Testimonial Page 2
SHALOM! The following is page 2 of tour testimonials from people who have traveled on an Israel Tour with Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours. Praise be to God for the life-changing experiences that has had such a deep impact in the faith walks of so many! It is so very humbling to be part of God’s growth process in the lives of followers of Christ!
Below are un-edited testimonials that touch on both tour experiences as well as safety. As you read through what people have shared, we hope it will become apparent of the type of Israel tour we lead. Both your mind (e.g. new insights gained about the land of the Bible) and your heart (e.g. a deepened walk with Christ) will be touched in indescribable ways! We would be honored to be able to share our ministry with you!
More Personal Testimonies
“Israel was simply the best trip of my life, but how do I expand on that statement? Words cannot adequately convey some truths in life! Israel is such a unique place you too will find yourself impacted and changed in ways you cannot express. I am deeply grateful to Pastor John for his excellent leadership and knowledge – it was a privilege to listen and learn about this part of the world where God worked so profoundly and how that has application in my life. Expertly assisted by his fellow tour-guide and Israelite friend Shlomo, I felt stretched and challenged in so many ways and I know the experience will ripple through me forever.
I cannot recall a single site where there wasn’t something interesting to consider – my tour covered well-known biblical places of course, but also rewarding were the historical locations like Masada and Qatzrin, and even more recent ones like Bental – an Israel outpost lookout recaptured during the 1967 war – and Ben Gurion’s gravesite in the Negev region. It was such a deep and tangible walk into the stories and larger-than-life places we have read about for so long, that to actually BE standing on history and looking out at (or in) them seemed both ordinary and extraordinary simultaneously.
From the various Tels including Azekah, Beersheva and Jericho (looking at the same retaining wall that Joshua would’ve seen the mud-brick walls on top of fall down), to floating in the Dead Sea (very enjoyable), to the profound impact of the Sea of Galilee with the towns of Capernaum and Bethsaida and the Arbel climb, and of course Jerusalem with its astonishing mixture of ancient history through multiple millennia and modern tensions, all still relevant to biblical prophecy today – examples include the walled-up Eastern Gate facing the Mount of Olives. When Luke opens his Gospel account he makes it clear he is writing about real things that happened, and walking through these locations in Israel expands on this theme in a way that will likely change you permanently. To pick a favorite location and experience is an impossible task.
I want to assure any non-US people considering going on this trip that if you have even half as good a group as I was blessed to be a part of – you will have a wonderful time. I was the only one from Australia and I felt welcomed and right at home. I made a stack of great new friends and was extraordinarily sad when I had to quickly part company with them at the airport on the last day.
Finally, many of my family and friends were worried about my safety in traveling to Israel. As someone who works in the media, I have seen first hand how much they distort and exaggerate – and strongly suspected they reported on Israel according to a skewed narrative. I was therefore unsurprised when I felt quite at ease from the time I arrived at the airport until the time I left. Don’t let unfounded fears rob you of a great opportunity to see the places where Jesus walked and let the Holy Spirit grow your faith!
Again, thank you to John for diligently following God’s calling on his life, and to you the reader I encourage you to find a way to get yourself to Israel with him. God Bless!” Mark (November, 2013, Australia)
“This was my second tour with you and the Imagine Tour Group. Good Lord willing it shall not be the last. The tour could not have been better. The entire time was seamless as everything had been so well thought out and planned for from the logistical sense. Accommodations,meals and travel was enjoyable and first class. There was never a thought of safety or security because there was such a great sense of confidence following such professionals and men of God’s.
The tour was in my opinion, inspirational, spiritual and literally brought the Bible alive as you taught us at the various sights throughout God’s chosen land. Literally made memories that will last a lifetime. The tour also assisted me greatly in ways I am unable to describe with growing my faith walk. Pastor John and Shlomo our guide work great together too. Both are filled with knowledge about the land and the Bible. I would highly recommend that anyone desiring to experience, enjoy, and literally feel the Holy Lands and Bible come alive accompany Dr. John on any of your future tours.” Chilton (November, 2013, W. VA)
“One year ago, in Nov. 2013, I was able to tour the Holy Land. I fully intended to write up a testimonial after I arrived home, but life got in the way. However, I think it is good that I waited; because now I can tell how this trip is still reaping benefits for me a year out. I remember the first church service after we arrived home. The passage of scripture referenced Caesarea and my husband and I glanced at each other with the thought…“oh yeah, we know exactly where that is.” The Bible has come alive and my understanding has increased in a way that is hard to put into words. The ability to better understand where things happened, having a better idea of what it looked like, what it felt like, what it smelled like, all gives a new dimension to my study.
Another great aspect to this trip, that I didn’t expect, was the group fellowship. I knew that I would have great fellowship with the people that came from our church, but a welcome surprise was the unity and like-mindedness of our group. It might just be a little taste of heaven. Our trip had people from California, Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, North Dakota, Virginia, Texas even Australia, plus a few other places, and from a wide range of backgrounds. It was fantastic. John DeLancy, is very biblically knowledgeable and was so great at leading us all in some very worshipful times. Our church had gone on a tour with another company a few years earlier and that was not something they experienced.
This tour is above and beyond all regular tours. Two other couples on our tour had been on tours of Israel before and they said we saw things on this trip that they had not seen on any previous trip. We studied along the way and got great insights into, both, old and New Testament sites as well as inter-testament history and post bible events. We learned about the current State of Israel and its formation. Shlomo was our Israeli guide and he is a great teacher and person. We were able to talk to an orthodox Jew who invited us to email him with any questions we might come up with later. I learned so much and continue to learn.
I would also like to say, that if we had the money to take another trip tomorrow, I would not hesitate despite the events happening in Israel right now. I fully trust John DeLancey and the other guides and people he works with to make wise decisions. They have been making trips for a long time and I am fully convinced they know what they are doing. Blessings,” Jim & Brenda (Nov, 2013, TX)
“Thank your for the most memorable trip of a lifetime, it was truly a life changing experience. We will come back to Israel thats for sure.” Maria (October, 2013, CA)
“This was my first international tour ever. I was unsure what to expect traveling with complete strangers. I can’t say enough about my complete satisfaction from the first day to the last. The tour was very well organized with very little wait time for anything. There is so much to see and learn that I would love to go back again. I felt completely safe. My 15 year old daughter and I made terrific friends and grew spiritually as we explored the lands of the Bible, sang wonderful songs and listened to Pastor DeLancey’s devotions.” Jean and KJ (July, 2013 Tour, Texas)
“Just back from the June 2013 tour with Pastor John; my first with him but second to Israel. One of the things we discussed was the inability to convey in words what one is able to pick up through sight and sound, smell and taste. So there is no way I can do justice here to what I feel now in my heart. The shear breadth and depth of the sensory experience Dr. John provided far exceeded my expectations. The sites I revisited on this tour were given new life and meaning, and these were a decided minority of all that unfolded during the 11 days in country. We had access not only to areas that I would argue few other tours take in, but he combined the visits with personal and detailed knowledge of both secular and biblical origin.”
“The organization of site visits from Old Testament foundations to the life of Christ and post-resurrection events brought much clarity and new meaning to events I have previously read about many times over with little appreciation as to their connectivity. I would (and will) unconditionally recommend him to any individuals or groups looking for an outstanding Holyland tour experience. If anyone would like more details directly from me ask him to connect us. Thank you Pastor John, and all His blessings. P.S. We did not say goodbye at the end of the trip, but I left with a “see you later.” Tom (VA, June, 2013 Tour)
“What a blessing to add my testimony of an awesome adventure in Israel! One of the reasons I chose Biblical Israel Tours was because of the wonderful testimonies of past adventurers and now I am blessed to have my own story to tell! Now when I read my Bible I can visualize how it actually looked back in Bible times and that brings a whole new reality to my walk with God!
Pastor John leads the group with great enthusiasm, energy, efficiency and love for God’s people and the Holy Land of Israel! Shlomo is a great guide combining Biblical knowledge and love for Israel, its people and traditions. I loved it when Shlomo called us “my people” when trying to herd us through immigration. Pastor John and Shlomo have it down to a science about such things as when to time different visits so we are the first group there, where the best views are, places to sit/stand and be in the shade – which are all greatly appreciated! I felt very safe and at ease during my visit, even though the military was very visible at certain places. The hotels and food were great! You have never seen such amazing buffets at breakfast and dinner. Loved having humus, falafel and schnitzel multiple times and oh, the desserts!! Thank goodness for all the exercise that worked all those calories off!
It is very difficult to chose “favorite” moments, but visiting a new excavation at Magdala and sitting in a synagogue where Jesus would have taught was pretty awesome! Just being around the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and all the places I’ve read about for 50 years was just incredible! Seeing Masada, hiking down the Snake Trail, climbing around the caves of Qumran, floating in the Dead Sea were highlights too. Walking around and experiencing Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb, Hezekiah’s tunnel are all just too hard to put into words. Seems like there was a highlight or many highlights every single day! And how can I ever forget Petra, what an amazing adventure to walk through the canyon and witness the grandeur of Petra (the camel ride was pretty fun too!).
