June 2018 Israel-Jordan Tour Update – Days 1 & 2

DAYS 1 & 2 – SUNDAY-MONDAY, JUNE 10 & 11: DEPART FOR & ARRIVE IN TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

Welcome to Israel

Welcome to Israel sign at the Ben Gurion Airport

Our day of departure finally came! The group of 82 that God has brought together used primarily three flights, with some flying to Israel on their own. All the flights went well with the unfortunate exception of part of the group flying out of Chicago. Because of the delay of their flight, 14 in our group missed the international flight. We hope they are able to be re-scheduled in a timely manner.

Jaffa

Jaffa Tel Aviv

Jaffa and Tel Aviv beach

The rest in the group arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport in the Lod/Tel Aviv area. Arriving at various times and meeting each other, we loaded up the two buses after the usual passport and luggage procedures. with sunny skies and temps in the mid 80s, we drove to Jaffa/Joppa, a southern suburb of Tel Aviv (600,000 people). We walked the alley-ways, read from Jonah 1, and Acts 9 & 10, and enjoyed our first great view of the Tel Aviv coastline.

Hotel/Med Sea

Med Sea sunset

Sunset on the Med Sea

Arriving at our hotel just north of Jaffa in Tel Aviv and right on the shoreline, some enjoyed a nap while others enjoyed a swim in the Med Sea. The water was very warm (about 80), the sane was white and soft, and the waves were beautifully rolled in.

We enjoyed dinner at 6:30, followed by an orientation meeting to help prepare us for the trip ahead. We met out on the beach and enjoyed a marvelous sunset on the Mediterranean Sea! Following the meeting, some enjoyed a stroll on the promenade, while others retired for the evening.

It was a long day but we’re excited to be here in Israel, the land of the Bible! We pray for a timely arrival of the rest of the group!

DAY 3 – TUESDAY, JUNE 12: CAESAREA, CARMEL, MEGIDDO, SEPPORIS, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS

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May 2018 Extensive Israel Tour Summary – Day 1 & 2

DAYS 1 & 2 – SUNDAY, MAY 5-6: ARRIVE IN ISRAEL, PALMACH MUSEUM, INDEPENDENCE HALL, JAFFA, TEL AVIV

Welcome to Israel

Welcome to Israel at the Ben Gurion Airport

Our day of departure finally came! With great anticipation and excitement, we boarded planes from Chicago and Newark for our flight to Tel Aviv. We thanks to God, we all arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport, and with no missing luggage too! Part of the group arrived last night while most in the group arrived this morning. We were met by our guides, Shlomo and Eli, as well as our drivers, David and Mashiach. The weather was overcast, with highs in the 70s.

The Palmach Museum and Independence Hall

Palmach museum

The Palmach Museum, Tel Aviv

After grabbing a bite to eat at the airport, we drove to the heart of Tel Aviv, a city of about 400,000. Our first two stops were to the Palmach Museum and Independence HallThe Palmach served as Israel’s “underground” military units. Established in 1941, the Palmach played an important role in the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel on May 14, 1948.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall, Tel Aviv

From here we drove to the southern end of Tel Aviv to Independence Hall. It was here at this historic building where Ben Gurion declared Israel as a State. We heard the recorded words shared by Ben Gurion as well as a recording of the HatikvahIsrael’s national anthem. This year Israel celebrates its 70th. anniversary!

Jaffa/Joppa

Tel Aviv

The Tel Aviv coastline from Jaffa

Before checking into our hotel, we also made a brief stop in Jaffa/Joppa. It was from here where Jonah sailed (Jonah 1). It was also here where Peter performed miracles (Acts 9) and where he had his “vision” that led to the expansion of the kingdom of God to Gentiles (Acts 10). We walked the quiet alley ways of Jaffa. The view of the coastline of Tel Aviv was very nice from here as well.

To end the day, we drove to our hotel located along the Mediterranean Sea. Following check-in and dinner, we enjoyed an orientation meeting to help us prepare for the next 12 days together.

It is great to be in Israel, the land of the Bible, and we are looking forward to what God has in store for us!

DAY 3 – MONDAY, MAY 7: GEZER, BETH SHEMESH, GATH, KH. QEIYAFA & ELAH VALLEY, BEIT GUVRIN, LACHISH, BEERSHEBA

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March 2018 Israel-Jordan Tour Update – Days 1 & 2

DAYS 1 & 2 – SUNDAY-MONDAY, MARCH 11-12: DEPART U.S.A. – ARRIVE IN ISRAEL

Departure & Arrival

Israel coastline

The Israel/Tel Aviv coastline

Our day of departure finally arrived, With great excitement and anticipation, we embarked on our flight to Israel, the land of the Bible! With thanksgiving to God, we all made our connection flights. Enduring the long night-flight, the coast of Israel came into view. Landing at the Ben Gurion Airport (named after Israel’s first Prime Minister in 1948), with patience we passed through the long lines of Passport Control. Grabbing our luggage (it all arrived!), we met Shlomo (our guide) and David (our driver).

