Israel Study Tour with Calvary Church Los Gatos

Jan 6-17, 2020

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A very intimate, exciting and heartfelt experience

Day 3 of Israel, a very intimate, exciting and heartfelt experience. Something that sticks out most to me in all 3 locations are the words: exact location. Let me explain.

The morning started out in Ein Gedi. Although raining, we walked about half a mile up to a waterfall where we learned about David and Saul. I was completely in awe of the thought of David writing the Psalms in the exact location of where we were standing. How cool is it that even in his darkest moments, he still called out to God in a way where he knew he would be heard. And God so profoundly used the waterfall and resource of fresh water as a symbol of life and refuge. Ultimately, the springs gave David hope that even surrounded by desert, he can rely heavily on the grace of God alone.

Ein Gedi

En Gedi is the largest oasis along the western shore of the Dead Sea. The springs here have allowed nearly continuous inhabitation of the site since the Chalcolithic period. The area was allotted to the tribe of Judah, and was famous in the time of Solomon (Josh 15:62). Today the Israeli kibbutz of En Gedi sits along the southern bank of the Nahal Arugot.

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Fast forward a few hours, and we found ourselves in yet again, an exact location of some incredible history. We learned about the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran. And what better way to learn about the history of such an important piece of the Bible then to see firsthand where exactly the Scrolls were found. Since Christianity is based on prophets, the finding of these Scrolls proved that the prophets were indeed real, contrary to what most of the ancient world believed. Although a later discovery, the proof of these scrolls is significant to the Christian faith.


10 miles south of Jericho, Qumran was on a “dead-end street” and provided a perfect location for the isolationist sect of the Essenes to live.

The site was excavated by Catholic priest Roland deVaux from 1953-56. More recent excavations of the site have taken place under the direction of Hanan Eshel.

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What struck me most today was, you can probably guess it, another exact location. We experienced the exact location of where Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River. You heard me right. Jesus, baptism, Jordan River. And even though the passage in scripture about His baptism is so short, it presents a lot of significance and gives time for us to reflect on this exact moment, especially if you get to experience the location firsthand.
Today left me craving more of God, more of His significance, more of His word, more of His fellowship, and more of His exact journey. This is only the beginning and I am honored to experience every detail and every exact location with this group of Calvary Church.

-Jenny Bybee

Featured Upcoming Tour

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Experience Israel and Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.

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