Many thanks to Pastor John, Shlomo, Imagine Tours and our Almighty God in heaven for blessing me with this rich experience. Also, very thankful for the many new friendships I have with co-adventurers from around the US and one from Australia! A bunch of ‘e’ words will summarize: Educational, Encouraging, Edifying, Enjoyable, Eating, Exercise, Entertaining and Efficient (organized). Hope you are blessed to experience this amazing adventure God has placed before you! I am richly blessed.” Tim & Patty (TX, April, 2013 Tour)
“Thank you, John, for a wonderful experience. Your tour was an answer to our prayers. As we considered what we wanted in a tour to Israel, we prayed that God would direct us to something that would connect the Bible to what we saw. We wanted to understand the geography, the history, the culture, but we wanted the Biblical connection most. This tour did that for us. And the fact that we were able to do it with such wonderful people was just an added blessing.” Bob & Jackie (OR, April, 2013 Tour)
“The abundance of archaeological evidence in support of the Bible strengthened my faith. Pastor John demonstrated how the study of stones and artifacts bear compelling witness to the truth of the scriptures. Many archaeologists have expressed the opinion that certain archaeological discoveries discredit the Bible as a historical book, but time and again, upon further research, the Bible has been proven to be historically accurate. This lead Pastor John to quote one of my favorite lines: “The absence of evidence does notnecessarily mean the evidence of absence. That rocked my socks – how profound!” Al & Jean, Phd (MN, April, 2013)
“It has been almost one month since my life-changing experience with Pastor John in the Holy Land. Some have asked me, ‘why haven’t you said or written much about the trip yet?’ Well, I couldn’t. It’s been too hard to put into words. Each day was so rich with natural beauty, historical “wow’s” and biblical insight. There was adventure that satiated my boyhood desire to be Indiana Jones. There were moments where I felt that God was literally going to speak from the clouds over the Jordan Rift Valley. The lingering questions about the validity, and historical accuracy of the bible were finally laid to rest in my heart. The scholarly richness was amazing. John worked beautifully with his Jordanian and Israeli colleagues to create moments of education that were artistically inspiring. If this trip were only a visual experience, say hiking and photography, it would have been a great value. When you add in the richness of Pastor John’s leadership, humor, and historical insight I must say it was a tremendous bargain. We interacted with other groups and other guides along the way, and each time I walked away feeling lucky that I chose John to be my guide. As one independent tour operator said to me at the airport, ‘if you were with John DeLancey – you had the very best. He is in the top class of Israel guides.’ She is right.’
Thank you Pastor John for going the extra mile every day to make the experience special. You were fantastic. I have looked at my photos daily since returning. The bible is a different experience now altogether. I am a different person.” Dr. Adam (WI, Nov, 2012 Tour)
“Pastor John, We want to thank you for making our trip to Israel one of our best vacations in our life. The details were well-planned. The flights were comfortable, the tour routes, the accommodations, the great dining, and the congenial group were the best we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The whole trip was truly a God-led experience. Shlomo and our driver were very knowledgeable and professional. We felt very safe and taken care of at all times. We will never forget Shlomo’s songs. We are still hearing in our minds the songs on the bus, especially the song “The Holy City” that was played over the speaker system as we rode the first time through the great City of Jerusalem . That sight and sound was a true blessing and it will forever be in our memory.
Pastor John, you helped bring the Bible to life. You “connected the dots” of biblical history for us. We will never be the same, nor will we ever read or hear God’s Word in the same way. We are already finding it easier to understand stories of the Bible having the background that you and Shlomo taught us. We were fortunate to have you two men who have great depth of knowledge in Israel’s history. We shall never forget our visit to Israel and the new friends that we made on this trip. In Christ,” Johnie & Vivian (FL, June, 2012 Tour)
“’Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Eph.1:3) We certainly regard our recent trip to the Holy Land as one of God’s spiritual blessings.’ I never realized how often scripture gives various details such as cities, geographic regions and features, etc., because I skipped over them; not knowing where that place was or how it related to other areas, I simply couldn’t make sense of that portion of scripture. What a difference the trip made! Now the names of places jump out of the scripture passages and I have a new appreciation for the historical accuracy of the Bible. I can say, “I was there. I saw that. I know where that is.” Now all those maps at the back of my Bible are more than colorful pages that intrigued me as a child. And my faith is renewed from having experienced the Bible in a completely different and real way.” Kent & Lisa (PA, June, 2012 Tour)
“What a wonderful, life-changing trip to travel to the Holy Land with Pastor John! He is such a competent leader, having been to Israel many, many times. He brought the Scripture passages alive while our national guide, Shlomo, brought Israel history to life. One unexpected blessing was coming away with such a greater sense of current day Israel as well. We felt safe 100% of the time! Our transportation was great, our accommodations were fabulous, and the people on the tour became dear friends. The food was plentiful and very healthy!
Pastor John and Shlomo really kept us moving, always knowing what time we needed to be where so that we were first in line or had enough time at a certain site. All we had to do was listen and do what they said. It was great! The entire tour was well organized with great communication both before and after the trip. I always thought that I would do this trip only once in my life, but I would certainly go again and take my adult children along. Going on this trip to Israel was more beneficial than taking a seminary class. My husband (who is a pastor) and I learned so much that will enrich our Bible reading and his preaching for years to come.” Pastor Mike and Angie (WI, June, 2012 Tour)
“This tour was a wonderful experience. Not as a casual trip around an ancient land, but a well thought out journey through the history of God’s promised land, using the Bible as the compass. The spiritual experiences felt at each location, previously only read about in the Bible, remains beyond any words that could be expressed here, or pictures that could possibly be seen. Reading the Bible now has taken on a whole new dimension. I can now visualize the places that events occurred. Like a sweet icing on an already incredible pastry, the sights, smells and tastes add to the very richness of God’s already living word, and provides a deeper understanding that I have not experienced before in the scripture.
I believe that anyone looking deeply into their faith journey will be blessed from this deep and intense look at the Holy Land. Dr. Delancey’s has truly been given great gifts to share with all who ask. Ten days is simply not enough and I already look forward to our next journey with him.” Tagg & Lisa (NC, June, 2012)
“I’ve shared with so many this trip and having been before I believe I’ve been able to make some fair comparisons. Though my first trip was awesome and led by a wonderful man, who has since gone on to be with the Lord, what I loved about your tour is the interaction between you and Shlomo. With his first hand historical knowledge of the country as a Jew and your knowledge from a Biblical, Christian and archeological perspective, it gave me such a well rounded experience. I loved the times of reflection that you allowed at many of the sites. I’ve recommended your tour to several friends that are considering a trip to the Holy Land. Thank you again for bringing the land of the Bible to life. Many Blessings,” Cathy (NC, June, 2012 Tour)
“Pastor John, When I step foot on the soil of Israel I feel the close presents of God. Though He calls us to this land by the millions I sense that He knows I am here seeking His face. Do others feel this same closeness to the land it’s people and to Jesus? Yes, because it’s home. What a wonderful experience we had in Israel with Pastor John, Shlomo. I’m convinced these expert ambassadors must be heaven sent to any and all pilgrims searching for a uniquely blessed tour of God’s land. Each day I was amazed with John’s knowledge of the archeological sites as he related them to God’s Word and his gift for making each one come alive in my heart. Shlomo’s ability to make every Tel, valley, mountain top and city tell a story of it’s own is testament to his love for Israel and his love for his people. You are a master Shlomo. Mira is definitely a jewel and did such an expert job with our lodging and trip planning, I most enjoyed our time at the kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee.
I want to thank all of my fellow pilgrims for the wonderful inspirations and insights you have shared on our tour across Israel it could not have been the same without you, we were blessed.” Shalom, Linda (TX, April, 2012 Tour)
“Pastor John, My wife and I would like to thank you Pastor John for an extraordinary life time experience we experienced in Israel. My wife and I have wanted to go to Israel for some time now, but we did not know who to go with. I wanted a tour with few people because you get a more personal touch, if you will, of what you are seeing. So I did a “Christian Israel Tour” search on google and I came of up with many hits. Now I had to sort through all these tours to find the right one, which I ultimately did, I found yours. After emailing you and speaking personally with you on the phone we decided to go with your tour group.
Even now my wife and I are still enjoying the aftermath of a great trip to Israel. I also want to thank Shlomo for his great insight and knowledge of the tels, Israeli history, and his personal views regarding the Israeli people and their zeal for Israel.