Joppa/Netanya

Jaffa Israel

The quiet alley-ways of Jaffa

After loading the bus, we departed the airport for a brief stop in Jaffa (Joppa). Located on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, this is where Jonah ran from God (Jonah) and where Peter leaded Dorcas and had his vision (Acts 9, 10). We walked through the quiet alley ways and gained a great view of the coastline of Tel Aviv.

From here we drove north to Netanya. After checking in, we enjoyed a late dinner together followed by a brief orientation meeting. 

It is great to be here in Israel!!

 

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February 2018 Israel Tour Summary-Update – Days 1 and 2

DAYS 1 & 2 – FRIDAY-SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9-10: DEPARTURE FROM U.S.A /LAND IN ISRAEL

Welcome to Israel

Welcome to Israel sign within the Ben Gurion Airport

Our trip began today! Our group of 25 flew drove from MN to Winnepeg where we caught a flight to Toronto. While the international flight was delayed a little because of snow, we were able to take off despite deteriorating winter conditions. Once on board, we we served dinner and breakfast.

We landed at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv around 11 a.m. where we proceeded through Passport Control. After securing our luggage, we met our guide (Shlomo) and driver (David). We loaded the bus and left the airport to spend a half a day in the Shephelah (Lowlands) of Judah. The weather was mild, with afternoon highs in the mid 70s.

Gezer

standing stones gezer

The group at the “standing stones” of Gezer.

Our first stop was Tel Gezer. Located along get Aijalon Valley, this was an ancient Canaanite and Israelite city located strategically on the Coastal Plains. The city was conquered by Joshua (Josh 12) but not fully controlled until the days of Solomon (1 Kings 9). We also read from the Gezer Calendar (10th century BC agricultural seasons) and Ecclesiastes 3 about the seasons of life. Several times the Egyptians conquered this city from the Canaanites as well. At the site we saw the Middle Bronze tower, wall, gate and water system as well as the Iron Age (or Israelite) ruins including a 6 chamber stone gate built by Solomon. We also saw the standing stones of Gezer, probably used by Canaanite).

Beth Shemesh

Driving south to the Sorek Valley, we stopped briefly at Beth Shemesh. Close by (on the other side of the valley) is Zoar and Eshtoal, the home area of Samson (Judges 13-14). He was attracted to Delilah, just a few miles west down the Sorek Valley. We also remembered the story from I Samuel 6 about the return of the Ark of the Covenant here from the Philistines.

Azekah

Elah Valley

Elah Valley (the battle took place at the far eastern narrow end of the valley)

Our last stop of the day was to Azekah. Located along the Elah Valley, this ancient city is mentioned a few places in the Bible. With a great view of this valley below, we read from 1 Samuel 17. It was in the narrow end of the valley where the battle between David and Goliath took place. Looking west from the top of the site we could see Gath (Tel es Safi), the home of Goliath.

Netanya

From here we hopped on Israel’s toll road straight to Netanya. We checked into our hotel and enjoyed dinner together. Over half in the group then enjoyed a great walk to the beach of the Medeterraian Sea.

We are feeling very blessed to be here in the land of the Bible!

DAY 3 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11: CAESAREA, CARMEL, MEGIDDO, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS

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Day 1 & 2 Trip Summary – January 2018 14 Day Israel Tour

DAYS 1 & 2 – SUNDAY-MONDAY, JANUARY 14: 

Fight and arrival in Israel

Tel Aviv

The Med Sea & coastline of Tel Aviv

Today our departure date finally arrived!  With enthusiasm, we met at the Newark Airport in NJ for our flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. Praise God that everyone’s flight was on time getting into Newark. Our international flight took off at 4:50 p.m. After dinner, a few movies, a few hours of sleep (for most of us), and breakfast, we arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport shortly after 9 a.m. Flying over the coastline of the land of Israel was exciting! Following going through the Passport Control and luggage, we were greeted by our guide (Shlomo Ben Asher) and our driver (David Elimelech).

