Israel Study Tour with Calvary Church Los Gatos

Jan 6-17, 2020

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When you’re exhausted and feel like you can’t go on

What a day. We woke up and drove straight to Masada! To get to the top of Masada you either have to take a trolly to the top or hike it! The hike was steep, tiring, but so incredible. There is an intimacy that you feel with God when you’re exhausted and feel like you can’t go on any longer and He gets you there. Once we got to the top, our amazing tour guide, Dan, gave us unreal information on Masada. On Masada, Herod the Great designed and had built a fortress, an incredible and intricate fortress. It is believed that he only went there for vacationing or that he only went their for refuge. Therefore even though things were imported from around the world to build it, he never actually used it.


The summit of Masada sits 190 feet (59 m) above sea level and about 1,500 feet (470 m) above the level of the Dead Sea. The mountain itself is 1950 feet (610 m) long, 650 feet (200 m) wide, 4,250 feet (1330 m) in circumference, and encompasses 23 acres. The “Snake Path” climbs 900 feet (280 m) in elevation. From the west, the difference in height is 225 feet (70 m).

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After Masada we went and experienced a Bedouin camp. We got to see their way of life, hear a tale from long ago, and drink some tea and coffee in the way that they would. After that we got to ride camels! It was hilarious, painful, and hilarious. We had so much fun laughing and experiencing the smallest glimpse of what it would have been like to travel by camel.

Last but certainly not least we got to float in the Dead Sea! It was so surreal not having to tread water to stay above the water. It was freezing, beautiful, and a bunch of fun. Israel has been unreal and we can’t wait to continue to see all that God will do as we experience this place.

Dead Sea

Known in the Bible as the “Salt Sea” or the “Sea of the Arabah,” this inland body of water is appropriately named because its high mineral content allows nothing to live in its waters. Other post-biblical names for the Dead Sea include the “Sea of Sodom,” the “Sea of Lot,” the “Sea of Asphalt” and the “Stinking Sea.” In the Crusader period, it was sometimes called the “Devil’s Sea.” All of these names reflect something of the nature of this lake.

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