P.S. I would like to add that I really appreciated your sense of timing with the placement of the events. I enjoyed the scheduling of the tour, the water places were a welcome rest in the middle of drier sites. I felt the sea captain and boat you chose for the Sea of Galilee were exceptional. It was wonderful to be rebaptized with my husband in the Jordan River. I appreciated Dale’s and your words at that time. Your taking us to the Garden tomb and offering communion after being with Moshe was very restorative and encouraging with the scriptures you chose. Thank you for all your messages and insights at each site.
I appreciated the archeological knowledge and the scripture names of the various places. I thoroughly enjoyed each of the people on the tour, you were all an encouragement and a pleasure to be with.” Gary & Elaine (CA, April, 2012 Tour)
“What a wonderful trip! It was better than I anticipated, probably because God led us to such a good group of people, led by the right pastor and tour guide. The Lord had been pulling on my wife to come to Israel for a long time. She was a Buddhist (not devout) when we met and fell in love, over four decades ago. Through our relationship, and my families’ love for Christ, she slowly began to believe. A while ago, she decided that she wanted to be baptized in the Jordan River. One day late last year, she said this is the time. We searched on line for a tour, and believe it or not, the words that I put into Google were “biblical israel tour”. Guess what came up?! We read just about every word on the site, and almost immediately, made the decision to go. Our only discussion about it was like “we’ve saved enough to pay for it…you want to go?” Immediate answer; yes, do it. I can only believe that we were led, by the Lord, to the site, and to Pastor John.
Having traveled to a few places, and always had the feeling that I was slightly exposed and vulnerable, I was immediately struck by the peacefulness and security I felt in Israel, especially after hearing from the media all the anti-Israel propaganda that we get in the US.
The highlight of the trip for us has to be the baptismal service, especially since that was a great part of why we were there in the first place. The communion service in the chapel later, was another. Being in Israel for their Memorial Day was a plus, capped off by being at the tomb of David Ben Gurion at eleven o’clock, when the sirens rang, and everyone stopped for two minutes. I loved the Old City, and could easily spend days there wandering and exploring the back alleys.
Thanks to Pastor John, Schlomo, and the entire group. You made it special for us. Israel is now in our hearts, and we will probably be back for another visit.” Randy & Kim (CA, April 2012 Tour)
“Pastor John, I’ve never flown internationally in my life. Never had a passport. I was drawn to Israel but there was fear of the unknown. How do I get there, which tour is a good tour, what is the currency, will most people speak English, is it safe to travel in Israel? Oh I had so many questions. I wanted a tour that was based on the bible. I wanted to walk where Jesus walked. I didn’t just want to “site-see”. I googled “Biblical Israel trips” and thank God one of the first sites I came across was your site.
It was because of the websites testimony page that I made my decision to trust ITT Travel and join this adventure to Israel in the first place! From the first email contact I had with John and the ladies at ITT Travel, my emails were answered promptly. The connecting flights and hotels were arranged by ITT, hotels were very good. Breakfast and dinner were included in the trip. So many vegetables and fresh cheeses and such a variety of delicious food available. Tour bus was clean and cool and the driver was so friendly. John and Shlomo were excellent tour guides. I always felt safe, informed and comfortable. The optional walks at the end of the day with John were great. Some of us just didn’t get enough walking during the day. Ha ha.
If you want to “experience” Israel, this is the tour for you. My favorite sites were floating in the Dead Sea, the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, getting baptized in the Jordan and traveling to Tel-Dan where the Jordan River begins. That place brings new meaning to the “living waters” Jesus is always talking about. I just noticed that everything I loved about Israel is based on water and Israel is mostly desert so what’s up with that? The bible is alive and God speaks of all these actual physical sites in Israel. That’s why we’re drawn there. God’s chosen place. I will never forget the sound of the fast flowing living waters and the lush greenery at Tel-Dan (in the middle of the desert). Thank you Pastor John for being a good shepherd to all of us during our stay in Israel.
I’m thankful for all the nice people I met on the tour as well. You all made my adventure so enjoyable.” Jeannie (Iowa, April, 2012 Tour)
“Hi Pastor John, Well, the Aussies from the tour are finally back home in Melbourne and recovered from jet-lag. What a wonderful trip trip to Israel! We had the blessing of being there for a month in total and every day was unique and special.
The time that we spent with everyone on the ‘DeLancey Tour’ was particularly special. It was wonderful travelling with such a lovely group of people. Thank you – all of you for the way you each enhanced our trip. We are especially grateful to you, Pastor John, for organizing a trip to so many places that we had not visited on our first trip two years ago and for your Biblical teaching at each spot; to Shlomo for all that he taught us, for his recorder playing and singing at other times; and to Mira – what a wonderful blessing you were personally to us both!
John tells me that the best part of the tour for him were the views from the top of each of the tels. After stagging all the way to the top it was worth the effort every time!!!
I loved every minute of the tour, but if I had to pick out any particular spot I would have to say that my favourite day was when we went to Dan and Banias. What magnificent scenery there is in that area! I just loved the icy coolness of the water and the beautiful green-ness of the scenery after several days in desert conditions. I also loved going to En Gedi. It had long been one of my personal ambitions to go there and although I couldn’t climb as far as some of you, it meant a lot to me to be in the place where David wrote many of the Psalms which are precious to me.
Thank you again to all of you for all you have contributed to our wonderful time in Israel, In Christ…’” Heather & John (Australia, April, 2012 Tour)
“John, Thank you for encouraging us when we asked if we could physically make this trip. When told of Lloyd’s stroke, brain surgery six months earlier and following seizures, you said we could do as little or as much as we wanted, that your desire was for each person to grow in his relationship with the Lord. What an opportunity you gave us. The books and materials you sent us to help us prepare for the trip were invaluable. We cannot imagine a more inclusive tour. Our children were thrilled to be able to see each day what we were doing! It was terrific to have Mira with us. Her positive nature is a plus for any group and her general knowledge and ability to speak the language was so helpful. Shlomo brought joy each day: in his knowledge, in his music, in his poetry, in his concern that we experience all aspects of Israel.
God gave us the perseverence and strength to do much we would have thought impossible. We felt a peace and safety that only God can provide throughout the trip.
When we are questioned as to the best part of the trip, we can’t choose. The sites were all impressive, the food was fantastic and the group of people obviously not assembled by chance. We CAN say what surprised us the most. We came home with changed hearts, filled overflowing with love for and bonded to the Jewish people. We have known what the Bible says about Israel but we have never experienced that bond as we do now.
We need to name every person on the trip because every one of you impacted our lives in a very special way. We hope there will be a reunion tour visiting new sites! In Christian love,” Sarah and Lloyd (AZ, April, 2012 Tour)
“Hi John, My personal experience was incredible! From the time I signed up for the trip I had such a peace knowing I found the perfect tour for my needs. And it was! Everything was so well done, from getting room keys, to meals, our hotels were wonderful – the Kibbutz was the best experience with the campfires by water’s edge, the historical/biblical information from Shlomo was better than any book and I’m glad I brought my recorder to get all that information to refer to here at home, John’s incredible wealth of information and knowledge added to all Shlomo’s words and reading from the Bible at each site was so moving. The baptism and communion at the Garden Tomb was especially moving for me, never had I felt so close to Him. Then there was the group! What an incredibly awesome group of people!! Some of us had never travelled overseas alone so those with that experience were so willing to help, share and pray with me, thank you all for the best memories of friendship. Mira you’re awesome! so blessed to have met you and talked
I had my share of moments when the ‘light bulb’ went on when something Shlomo or Pastor John said suddenly made suddenly came together and that once abstract concept became reality and even more awesome in 3D! I found and still find myself praising God for all the wonders he revealed to me in Israel.
And the walking, I loved every bit of it and miss it! We walked/climbed up and down, inside, outside, thru water, on stone’s Jesus walked, on ground in Old Testament, tunnels, cisterns, cemeteries and caves. We saw how people live, shop, worship and travel. I couldn’t get enough and am anxiously waiting to return with John for another chapter. Thank you all for this incredible experience!!” Judy (TX, April, 2012 Tour)
“Dear Pastor John, I am grateful for the greatest experience of traveling to God’s chosen country with Pastor John and all the amazing friends. The trip was well organized to my expectations including transportation. I really didn’t know what to expect after I signed up for this tour, but I am amazed how everything turned out. I believe God was in control, and he really looked after us for our safety. I was bless with the amazing people, and how friendly they were towards each other. To John and Sholmo you two were two wonderful guides who put a lot of dedication and patiences into this tour.
Being on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus once walked and getting baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the Jordan River were the two of my favorite pieces of this trip. The tour wasn’t just to site see, but it showed me the values, and the traditions that were lived during the biblical times to the present.
To all the wonderful family who I travel with, you guys are amazing. Thank you for traveling with me. Like what pastor Delancey said, “This trip is unexplainable.” It is true. Blessings to all,” Maggie (AZ, April, 2012 Tour)
“What a wonderful tour, and so many adventures. It was worth every sore muscle! (Snake path I so much enjoyed meeting and spending time with everyone who joined the tour!