Tel Gezer

Gezer Gate

The Solomonic Gate at Tel Gezer

Leaving the airport at about 10:30, we drove to our first site of the day, an Old Testament site called Gezer. Located in the Shephelah (“Lowlands”) of Judah along the Aijalon Valley, Gezer was strategically located city during the Canaanite and Israelite Periods. We read from Joshua 10 (the “sun standing still over Aijalon…), I Kings 9 (Solomon re-fortifying the city) and Ecclesiastes 3 (the “seasons of life”). We also read from the Gezer Calendar (found here about 100 years ago). Archaeologically, we saw the Canaanite tower, wall, gate, and water tunnel, and the Israelite wall and gate. Leaving the site we passed by the standing stones (messabot) of Gezer.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Inside Independence Hall

Driving into Tel Aviv (a city of about 400,000 people started in 1909) we enjoyed lunch along the Rothchild Boulevard before visiting Independence HallIt was here where Israel became a State! It was on May 15, 1948 and in a very modest building where David Ben Gurion (Israel’s first Prime Minister) declared Israel’s statehood!

Joppa/Jaffa

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv from Joppa

Our last stop of the day was to Joppa (Jaffa). We enjoyed walking through the quiet alleyways of this city located just south of Tel Aviv along the Mediterranean Sea. We read from Acts 9 and 10 (about Peter) and celebrated God’s redemptive plan now widening to include Gentiles.

Arriving at the Tal Hotel in the heart of Tel Aviv, we checked in and enjoyed some rest time before dinner. Following dinner some in the group enjoyed walking along the beautiful sandy beach!

Although tired from the long flight and jet lag, we are thrilled to be here in the land of the Bible!!

DAY 3 – TUESDAY, JANUARY 16: BETH SHEMESH, AZEKAH, QEIYAFA, BEIT GUVRIN, LACHISH, BEERSHEBA

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September 2017 Israel Tour – Day 13

DAY 13 – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15:

Today was our last full day here in Israel. Rising with the sunrise in the desert this morning, we enjoyed a simple breakfast before packing up and driving east towards the most impressive of all of Herod the Great’s fortresses – Masada! We read Psalm 18:1-2 as we began the day, rejoicing that God is our “metzada” – our fortress! Today would be a predictably hot day as we traveled along the Dead Sea area.

Masada roman ramp

Hiking up the Roman ramp at Masada

Masada was a fortress built by Herod but then later used by 967 Jews between 70-73 AD. These Jews found refuge up here against Silva and the Romans. Since we approached the site from the west, most in the group hiked to the top up the Roman ramp, while others bussed around to the other side, taking the cable car up. Once on top, we saw storehouses, cisterns, the casemate wall, the synagogue, the bathhouse, and the impressive northern palace. We exited the site by taking here cable car back down. Some in the group hiked down the Snake Path.

Engedi waterfalls

A few of the waterfalls at Engedi

Driving a short distance north along the Dead Sea, our next stop was Engedi. This was where David hid from King Saul. We read from 1 Samuel 24, as well as from Song of Songs 1. We hiked back to some of the water falls and enjoyed getting wet! It is such a beautiful area! No wonder David came to this “oasis in the desert.” We even saw a few ibex and coneys here.

Our last site of the day was Qumran. This was where the Essenes scribed the Dead Sea Scrolls, the most important archaeological find in all of Israel. During the lunch hour, some in the group hiked to Cave 1 where the first scrolls were found in 1947 (including the famous Isaiah Scolls). At the site we saw many miqvot (ritual baths), cisterns, and the scriptorium. In front of Cave 4 (a total of 12 caves have now been identified), we read from “Psalm 151” (an extra psalm written by David), and Psalm 19. We rejoiced together in the preservation of God’s Word!

Cave 4 QUMRAN

Cave 4 at Qumran

From here we drove west up towards Jerusalem. On the way, we stopped for quick showers along the Dead Sea as well as a Hebron glass store in Jericho. Skirting around the city center of Jerusalem, we continued to Abu Gosh for our farewell dinner. The food was tasty and it was a great time of reviewing the entire trip and sharing. We then drove to the Ben Gurion Airport for our night flight home.

NOTE: At present, we are awaiting our flight home. The web site and pictures will be updated sometime later on Saturday.

DAY 14: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: ARRIVE BACK IN THE U.S.A.

We plan to arrive back in the States today. What an incredible trip! Praise be to God for a life-changing experience!

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September 2017 Israel Tour – Days 1 & 2

DAYS 1 & 2 – SUNDAY-MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3-4: 

Ben Gurion Airport Welcome sign

Welcome to Israel at the Ben Gurion Airport

Our day of departure finally arrived! With excitement for the journey ahead, we met at the JFK (NY) airport (as well as others) for our night flight to Israel, the land of the Bible. Most in the group arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon. Others came in at various others times. After going through Passport Control and getting our luggage, we were greeted by our agent, our driver (David), and our guide (Shlomo). We loaded the bus and drove to the Joppa (also called Jaffa) area. From the shoreline we could see part of the ancient harbor (where Jonah sailed from, Jonah 1) and where Solomon brought in the cedars of Lebanon for building the Temple in Jerusalem (I Kings 5). This was also where Peter raised Tabitha (Dorcas, Acts 9) and had his vision of unclean animals 9 (Acts 10).

