DAY 13 – FRIDAY, JUNE 28: SOUTHERN BORDER CROSSING INTO ISRAEL, RED SEA, TIMNAH, MACHTESH RAMON, NEGEV, TEL AVIV
Today was our last full day of our trip. The sun was bright with temps a little over 100, especially in the south.
After spending this unique night in the desert of Wadi Rum, we loaded up the bus one last time and drove to the southern border to cross back into Israel. This Rabin Crossing is fairly easy and all went smoothly. We were glad to see David and Shlomo waiting for us on the other side!
Coral Beach – Red Sea
We drove south of Elat (Israel’s port city) to Coral Beach. Here many in the group enjoyed snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea. The water was refreshing, with many fish (even octopus) hovering around the coral reefs.
“Today was our last day here. I thank God for such a wonderful group and trip. My life will be changed forever! It was good to get back to Israel too. Swimming in the Red Sea and seeing the Tabernacle model was icing on the cake.” -Tour Member-
Next, we drove north through the Aravah (Rift Valley) to Timnah. In ancient days, this was a copper mine of the Egyptians (13th century BC). We first watched a movie about this ancient mine before driving around the site to a full-size replica of the Old Testament Tabernacle. Ben, the local guide, wonderfully shared about the structure and function of this “portable” Tent of Meeting. About 50 chapters in the OT are dedicated to the building and use of the Tabernacle. We read from Hebrew 9 and celebrated how Christ came to fulfill God’s redemptive plan once and for all.
Yovata / Machtesh Ramon
After lunch and ice cream at a dairy-kibbutz called Yovata (we had the chance to meet Shlomo’s sister Bat-Ami who lives here), we drove through Israel’s grand canyon. Standing on the northern rim, we enjoyed the view of this unique geological area.
Our last driving stretch of the day (and trip) took us up through the Negev. We drove past the Deserts of Paran and Zin (Numbers 13). We also past Beersheba (Genesis 21, 26, 46, 1 Kings 19) and Gath (the home-town of Goliath, 1 Samuel 17, 2 Kings 12) to the airport where we dropped off six in the group. We then drove to our hotel for dinner and a few hours of sleep. Those who are left int he group plan to get up and leave at 1:30 a.m. for the early morning flight back home.
DAY 14 – SATURDAY, JUNE 29: ARRIVAL BACK IN THE U.S.A.
Most in the group anticipate getting home today, while a few others will travel home on their own. This end a great trip, with our eyes opened to the context and playing board of the Bible, and our hearts touched and transformed. We enjoyed a wonderful time together!