I went on this trip thinking that I would feel closer to God in His home — the land, the sky, stones, all of Israel — but what He led me to believe, is that it’s much more about relationships and each other. As awesome as His land is, I was even more touched by all the members of the group, and how everyone loves the Lord so much that they went through the difficulties and expense just to get to Israel.
We felt safe and secure the whole time, and you all know what great leadership we had with Pastor John and Shlomo.” Jan (OH, April, 2012 Tour)
“It’s been..what about 4 weeks since we returned from our trip and I am amazed at all the resources, pictures and comments everyone still has! What a memorable, life changing experience it was! I think the mix of wonderful, diverse people made it even more special. I want to thank all those sending in pictures. Many of you have a real talent…and that includes Pastor John. Thanks so much. I want to also send out a special thanks to Rick at ITT World for his special help when we missed our original flight due to weather from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv. He was very patient and helpful in arranging for someone to meet us at the Tel Aviv airport and escorting us right to a waiting van for transport to meet up with all of you at the hotel there the second night. Excellent, excellent service! Shlomo and our driver were so professional I felt very safe and taken care of at all times. Blessings to all of you…we will never forget this experience!” Mary Lynn & Michael (MO, April, 2012 Tour)
“Pastor John (and Everyone), Sandy and I could never put adequate words together to describe just how much we enjoyed touring Israel with you all. It was the adventure of our lifetime and every member of the group enhanced the adventure as we got to know so many of you. We MISS you all!
So while we are very thankful to Pastor John and Shlomo for the exemplary leadership on this tour, we feel also very fortunate to have enjoyed the sights, sounds, smells (and especially tastes) of Israel with you all.” Lee and Sandy (NE, April, 2012 Tour)
“Thanks so much for leading the trip. The best part of the trip for me was that I came away spiritually refreshed. I have been spiritually dry for years and the devil seemed to be victorious and I was in deep despair. I had little hope and struggled to believe God could take me out of this spiritual desert. I often watched the other members of the group and it was great to see the help and love poured out for each other. God also put me with an awesome roommate who had the aroma of Christ. Every night we talked about all things spiritual and God has been really using those conversations to turn my gaze on Christ.
I loved the sites that had the hardest activity level. Masada, Ben Gedi, Hezekiah’s tunnel, and the wonderful Wilderness of Zin. These sites reminded me of the struggles of life and how God gives the grace for us to persevere and come out on the other end strengthened in Christ. Jerusalem and The Western Wall were also strengthening to my soul. And even all those cisterns that we climbed down brought so much insight in how the Word of God must be cherished and not taken for granted as it is precious living water. I will forget many trips but this one will never be forgotten. Thanks so much!” Kirk (MD, April, 2012 Tour)
“Hi Reverend John, Kay and I would like to thank you for the VERY memorable trip to Israel. We had a WONDERFUL trip, in fact it was the BEST trip we ever took!! It was the very first time that we so enjoyed the fellow passengers, the agenda, the food, the weather and the guide. Thank you for keeping God and Jesus in the whole picture and leading us all through a life changing experience. We have all read about Jesus and the areas He lived in but you showed us where He lived and walked and we could all see it for ourselves.
Thank you, thank you! We pray that we will be able to share another trip with you in the future. May God bless you for your ministry and all that you do!” Bob & Kay (CA, April, 2012 Tour)
“Dear Pastor John, All of my life my pastors have stressed the importance of Israel, the nation. Grady and I consider it our good fortune to experience the land and its peoples with you and Shlomo. You helped to recreate the Biblical passages at each site and make them come alive.
Because I find historical construction fascinating, my favorite places were the cisterns and Temple Mount tunnels. Those tunnels reveal how advanced the thinking was several thousand years ago. What an experience walking through them was!
Finally, I must commend all of you on the well-run details of this trip – comfortable flights, well-planned tour routes, great accommodations, first-class dining, and the most congenial group we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Thank you for this truly God-led experience.” Dr. Grady and Linda (AR, April, 2012 Tour)
Dear John, Life changing—you betcha! Challenging—you betcha—mentally, physically, and most importantly SPIRITUALLY. Under the knowledgeable and personable guidance of John and Shlomo and the organization of ITT. We had such a personal connection with Biblical history and the people and country of Israel.
What was my favorite—all of it. How can you pick? The wonderful people we traveled with, great weather, and superb food just added to the enjoyment. This tour is highly recommended, but I found that I personally enjoyed it more because I did prepare myself mentally, physically, and much study of the Word. Thanks all,” Elaine (NE, April, 2012 Tour)
“John, Wow! I kept pinching myself while in Israel and I still keep pinching myself. My arm is getting sore. How do you summarize an adventure of a lifetime in a few short paragraphs? Seeing the Holy Land shrink in size as we traveled the many sites that I have read about for so many years or feeling the presence of God nearby at all times or experiencing Masada or seeing the caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found or experiencing Galilee and boating on the Sea of Galilee or being baptized in the very Jordan River that Christ was baptized in or looking over the Jezarel Valley and Megiddo and realizing that this is where the terrible final battle will take place or looking along the shores of the Mediterranean and imagining Jonah’s fate or Paul setting out on another journey or seeing where Jesus was born, ministered, was crucified and rose or the great City of Jerusalem and all that it represents. All of these things are my favorites.
I shall never forget the opportunity that I was given to visit Israel nor will I ever forget the many friends that we met on this trip, including all our Jewish friends who live there.
Shlomo, you are the best. John, you have put together something inspiring in this journey relating the many sites to the Bible. I was never disappointed. I hope everyone who experienced this trip feels as blessed as I do. I CAN’T GET ISRAEL OUT OF MY MIND!” Bob (NE, April, 2012 Tour)
“Dear Pastor John, It has been interesting to reflect on our trip experience since we arrived home. You and Shlomo led us into fantastic experiences that were far beyond our greatest expectations (even though Sid had been to Israel previously). Since returning home we have visited with many friends about our trip and have found that many of those friends had also been to Israel. When we tell them about the activities of our travels they are astounded—to the person. None felt that their guide had either the biblical, archeological or historical knowledge that you gave us and none of them had two guides with these immense abilities. In addition we visited far more sites that any of our friends had experienced.
John, you really helped me “connect the dots” of biblical history. I now find it so much easier to understand stories of the Bible having the background that you taught us. You helped bring the Bible to life. After experiencing our trip I am amazed at what a financial value it was! If you ever have anyone question the financial commitment involved in your trip have them call me for a recommendation. It could well be the best investment we ever made.
We had tried to do things the normal way by finding a local church group that offered an Israel trip but were unable to do so. It was with great hesitancy that I turned to the internet to find our trip and we really had concern over what we might be getting ourselves in to. Now we are so pleased that we were able to meet (and travel with) a group of all-new friends who had not previously been connected with each other. It was part of God’s plan that we all meet, learn and worship Him together.” David & Sid (KS, November, 2011 Tour)
“Pastor John, It’s been 7 weeks since we returned from our fabulous trip to Israel and I still haven’t come up with proper words to describe this trip. Many of our fellow travelers have written testimonies that capture much of what we experienced (all of which we agree with) but one really has to experience your tour to really understand what words can’t capture of 4000 years of history.
When the three couples from Ohio decided to go to Israel I did a detailed comparison of the many trips offered and there was no comparison between what your trip offered than the others. For number of sites seen, cost per day, number of days in Jerusalem including a whole free day to explore Old Jerusalem, intangibles like covering all admissions, fees and tips plus excellent guides in yourself and Shlomo, your trip was tops. Now that we have experienced it, we can say that we were not disappointed. It was much much more than we anticipated.
Not a day goes by that we don’t reflect upon some aspect of the trip whether it’s the barrenness of the Wilderness of Zin in the south or the beauty of Tel Dan in the north or all the places in between. A special thank you for allowing me to assist in baptizing my wife in the Jordan!” John & Freddy (OH, November, 2011 Tour)
“I love the way you continue to shepherd us even after we’re home!!! How awesome is that!!!…Thanking the Lord for such an unspeakable experience. It is just as we had shared that evening as we walked from Mt. Olives outside The Old City… words are pitifully paltry and woefully insufficient to describe such a glorious life changing experience and …folks simply can’t really “get it” unless they’ve experienced it. Additionally, Fred and I loved each and every one of our travelling friends … Lifelong friends to be sure.
