple Mount Sifting Project in the Tsurim Valley. We then traveled to the area of Bethlehem and visited the Herodium, a massive fortress/mausoleum project build by Herod. The site overlooks the Bethlehem area. Our afternoon was spent visiting the Israel Museum with an amazing model of 1st Century Jerusalem and the Friends of Zion Museum. We closed out our day with an excellent dinner and fellowship at the Dolphin Yam Restaurant. We said our goodbye’s to our Ronen, our OUTSTANDING Tour Guide, are getting packed for our 3am wakeup call.

John’s Blog;

“A puzzle” That’s how Ronen, our Tour Guide and our Teachers, Matt and Richard, introduced us to Israel 10 days ago. I was excited to explore Israel and the idea of putting a puzzle or picture together raised my interest even more. During these 10 days the land, its varied geography, peoples, cultures and historical sites placed God’s Word into its original context for us. The teaching of Richard and Matt combined with Ronen’s understanding of the land helped us put this “puzzle” of the Holy Land together.

As I walked the land, hiked its mountains, explored its settlements and listened to Matt, Richard and Ronen, the unbreakable connection between the Old and New Testament became vivid to me. As passages from Isaiah, Psalms, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Matthew, John, Corinthians, among others, were read the power of God’s Word from the Old Testament as taught by Jesus and the Apostles became real for me as never before. God’s wisdom, power, mighty hand and love for us is immeasurable. Praise be to God!

This evening reflecting on all that I have seen, heard and experienced in Israel, the word I keep returning to is Faith. Faith in almighty God, our Father in heaven, is what brought Abraham to the Promised Land, gave the Patriarchs and their descendants the strength to seize their inheritance and the Apostles to follow Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. I thank God for the opportunity to be part of this group visiting Israel, for what I have learned and experienced and pray for the faith and strength to serve and glorify Him as a follower of His son Jesus Christ.



Herodium is 3 miles southeast of Bethlehem and 8 miles south of Jerusalem. Its summit is 2,460 feet above sea level.

Herod built or re-built eleven fortresses. This one he constructed on the location of his victory over Antigonus in 40 BC.

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