Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives

Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives

The March, 2016 Israel tour was another great one!  God brought together 47 people from all over the country for this Holyland trip that included an option to southern Israel and Jordan.  As always, there were no issues about safety.  All is quiet and quite normal.  We went everywhere without fear or apprehension.  Despite what people hear on the so-called news, Israel is one of the safest countries to travel to.

The people God gathered included “kids” in their late teens and early 20s, to folks in their 70s.  We had a few pastors with us as well as one missionary in Africa. Like every Biblical Israel Ministries & Tour trips, everyone grew in their walk of faith, not only with new understanding and insights into God’s Word, but hearts were touched and inspired as well.

God blessed us with perfect weather too.  While March can be transitional (between the winter rain potential and the late spring/summer/early fall sun and warmth), we had many days in the high 70s with wonderful sun.

Masada (southern end)

Masada (southern end)

This tour’s program included about 45-50 biblical sites, much more than the average “Holyland” tour.  Going to biblical sites vs. only “traditional” sites is always a distinguishing mark of every Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours trip.  We started by going north to the Galilee and Golan Heights. This included such sites as Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Jezreel Valley, Megiddo, Nazareth, Arbel (half of the group hiked it), Capernaum, Magdala, Chorazim, Bethsaida, Gamla, Qatzrin, Ben Tal, Caesarea Philippi, Dan, This was followed by driving through the heart of the West Bank (Samaria) to Shiloh, passing by Bethel, Ai, Michmash, and through the Judean Desert.  Going through the so-called West Bank was no problem.

Sea of Galilee boat ride

Sea of Galilee boat ride

Following an overnight along the Dead Sea, we also saw Masada, Engedi, Qumran (some of us hiked to “Cave 1,” while many hiked to “Cave 11”) en route to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem‘s highlights included the Mt. of Olives, Old City, City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, southern excavations of the Temple, the Temple Mount, and the Israel museum.  We also spent most of an afternoon at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum & Memorial.  Here we heard Shlomo’s (our guide) story of losing 12 family members in Vilna, Poland.

The group standing on the precipice of Nazareth

The group standing on the precipice of Nazareth

19 in the group enjoyed the optional extension through the Shephelah (lowlands) of Judah, the Negev, southern Israel, and Jordan.  The Biblical sites we saw included Gezer, Beth Shemesh, Qeiyafa (where David vs. Goliath took place in the Elah Valley), Maresha/Beit Guvrin, Lachish, Beersheba, the Machtesh Ramon (Israel’s grand canyon), and Timnah.

Crossing the southern Rabin border into Jordan, we enjoyed a wonderful 5+ hotel along the Red Sea.  Having 7 hours at Petra was the highlight.  Some in the group hiked to the Monastery tomb as well as to the High Place overlooking this huge ancient city.

Overlookin Petra

Overlookin Petra

Our last day we drove to Amman, stopping at Shobak (a Crusader castle), Machearus (where John the Baptist lost his head), Medeba, and Mt. Nebo.  We even had a couple renew their wedding vows here!

It was another great trip!  Praise be to God.

If you want to take your faith to a new exciting level, consider joining an upcoming Israel tour with us!

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