HIGHLIGHTS…WOW…IF ONLY THERE WERE JUST ONE!!! Each day rolled out new and exciting adventures & revelations making it difficult to point to any specific one … Baptism in the Jordan and the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, places where we most readily connected to our Lord’s presence were overwhelming…Masada and Yad Vashem made our hearts ache. Fred and I cried and prayed in the Holocaust Museum over the depravity of man and the horrors of what we(man) are capable of apart from God’s mercy and grace. We had moments walking the streets of The Old City where we would look at each other and tear up ..and wondered if we were dreaming.. The steps up to the temple connected me to the Psalms of the Ascent…and I imagine Christ ‘s footsteps graced them more than once. The songs stuck!!!! Okay…. I am hearing them in my sleep!!! Hope it never goes away!!! Trusting the Lord will use us and what we have seen, heard, learned and experienced to bless others and advance His kingdom in whatever ways that He should choose to lead us. We serve an awesome God! We will never be the same, nor will we ever read or hear God’s Word in the same way.
Forever blessed with humble thanks and heartfelt gratitude. Shalom my friend,” Denise & Fred (OH, November, 2011 Tour)
“Phyllis and I want to thank you for putting together such an inspiring, life changing, strenuous but enjoyable experience in Israel. Your overall leadership, insightful teaching at the sites, great song leading, advance preparation and help, and followup after the trip has made this a most incredible trip. We have never been on a trip that was so well organized and executed. Shlomo, our wonderful guide, was equally impressive in his knowledge of the country, sites and the bible; the two of you make a complete teaching/learning team. Amir’s bus driving skills was also impressive.
We also appreciated the way in which you handled the needs of those who could not handle all the climbing/walking of every site; alternatives were explained and offered and no one felt “second class” because they did not do 100% of every site/activity.
Your daily update on the website was much appreciated by our family and friends at home as they could see and read about our daily experiences. They are also a great lasting reminder of the great days we had together.
While the tour is built upon visiting many sites, the heart of the tour is really built around the people traveling together. We became an extended family during the short 13 days together as we worshiped, ate, traveled, laughed, and sang together. We may not remember all the information about the places and sites, but we will fondly remember our times together.
We can highly recommend this trip to anyone considering visiting the Holy Land.
Blessings to you and your family,” Phyllis & John (OH, November, 2011 Tour)
“John, the DVD of the trip is unbelievable! I’ve never received anything that comes near to this from any other tour. This whole tour was so well done and so organized with so many sites and activities included which are not normally included in other tours. Your messages and Shlomo’s messages through music and song added to the scripture readings and just being there where the events given in the Bible occurred. This tour of the Holy Land was A plus in so many ways. Thank you for the extra effort you put into making this trip outstanding and presenting the word of God to us in such an enlightening way.” Susie (W. VA, November, 2011 Tour)
“My husband and I enjoyed a marvelous tour of The Holy Land with Pastor John DeLancey and our Jewish guide, Schlomo. My goal in taking this trip was to see where “it all happened”, and to grow closer to God.
Although the itinerary included an extensive number of sites, we never felt rushed or too tired. Each site included an interesting explanation about the historic and biblical history along with prayers, meditations and song relevant to the deeper meaning of the events which took place there. Our particular group bonded joyfully and included not only people who knew the Bible quite well, but also a pastor and his wife. Many in our group were singers, so one can just imagine how our voices harmonized and resonated in the amazing places where we sang Christian songs, each appropriately chosen for the specific circumstance of the site. Pastor John accompanied on his guitar, and Schlomo often performed beautifully moving Jewish melodies for us on his recorder flute. The music added a lovely spiritual element to our experiences.
A highlight for me was being baptized in the Jordan River. What a privilege to be in a similar situation as Jesus, 2000 years ago. I also loved being at the Sea of Galilee. Imagine seeing the blazing sunrise just as Jesus must have seen it too. Walking through Capernum and the Mt. of the Beatitudes, etc, enabled me to realize what a beautiful setting and environment Jesus had to introduce his revelations of His Father in Heaven. It was exhilarating to experience the steps of Jesus and how it was during the first century AD.
Jerusalem was a mass of people from all over the world. Pilgrims along with Jewish and Muslim residents crowded the streets and traditional places of the Bible. Sometimes it was hard to feel “spiritual” in the hubbub and religiosity of the decorations. The reward is in rereading the biblical passages now and having a visualization of where the situations occurred. The stress is in understanding more about the difficulties of the current political situations. The hope is in the future development of the kind of brotherly love and compassion demonstrated by our guides and Palestinian driver for each other.
The historical events of the Bible now seem more real to me after seeing many sites in the Old Testament including Jerico, desert regions where King David hid from Saul, and where the battle between David and Goliath took place. Now the stories are easier to remember in detail.
The books Pastor John sent to read are marvelous and were a real support in grasping the history and spiritual significance of each site. I will always enjoy referring back especially to the book of Devotions.
In closing, I feel that this Holy Land experience has grounded me in a more concrete, realistic understanding of the whole Bible. During the rest of my life, new readings and understandings will always be seen through the filter of this trip.” Linda & Jorge (CA, November, 2011 Tour)
“If you are thinking about a Holy Lands Tour you can do countless hours of research on the internet. You will need to check references, check the references of references and on it goes for hundreds of hours. Or you can simply book with John DeLancey and Biblical Israel Tours. Dr. DeLancey is an accomplished Pastor; archaeologist and tour leader. I just returned in late January 2011 from John’s twentieth tour of the Holy Lands with the Petra Jordan extension. Yes, that is twenty tours he himself has led throughout the Holy Lands. I would not hesitate to travel with him again. He manages the tour with the ease of a true professional. He knows how to blend the Holy Scriptures with the science and history of the region. He himself actually studied as a young graduate student in archeology on the Southern Steps excavation of the Temple Mount . The tour provides just the perfect blend to make the journey truly a trip of your lifetime. The tour is spiritual, inspirational and educational and just tons of fun on top of all of that!!!.
The accommodations are excellent, the food is fantastic and the tour is carefully and well thought out so that it is relaxing, informative and stress free. I experience more difficulties grocery shopping at Kroger Supermarkets than I did traveling half way around the world and back with John DeLancey. Tour with Dr. DeLancey and you will get true value for your dollars; safety for your travels and food for the body, spirit, soul and mind.” Chilton (W VA, January, 2011 Tour)
“At first I was a little scared booking a trip like this and traveling alone but was I ever glad I did. Pastor John was an excellent tour leader. The group of people I was so blessed to travel with were from all over the country and we immediately bonded as a group and as friends. There was great conversation while traveling, during meals and after hours when at the hotel. The food was unbelievable and I even put on six pounds during the trip because I couldn’t stay away from the dessert line. I couldn’t have asked for better memories and have plans to travel with my brothers back to Israel in the near future with Pastor John.” David W. Folk, PhD (IL, January, 2011 Tour)
“John, I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful experience. I appreciated your reading the scripture pertaining to the location that we were visiting in preparation for seeing the site or at the site. It helped me to retain the importance of each location. I was so moved at the temple steps to hear the words of Jesus being read knowing He was standing in that very area when He spoke them. Being on the Sea of Gallilee was a highlight for me as well. Thank you for encouraging us to get up early to watch the sun rise over the Sea. It was breathtaking knowing I was siting on the beach and later on the very body of water where Jesus taught and walked on the water.
Your knowledge and love for archaeology was very helpful often during the trip. I appreciated your patience with our group but also your ability to keep us on track because there was so much to see. The bonus evening excusions were fun and eye opening.
Shlomo was a wonderful guide, he has much knowledge of and an obvious love for his country. He explained so much about the Biblical sites, culture, agriculture, and politics of Israel during the trip that helped me see Israel from a different perspective than just what our news media portrays. I have a new found love and connection to this country because of this trip.
When reading scripture that took place in a location we visited I can now visualize it making scripture come alive in a new way. Thank you for making this trip of a lifetime such a wonderful experience. I would recommend it to anyone. I thank God my Father for blessing me with such a gift.” Sue (MI, January, 2011 Tour)
“Pastor John, We want to thank you for leading us on such a meaningful trip to Egypt , Petra and Israel . Seeing the historical places where Jesus walked and taught will give us a new perspective on reading the Bible. The scripture and prayer you shared at each site was such a rich and worshipful time. Thank you for all the teaching you provided and the unique ways you helped us see God’s redemptive plan for our lives. It was a faith strengthening time for us.
It definitely was a marathon trip packed from morning to night and yet we appreciated how you used the time to help us glean as much as possible! The tour guides too were exceptionally gifted in teaching us historical information. Our heads were swimming with details, but now we want to dig deeper into God’s Word for understanding. You created a hunger to know more about Jesus, our Savior.
We are deeply thankful for your testimony and ministry. May the Lord continue to provide you with numerous ways to point people to the Messiah, Jesus Christ and to be ready to meet Him at the Eastern Gate.
