Israel Study Tour with River City Christian

November 7-19, 2022

Led by Mark Shetler, Jesse Smith
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Trip Blog Posts

Day 10 - Jerusalem: Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Saint Anne's, Pool of Bethesda, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Farewell Dinner

posted on Friday November 18 2022 at 10:00 pm UTC

Thank you for following our Israel Study Tour blog! It has been an inspiring, challenging, and fulfilling trip full of new adventures each day! To find the complete photo gallery of our trip, visit We were blessed with lovely clear...

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Day 09 - Jerusalem: City of David, Hezekiah's Tunnel, Southern Steps, Yad Vashem

posted on Thursday November 17 2022 at 9:00 pm UTC

This morning, we left our hotel in modern-day Jerusalem and travelled to the City of David, where historians believe the ancient city-center of Jerusalem stood. This location was chosen for the center because it was near a water source: the Gihon spring. The original tunnel that was dug to bring...

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Day 08 - Jerusalem: Temple Mount, Western Wall, Rabbinic Tunnels, Herodium, Bethlehem

posted on Wednesday November 16 2022 at 11:00 pm UTC

We arrived in Jerusalem last night and woke this morning ready to explore the Temple Mount. We were amazed by the sheer size of the platform that Herod built on the mount after the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile. The temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, but the main platform remains....

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Day 07 - Galilee - Jerusalem: Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Caesarea Maritima

posted on Tuesday November 15 2022 at 9:00 pm UTC

Today was centered around our bus journey from the Galilee to Jerusalem. Along the way, we stopped at several sites, the first of which was Megiddo. This was a major trade route connecting Egypt and Mesopotamia. As such, it was a strategic location to control in Bible times. Megiddo was built by...

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Day 06 - Galilee: Beth Shean, Gan HaShlosha, Susita

posted on Monday November 14 2022 at 8:00 pm UTC

Our first stop of the day, Beth She'an, is referenced in the Bible as the place where the Philistines displayed the bodies of Saul and his 3 sons after the battle of Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:8-13). Beth She'an was an important gateway city between the Jordan River Valley and the Jezreel Valley until it...

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Day 05 - Galilee: Katzrin, Mount Bental, Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan

posted on Monday November 14 2022 at 1:00 am UTC

We started our Sunday morning in worship and prayer on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We drove up to Katzrin, a Jewish village, to get a glimpse at what daily life was like during Jesus’ time. We got to wear traditional clothing (there was even a traditional A’s hat for Pastor Jesse!), make...

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Day 04 - Sat Nov 12

posted on Sunday November 13 2022 at 12:00 am UTC

*We had a lot of inspiring moments reading scripture at the various locations we visited. We highly recommend coming back and watching all of the devotionals when you have the opportunity.* Today was an early morning! There was a bike race around the Sea of Galilee, so we had to get on the...

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Day 03 - Negev: Ein Gedi, Qumran, Lower Jordan

posted on Friday November 11 2022 at 8:00 pm UTC

Our first stop of the day was En Gedi, the place where David hid in a cave from Saul. As a reminder, Saul had grown more and more jealous of David and sent his army to hunt and kill David. Pastor Jesse continued the rest of the story and shared a short devotional to the group. David had the opportunity...

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Day 02 - Negev: Masada, Bedouin Hospitality, Camel Ride, Wadi Zohar, Dead Sea

posted on Thursday November 10 2022 at 11:00 pm UTC

We began the morning in song and prayer before we headed out for an adventurous day!   Our first stop was the Masada. The Masada was built by Herod around 30 BC. The majority of our group tackled the steep Snake Trail (1,148 ft elevation gain!), which was the only entrance up to Masada (thankfully...

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Day 01 - Shephelah: Yad Hashmonah, Beth Shemesh, Azekah, Beth Guvrin (Maresha)

posted on Wednesday November 09 2022 at 9:00 pm UTC

We started the day at Kiriath-Jearim, the place where the Philistines returned the Ark of the Lord to Israel (1 Samuel 6:21-7:1-2). We spent the morning in prayer with one another as we arrived at the first stop of the tour. Our second stop was Beth Shemesh, located on a large trade route and gate...

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posted on Wednesday November 09 2022 at 1:00 am UTC

We thank everyone for praying for our group as we traveled across the world to the Holy Land! It was a long journey, but all 53 of us made it! We look forward to sharing our first day tomorrow!...

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Preparing for Israel

posted on Friday July 08 2022 at 2:31 pm UTC

Our trip will be here before you know it! Once we're on the ground we'll post periodic updates and photos. Check back often or get update notifications using the subscribe options on this page. We'll be sharing our travel experiences online with you, our friends and family, to not only bring you along...

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