Jaffa, Israel

Jaffa along the Med Sea coastline. This is the area of the stories of Jonah (Jonah 1) and Peter (Acts 9-10)

From here we drove north to Netanya where we check into our hotel. Following dinner, we met for our orientation meeting to help us prepare for the days ahead.

We are so very excited to be in Israel, and we look forward to our first full day tomorrow.

 

DAY 3 – TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5: CAESAREA, CARMEL, MEGIDDO, SEPPORIS, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS

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June 2017 Israel Tour – Days 1 & 2 Summary

DAYS 1 & 2 – MONDAY-TUESDAY, JUNE 12-13: DEPART FOR & ARRIVE IN TEL AVIV

Jaffa

The alley ways of Jaffa

Our departure day finally arrived! God brought together a total of 34 people for this trip. Most of us met at the JFK Airport in NY for our non-stop flight to Tel Aviv. Unfortunately however, four in the group missed the departure because their domestic flight had mechanical issues (they will arrive on Wednesday).

Following our 10 hour night flight, we landed at the Ben Gurion Airport (named after Israel’s first Prime Minister in 1948). After getting through the long passport lines, we grabbed our luggage and boarded the bus. We were greeted by both Shlomo (our guide) and David (our driver). Before arriving at the hotel, we made a brief stop in Jaffa. Here we enjoyed walking through the alleyways of the town. We also recalled the stories of Jonah (Jonah 1) and Peter (Acts 9-10).

sunset in Israel

A sunset on the Med Sea, Tel Aviv-Israel

We arrived at our hotel in Tel Aviv and checked in. Following dinner, we gathered for a brief orientation meeting. Following the meeting, some walked on the beach of the Med Sea before retiring for the evening. We are all excited for the life-changing experiences that await us!

DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14: GEZER, BEIT SHEMESH, KH. QEIYAFA, ELAH VALLEY, BEIT GURVIN, LACHISH, BE’ER SHEVA

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April-May 2017 Israel-Egypt Tour Update: Days 1 & 2

DAYS 1 & 2 – MONDAY/TUESDAY, APRIL 24-25:

The day finally arrived for our Israel trip! Most in the group met at the JFK (NY) Airport from all over the country for our international direct flight to Tel Aviv. While the connection flights were tight, everyone made it! It was a 10 hour flight to the Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.

Tel Aviv coastline

The coastline of Tel Aviv, Israel from Jaffa (Joppa)

Upon arriving, we went through the normal passport check, gathered our luggage, and walked out to the bus. We were greeted by Shlomo Ben Asher, our Israeli guide, and David, our driver. After loading the bus, we drove west to Joppa (Jaffa). It is located on the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. We enjoyed a leisurely walk through the alley-ways. We read from Jonah 1 (Jonah who sailed from here) and Acts 9 & 10 (Peter, his healing of Dorcas and his vision). Praise God that His kingdom extends to Gentiles as well!

alleyways of Jaffa

The alleyways of Jaffa, Israel

Driving north through the Tel Aviv traffic, we arrived at our hotel in Netanya. After checking in, we enjoyed dinner together, followed by a brief orientation meeting. Afterwards, some walked down to the beach.

It is wonderful to be here in Israel, the land of the Bible!

DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26: CAESAREA, CARMEL, MEGIDDO, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS

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January 2017 Pastors Israel Tour – Days 1 & 2

DAYS 1 & 2 – MONDAY-TUESDAY, JANUARY 23-24:

welcome to israel sign at ben gurion airport

Welcome to Israel at the Ben Gurion Airport

Our arrival day finally came for this pastor’s “FAM” trip to Israel. Unfortunately the flights we used were delayed for weather and/or mechanical issues. However, the flights eventually took off. Arriving at the Ben Gurion Airport about 10 hours later on Tuesday afternoon, we met Pastor John and Shlomo (our Israeli guide) once we went through Israeli customs and baggage.

Leonardo Hotel Netanya

Leonardo Hotel – our first night’s hotel in Netanya

Loading our luggage onto the bus (driven by David), we drove through Tel Aviv traffic to Netanya. After checking in, we enjoyed dinner together followed by an orientation meeting and a walk down to the Mediterranean Sea. The weather was still very pleasant, around 65.

We are looking forward to our first full day tomorrow!

DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25: CAESAREA, CARMEL, MEGIDDO, SEPPORIS, PRECIPICE OF NAZARETH, TIBERIAS

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