Trusting in the promises,” John & Donna (MN, November, 2010 Tour)
“We went on a Journey of a Lifetime with Pastor John Delancey, and the trip was A Journey of a Lifetime, a truly special journey. We began every morning with early wakeup call, a hearty, delicious breakfast, then we were off on the adventures of the day. On the bus, a special prayer was offered then selected Scripture verses were read. Next we sang wonderful music to make a joyful noise to the Lord. This was a spiritual journey with an “awe” of the land of Israel . Imagine seeing with your own eyes, the places you have read of in Scripture, touching with your hands those sites, walking in those waters. It is real and you are there. Our guides on the bus were well versed in the area we were visiting. We were given history lessons all along the way. Pastor John Delancey, and his colleagues Dr. Tom Tribelhorn, and Shlomo read Scripture verses that were pertinent to the particular site we were visiting. Sometimes a few verses from Scripture were read, Occasionally a story was told by Pastor John or Shlomo. At other times, the silence spoke volumes. And Pastor John brought beautiful music as he played his guitar.
Every aspect of the tour was well planned. Pastor John even arranged special lectures and demonstrations for us at various sites and shops. There were so many special places and experiences we had; the Baptism in the Jordan River, the walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, The Communion Service at the Garden Tomb, the special Allelujah song we sang in St. Catherine’s Church. A visit to Israel changes you. It touches you and it lives in your heart. It strengthens your faith and your walk. If you have the desire to go to the Holy Land , if it is on your “Bucket List,” make it happen. Pastor John is very humble. I so appreciated their sincere faith and belief in the historicity of the Scriptures. There are no better tour guides than Pastor John.
Thank you Pastor John for the special “service” you did for San and I. Blessings to you. We have decided to return to Israel in the future. And you can be certain that you will be our guides.” San & Linda (AZ, November, 2010 Tour)
“Your trip was promoted as “A JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME”. We would call it “A LIFE CHANGING JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME”. Reading the Bible has taken on a knew prospective! Our only regrets are that we did not take the trip earlier in our marriage. Each day was planned in detail with stops at points of interest with a time at each for Pastor John to share the scripture that spoke of the site tat we were visiting. Dr. Tom , Shlomo the local guides all were very professional & added great details of the history of the country. We would strongly recommend the trip to anyone that has any interest in Israel.
We both would consider a second trip & would love for our daughter & son-in-law to experience the joys we had. I also would like to recognize Mira & all the travel agency staff for making the planning process so easy & supplying us with all the support information that truly made it a “JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME” We had never taken a trip abroad before & felt very secure.” Bill & Janice (PA, November, 2010 Tour)
“Dear John, Thank you for the wonderful Journey of a Lifetime!! We are so thankful we could be a part of this trip. Every little detail was taken care of and we really appreciate your dedication in planning the whole trip. You made the Bible come alive when you can see the places and hear the scripture read and tie in the “Who, When, Where & Why.” Now when we read or hear about certain places, or people the scriptures will be so much easier to understand. It was also wonderful to have Hannah on our trip. She is such a sweet gal and it was such a pleasure to get to know her better. We have tried to tell everyone that if they would like to see the Holy Lands like we saw it, we know the perfect tour guide.
We enjoyed the extra “walks”, the music, your scripture reading, meeting and having fellowship with people from all over our country. We were pleased with our hotel accommodations and most of the time, the food. It was a little hard to have raw fish or spaghetti for breakfast, but I don’t think we lost any weight over the whole trip. Thank you again for the Wonderful Experience !!!” Harold & Roselaine (PA, November, 2010 Tour)
“Pastor John’s Biblical Israel Tour was a life changing experience for me and my mom. We reviewed many Holy Land Tours on line before deciding upon the tour hosted by Rev John DeLancey. What a great choice! Pastor John as a love of scripture and enthusiasm for the land of Israel that is tangible, contagious, and a joy to behold. Our tour was extremely organized, with all logistical elements handled superbly, which allowed us to be fully present each day to learn, laugh, and sing.
We started each morning on the bus singing “This is the day that the Lord has made” with our entire travel group and that set the tone for the rest of the day’s adventures. We also had an Israeli tour guide named Shlomo and he was exceptional. Shlomo has extensive knowledge of scripture, Jewish history, and archeology and presented information in a very entertaining and informative manner. The information I learned from Shlomo and Pastor John has sparked a deep desire to learn more about the Bible and the land of Israel. I will definitely make it back to Jerusalem at some point in my life.
My favorite parts of our journey were being baptized in the Jordan River, swimming in the Dead Sea, making friends with the other tour participants, and deepening my love of God. I would highly encourage anyone to take a Biblical Israel Tour with Pastor John.” Jim (MN, March, 2010 Tour)
“It has now been 3 months since our amazing journey through Israel with the Lord, Pastor John and our group. I am still being blessed by all I saw and learned during that special journey. It’s almost like while I was there, my brain spent its energy soaking up all I was seeing and learning. Once I came home, the blessings from the Lord continued to overflow as what I saw and learned gradually seeped from my brain to my heart. Witnessing God’s glory and majesty in Jerusalem, feeling His humanity and love for His Father and for everyday, ordinary people in Galilee… I hope I never lose those images and lessons from my mind. The itinerary was full of excellent stops and organized in a very logical, efficient fashion. I felt completely safe with the group while we were there, and was very grateful for the experience Pastor John and his colleagues (Tom, Myra, Shlomo, Azam) brought to the trip. Our group sang together and prayed together – especially at the day’s beginning and end.
Pastor John read corresponding passages of the Bible to us at many of the sites, sometimes adding insights he’d gleaned; other times letting God’s Word simply speak for itself. There were special times of worship where we sang to the music of Pastor John’s guitar or worshiped along with music from someone’s iPod. There haven’t been too many days that have gone by since March where I have not thought about my time in Israel. There is a part of me that felt very at home there, as though I belonged – and I cannot wait to go back again someday through Biblical Israel Tours. Sincerely,” Julie (PA, March, 2010 Tour)
“What a truly inspiring trip to Israel and Jordan we had with you in March 2010. We have raved to family and friends about visiting all the biblical sites, singing songs, listening to you reading scriptures, optional morning and evening walks (other tour leaders never do this ),walking down the Snake path at Masada, walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, reaffirming our baptismal vows in the same Jordan River where Jesus was baptized, visiting the Holy City of Jerusalem, and a communion service at the Garden Tomb.
Petra was amazing too, and I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to hike up to the Monastery. We highly recommend this “Journey of a Lifetime” tour to everyone. Many new friends have been made. Sending each days experiences along with pictures was fantastic for our families to view while we were away. Thank you for an exceptional and rewarding trip.” Marilyn & Jim (OH, March, 2010 Tour)
“Thank you for a wonderful well planned trip. I went to church Easter Sunday and everyone welcomed us, Ron and Sharon, Marilyn and Audrey, back. I told every one they need to go on this same trip. We saw so much, and the Easter story became very alive when we saw where Jesus walked and died on the cross for my sins and the whole world. This was truly a trip of a life time. When I read my Bible these places we visited just become alive. I will never be the same. I will recommend your tour to everyone. Thanks again,” Audrey & Marilyn (IA, March, 2010 Tour)
“The purpose of this letter is to express my grateful appreciation to you as the inspirational pastor and leader of our tour group to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. Although difficult to highlight a trip with so many deeply moving personal religious experiences I feel there are several areas that really need to be mentioned.
You managed to create a schedule that allowed the participants to see in two weeks what would logically take at least a month under any normal tour. Our days not only were filled with Biblical sites to observe and experience, but also optional walks and discussion to expand on what had taken place each day. It was exhausting in many ways yet Mary and I could not get enough in attempting to absorb every opportunity presented.
One of the most outstanding aspects of the tour was the worship element and Biblical reference attached to each of the sites visited. This experience really brought a greater understanding of the significance of the place we were visiting at the time. Having communion in the chapel on the garden tomb site was meaningful beyond words.
We felt in reflecting on this “religious pilgrimage” that we were involved in a two week hands on Bible study. The understanding of all that we have done over the years in learning the Bible became much more vivid as a result of this experience.
Although not knowing what to expect on the tour we could not have asked for more. Not only do we feel closer to God and Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior; but we expanded our family through those with us who shared our common interest in seeking a greater understanding of Jesus Christ and His life in this world and what that meant to us.
Mary and I will likely make this trip again provided we could go with John as our tour director and pastor. In addition John has become a close friend. John exhibited patience, kindness, understanding, and love, as well as tenacity in helping us to grow as Christians through this experience. We thank God for leading us to John and others who shared this adventure.
Thank you, John, for allowing us into your life as fellow believers. Your leadership as our tour director was extraordinary. Your friendship means more than you can know.” Craig & Mary (IA, October, 2009 Tour)
“We were so impressed with the wonderful tour of Israel, Egypt and Jordan (for those fortunate enough to go on the extended tour). The trip was beautiful and the extra days gave us time to further develop our friendships with each other. For those who had to return early, I hope…if you get another chance to return for a visit…you get to Egypt and Jordan (Petra is an amazing site to behold). Maybe someday, we can travel as the same group and make a reunion trip with Pastor John as our guide.
