Israel Study Tour - Troy Thomas & Marshall Holtvluwer

Mar 18-28, 2019

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We Have Arrived!

As I think about where we are going and what we will be seeing it is still very surreal. There is a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air amongst those in our group. Some have gone to Israel before but most this is their first time. I am certain the fact that we are actually going to Israel will become real when we are in Tel Aviv and stepping off of the plane.

We got through US customs easily and swiftly. We are flying Turkish Airlines to Istanbul then to Tel Aviv.

The flight to Istanbul is roughly 10 hours in a semi comfortable seat. All of us go through another security checkpoint with no incidents. The layover is short and we are on our way to Tel Aviv, sitting in a smaller more uncomfortable seat (I'm a big guy), and then we are at Ben Gurion airport. This flight is roughly 1.5 hours and there we go through a customs check of our passports. The airport had three flights come in at the same time and it was a sea of people! I was lucky to be sitting in the front of the plane so I did not notice the size of the crowd until much later.

We meet up for a group pic in front of the "Welcome to Israel" sign.

Then we meet up with Ronen, our guide for the trip, at the buses and load up to head to our first hotel. Ronen provides some jokes and statistics about Israel and then Troy asks for us to read through Psalm 122, a song of ascent, inorder to reflect on what it means for us to be here.

The Bible is in large part a Jewish book, written by Jewish authors to a Jewish audience, and Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. To be here in the land that birthed all of the amazing stories we get to read in the Bible is a humbling gift and we are all very grateful to be here.

Your continued prayers would be greatly appreciated, pray that we would have eyes to see and ears to hear the truths all around us each day.

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