DAYS 1 & 2 – SUNDAY, MAY 5-6: ARRIVE IN ISRAEL, PALMACH MUSEUM, INDEPENDENCE HALL, JAFFA, TEL AVIV
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
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 Hall. The 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.
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 Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem. This year Israel celebrates its 70th. anniversary!
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!