I am so thankful to Pastor John for making every possible effort to see that we were comfortable and providing every opportunity to share his knowledge with us of historical and biblical information and securing guides and drivers who gave us the local color of the culture and conditions that past and present day people lived in. And to God for giving us a blessed and safe trip. He kept us from getting lost, from being too sick or hurt to continue. He enabled Dave and I to return home when my lost passport was found and for others He made sure they had some money left over after the trip.
The life-changing experience was hearing the Word of God and His plan of salvation for the Jews and the Gentiles unfolding in His timeline. Looking back at the big picture, it was presented to us…painted with broad brush strokes…in the panorama of His unfolding History (His Story).
We had great times with you all and will continue to remember the special times of our sharing of faith, love and hope that comes from knowing our Lord and Savior and being sisters and brothers in the Family of God.” Dave & Nancy (NE, October, 2009 Tour)
“My daughter and I had been looking for some time for an Israel tour and had not sensed peace about any until we found your web page including trip detail and bio. This was our first experience visiting Israel and I am pleased to say that from my perspective the trip met and exceeded expectations in all areas. It was obvious from the start that your leadership and “extra mile” effort in this trip came from the heart………and not out of obligation. You had a genuine interest in each person that went beyond the element of professionalism, and we appreciated that effort. My thanks to you for putting together a well balanced, interesting, and informative itinerary and schedule. The combination of the guide’s presentation and your follow-up (including scripture) was an added touch. This helped us to experience that deeper appreciation for this blessed land and it’s people, and most importantly, the scriptures. What a delight it is to note locations and view bit maps in the Bible and be able to say…..”Yes, I know this area or this site”!!
I can say with certainty, even now some 30 days post trip, that it remains the “trip of a lifetime” for me, and we hope that God leads in a way that enables us to join you on yet another trip to that special country, Israel. Thank you for making it all possible, and we pray for God’s continued blessing upon your ministry here, and in Israel.” Wayne Hubin (MN, October, 2009 Tour)
“I so enjoyed meeting all of you and am so privileged to call you all brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you john, for a trip to always be cherished. the land the people and most of all God’s word, is coming alive to me more and more each day as i read and visualize, all the places you took us and the scriptures you read there as well. Thank you for this most precious gift.” Karen (NC, October, 2009 Tour)
“Bob and I have returned from a wonderful, awesome and spiritually inspiring trip. Praise God. Having visited the key sites and locations as described in the Holy Bible, we are now able to “see” the sites as we study the Bible, what a difference! Thanks for your leadership and guidance. You have certainly made things much easier for us. God willing, we will definitely revisit Israel. Thanks.” Bob & Lola (CA, October, 2009 Tour)
“Having never traveled out of the US, I really appreciated how well organized everything was on this tour. Being in these incredible places with a small group of like-minded folks was just wonderful! For any first timers to the Holy Land this is definitely the way to see it. The Sea of Galilee and the baptismal on the Jordan were awesome. There simply are no words to describe how moving and life-changing this tour was for me! I definitely hope to return!” Sonya (OH, October, 2009 Tour)
“My trip to Israel was just amazing. My enjoyment was filled to the fullest. Needless to say it was trip arranged by God. Each day my expectation was overtaken by the next. At each site with so to absorb and take in , I’m still trying to find place to put it all. I now read the bible with long pauses in between about the sites we’ve been to, adding a great thought that I been there. When I first started taking the places in the bible seriously, I thought I would like to go there one day. I think much more on that thought until twelve years later when God brought it to pass. Then I thought He really do gives you the desires of your heart. The people who came on the trip you felt like you knew them all your life. There were no strangers on this trip as it should not be strangers in the family of God. I thank God for each of you for being who you are, for my second tour definitely I look forward to seeing you. I enjoyed talking with everybody, I don’t think I missed anyone, I was always in company of great conversation picking up a comment, a little advise, joking or just hanging out with the scholars it was worth getting the ear full.
Spiritually, it has done wonders for me. I felt the presence of God all over that land. Two words came to me was peace and security, this is what I felt. And for the Jewish people I must look at them in another light. Ever since God had given them this land, despite of the millenniums of wars and the Diaspora, they have not forgot God’s inheritance to them.” Linda (CO, October, 2009)
“My husband and I have been dealt some pretty rough blows over the last few years. When we received the latest news, Scott decided he wanted to go to Israel. A place that has always been on his mind. We prayed about which trip to go on and when and God did all the work. Pastor John called us on the phone and shared a little about his upcoming trip and we knew then this is where we were suppose to be. God put all the details together and shut the doors that needed to be to make this trip possible.
What a trip it was! Pastor John and Shlomo our Israeli guide really opened the land and bible to us. It has proven to be a hunger that just cannot be filled. We keep wanting more. The excursions were absolutely fa nominal. The beauty of the country and the vastness of it were spectacular. Even the alternative night hikes proved to be an adventure.
We would highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to learn more, see exciting places and to enjoy new people and to make wonderful new friends. If we had not received the news we had back in December we would never had gone. We believe God called us to His special place so that we could begin a new thirst for His word and His people. God Bless Pastor John for his ability to share. Blessings,” Scott & Judy (CA, March, 2009 Tour)
“On the first Sunday back our Senior Pastor started his sermon with, “I was doing all right spiritually this week until I clicked on the computer and saw Scott and Judy and Don and Penny in Israel. Then I had a real problem with envy!” Our prayer chairman felt led to pray this while we were gone: ‘Penny Fregeau, that the trip to Israel will broaden her creative thinking for adaptation to her job here at the church.’ God has really been answering that prayer. Don and I have been reading the blue and yellow book you put together in the evenings with great interest. Thank you again for being a great pastor-guide. – Blessings,” Don & Penny (CA, March, 2009 Tour)
“Above and beyond the extremely well organized trip of a lifetime including the history, archeology, biblical studies, pray time, flora and fauna, fellowship and food, the most amazing impact for me was the closeness I felt to the Lord at many locations. It was almost as if he was drawing me to particular sites and moments in time that will live in my heart forever. I have found it very difficult to convey these emotions to people who did not have this experience.
Thank you sooooooooo much for putting a power point presentation together for us. I have spend the better part of this past week trying to do it and with my lack of computer expertise, it was very difficult. I look forward to your mailing.
Thank you so much for your teachings and patience as we tried to digest all there was to see and do in the Holy Land.” Darlene (MD, March, 2009 Tour)
“Thank you for the wonderful trip in Israel, one trip I will never forget !! I really appreciate the CD playing of The Holy City to guide us into Jerusalem, did you realized every one joined in the singing and we had tears in our eyes? It was a very powerful moment to see the Old City with the song and other believers. Thank you also for daily prayer, singing and bible reading at the appropriate sites not forgetting the nightly walks. When I get back to Vancouver on Thursday ,I will introduce the Israel trip to my friends in church.” Soo (Canada, March, 2009 Tour)
“Dear Pastor John, Thank you so much for making the trip such a meaningful and special time. You really were our shepherd for the trip – you kept us safe and on the right path. Gary and I really liked the way that you led our group. It was great hearing your personal accounts of your experiences in Israel Glad you are going to keep us on your email. We really appreciate the information that you send our way.
My husband, Gary, was the one who wanted to go to Israell. Isreal was not even on my travel list of places to go. I kept saying that we can talk to the Lord anywhere and that Isreal was nothing special. Well, let me retract that. For me, visiting Israel was a life changing experience. It changed me forever, brought me closer to God. I have a direction, purpose and drive to know Jesus and be his disciple more than I ever did before. I have a sense of intimacy with our Lord that I didn’t have before.
Now I can tell you that the tour was great. You are very knowledgeable and Schlomo was a great guide. It was great not to have to worry about anything: room, driving, tickets, etc. God uses you in a mighty way through the tours. There were so many special moments, singing in the church of the Annunciation, going to the Mount of the Beatitudes.
I am convinced that God invites us to come to Israel, we need only accept the invitation.
Thank you again for your part in making it so special.
With warmest regards,” Gary & Kathe (NV, March, 2009 Tour)
“Pastor John, I was always afraid to visit the Holy Lands. I joked with my friends, “The only time I want to go to Jerusalem is when the Lord Jesus returns!” But while searching for a vacation appropriate for our 25th anniversary, my husband found your web site. Reluctantly I went to your site, and first clicked on Safety. I was comforted with the information, and agreed to go. I have no regrets! Israel for me was love at first sight! Some of the highlights were visiting the Temple Mount, God’s most holy site (even though it’s currently under Muslim control), and listening to Moshe at the Shorashim Biblical Shop and Learning Center. I finally now understand in a very real way the exhortation in Psalm 122 to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” It was a fellow traveler on the tour who shared with me the true meaning of this psalm, and how it relates to the Lord’s prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…!
I’ve spoken with others who have traveled on different tours to the Holy Land, and they came back with cynical attitudes of the lands and current state of affairs. But cynicism was not the platform of your tour. Rather, you conveyed to us a deep reverence for the sites of biblical events, even if we didn’t know we were at the actual sites. Your emphasis on the scriptures and history was a comfort, and helped to make the biblical events truly come alive for us. Pastor John, you go over and beyond the others in organizing a tour. You’ve provided us with not only an extraordinary first-hand experience of the center of the world and history, but also with wonderful photos and videos (besides all those we took ourselves), and a wonderful network of friends for life. You continue to keep us posted on news and events of our new love, Israel, and we continue to hear great insights and updates from those who were on the tour with us.
Taking a tour with you is not just a tour. It’s a connection with the Holy Land–coming to understand more fully why it is holy–and an ongoing relationship and learning experience with you and all of our new friends who were on the tour. We now feel like we are more “in the know” regarding Israel, current events, and our biblical roots.
Thank you so much for the experience of a lifetime, and for all you do to continue to make it last…for a lifetime!” Steve & Judy (FL, November, 2008 Tour)
“Dear Pastor John, I cannot begin to express my deep, sincere and heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the work you are doing to give Christians like my daughter and myself the opportunity to experience the Holy Land from an historical and present day perspective. From the moment that my daughter asked me, ” Mom, if I could give you the trip of a lifetime that you have always said was a Holy Land trip, can you go this year?” , my answer was YES, and that began the walk of a lifetime. The moment we committed to the trip with our registration and first payment, we both began to experience Jesus and his life and walk in a different way. We read more articles on where we were going, we viewed DVDs to prepare for the trip, we studied God’s word more in depth, and we prayed more passionately. This trip was a true journey and pilgrimage for us. I cannot hear the word of God the same. It is so much more personal and close to my heart, something I could not imagine would happen so profoundly. The first trip back to church, with listening to the scriptures and ‘signing’ with my church community was overwhelmingly emotional. Every Christian should make this journey, it should be a personal priority to get into God/Jesus in this way.
We are truly blessed to have gone to God’s chosen land and to have experienced his life up close and personal. Thanks for making this trip so affordable, safe, fun and interesting. My God continue to bless your work in this ministry.” Susan & Christine (PA & VA, March, 2009 Tour)
“Dear Pastor, Lew and I cannot thank you enough for leading us through the vast deserts of Egypt into the Promised Land a couple of weeks ago! We saw palaces, temples and tombs of kings and gods now dead and buried (thankfully!). We experienced fantastic tastes, smells and sights we could never have imagined before. We walked, stood and sat in the very places our Savior once did the same; where multitudes gathered to hear Him speak; where He carried His own cross, beaten and humiliated for crimes He didn’t commit.
We were baptized in the Jordan River, saw the Golden Gates that will open at Christ’s 2nd coming and stood atop the Mt. of Beatitudes witnessing the presence of our living Lord today. Although I’ve barely scratched the surface, we will always remember and enjoy our reflection on the days we spent with you, Dr. Tom and our newly-made touring friends. We felt safe and well cared-for at all times and we whole-heartedly and enthusiastically encourage everyone who wants their own memories of a lifetime to go to the Holy Land with you. They will love it just as we did. On a more personal note, Lew and I are already getting into the Christmas spirit this year. I wonder if it’s because we’ve so recently walked in the footsteps of our King? Is anyone else having this experience too? I think it’s finally beginning to soak in –all the extraordinary places we’ve seen and experienced! Now I want to go back so I can better soak them in! Really!
Hope you are all well and healthy. Thank you, Pastor John, for all you do. God bless you.” Lew & Catie Eddleman (CO, March, 2009 Tour)
“Dear Pastor John, Believe it or not , this is the first opportunity I’ve had to read any email since we returned from the trip – still shuffling through snail mail too. Still processing the whole trip experience. I think one of the things I appreciated most was the de-emphasis of the place, “the actual spot” where Christ was crucified, where He was born, where He walked, and rather the sacredness of the whole of Israel because of the promises of God and the great gift of salvation through the sacrificial death of Christ. It was a more of a journey of the heart, rather than a physical pilgrimage, even though my legs might disagree.
The highlights of the trip, for me, were the spiritual ones – the communion service at the garden tomb, the hymns on the Sea of Galilee, the quiet moments at En Gedi and even the physically challenging hike up and down “Mt Sinai” were times to be alone in my heart, with God.
Traveling with like-hearted people was wonderful, for there are so many tours of the Holy Land, and just like life everyday, finding kindred spirits, Christ-centered hearts, to share such an important experience, is rare.
Thank you so much for making my first trip to the Holy Land more than I hoped it would be!” Bob & Joyce (MI, March, 2009 Tour)
“‘Overwhelmed’! Flooded with images, impressions, tastes, smells, responses, ideas. My mind feels like a hurricane swept over it, leaving detritus which I’m slowly picking through. Each photo brings back an instant of recognition, that urge to capture what is fleeting. The enormity of the Judean wilderness, nothing like hiking and skiing the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest! The diversity of peoples, animals, flowers, birds, building ornamentation, icons, religions. The silent harmony of a rocky hilltop, where stones record vanished peoples. The scurry of tourists through yet another cathedral, slurping up guidebook points, ignoring the nascent antipathy to thy neighbor. The clean tiny stream where Mary must have filled her pot of water, between the rocks which are always present, under, over, around. And yet God’s source of life still flows from above, the creative gravity working under, over, around, the hardest rock, the hardest heart. Thank you for reminding us of the Rock, the Life, the Way.” Syrene (WA, March, 2008 Tour)
“Our trip was beyond our expectations in many ways. The cost was competitive and all-inclusive as advertised. The size of our group provided much flexibility, personal attention, and allowed a very relaxed, comfortable feeling every day. Members of our group became close friends, sharing many experiences. We cried and laughed as we parted at the end of the trip. The accommodations were wonderful. The rental phones were very reasonably priced (compared to personal cells with international capability), and being able to check at home without extreme phone costs helped to make our trip more relaxing. Prior to departure, Dr. John DeLancey and Mira at the travel agency were very helpful; although many questions we asked were basic/silly, they were always patient and thorough.
We were amazed at how many sites Pastor John was able to fit into our schedule for a wide variety of experiences. He also made each site special by reading related scripture, leading us in special worship services, sharing his expertise in archeology, and/or singing. His guitar and wonderful voice was a bonus!
The tour guides that he chose for our trip, Miri and Mo, were incredibly knowledgeable (of the land, history, and customs), and were very gracious. The bus drivers, Amir and Hamond, were also chosen well. We always felt safe and well cared for. All of them did little extras to help us feel at home in their country. Pastor John’s level of expertise, as well as his impeccable attention to detail, made our trip very smooth and special, helped us understand the Bible in 3D, and helped us to grow spiritually.
We would highly recommend any tour of the Holy Land with Dr John DeLancey. We would also like to encourage you to make a trip to the Holy Land a top priority on your list. We wish that we would not have waited 25 years to go and experience God’s chosen land, to walk where Jesus walked, and to “feel” the Bible and the land. We have both taught Christian classes for many years; and we both, now, have a considerably deeper understanding of so many things. We plan to return to the Holy Land, and we wouldn’t consider going back with anyone other than Pastor John DeLancey.” Betty & Jim (PA, March, 2007 Tour)
“My recent trip with Pastor DeLancey was everything and more that you can possibly imagine a trip to Israel would be. We had the most wonderful guides on the entire journey, people whom I will never forget. Everyone on the trip bonded so well that I know I have 17 new lifelong friends. We were privileged to visit so many of the Biblical sites, it truly made the Bible come to life. Pastor DeLancey was so familiar with the sites, that he filled us with information, prayer time, reflection time, it was awesome. I do hope that I have another opportunity to revisit Israel.
It’s really hard to pinpoint the most incredible part of the trip because each site we visited had something special about it, but I really enjoyed our worship time at the garden tomb. For anyone curious about safety, we were completely safe, never a moment of worry.
It’s amazing too that so many people from so many different cultures would all be at the same locations at the same time with no animosity toward one another. The Holy Land is truly a very special place.” Pam (CO, March, 2008 Tour)
P.S. Incidentally, Pam met “Rick” on this trip. I (Pastor John) had the privilege on uniting them in marriage 6 months later!
Sunset on Santorini (Greece Tour)
Gamla in the Golan Heights
1st century boat found in Sea of Galilee
Mt. of Beatitudes Walk
Jesus’ “go-to” kingdom message was the one recorded in Matthew 5-7. On one occasion, Jesus shared this while sitting on a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee. On another occasion (Luke 6), Jesus shared it while probably on the Genesaret Plain. In this simple video you will walk down what has been suggested as the Mt. of Beatitudes. You will hear the first few verses of Matthew 5 as you walk.
The kingdom of God is all about allowing the reign and rule of God in our lives!