February 6, 2015

Israel Adventure Travel Itinierary

Greetings Friends,

View of Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel
Its three days until wheels up to Israel! We are enjoying family time and all of the preparations that go along with an adventure like this one. It is looking like the weather in Israel will be mostly wet and similar to Oregon in February (minus the desert of course).

For those of you that are interested, below is the tentative itinerary for the time our team will be in Israel. I'll be posting each day with photos and reflections on the things we have seen and heard.

I am looking forward to the time spent with others who are heading to Israel for the first time and am looking forward to seeing the places where so many of the powerful stories of our faith have taken place. While I will miss the kids and Kealy a great deal, I am open to whatever God might shape or form within me during this particular pilgrimage to Israel.

Here's the Itinerary:

DAY 1 - Monday, February 9, 2015


DAY 2 - Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Upon landing we will be met by our representative who will assist us in getting to our modern motor coach. Continue through Tel Aviv, the largest city in Israel. We proceed to the famous Sea of Galilee where we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 3 - Wednesday, February 11, 2015


"The Head of all those Kingdoms" (Joshua 11:10) The Sources of the Jordan. This morning we leave Tiberias and head north via Magdala into the valley of Gennesareth to Ginossar to view the New Testament boat found below the sea and to visit the kibbutz. Then on to Chorazin, through the Hula Valley to Hazor, ruins of the powerful Canaanite city destroyed by Joshua and rebuilt by King Jabin and then by Solomon as a chariot city to command upper Galilee. We continue to the northern limits of Jesus' travel as we cross the River Hatzbani to Dan, where we combine a nature walk beside the Upper Jordan with views of the ancient ruins, topped by the Israelite high place that supported a golden calf (I Kings 12). Then a short drive to Banias (Caesarea Philippi), dedicated to Pan the Greek god of pastures, flocks and shepherds; here Peter made his great profession of faith, recognition of Christ Jesus (Matthew 16). Driving along the foot of Mount Hermon, we ascend onto the Golan Plateau for a magnificent view of upper Israel. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 4 - Thursday, February 12, 2015


This morning we follow the Rift Valley running parallel to the Jordan, along the route Jesus most frequently traveled to Jerusalem. We visit Bet Shean at the foot of Mt. Gilboa, where King Saul was slain, see the evidences of Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine occupations, and view the ancient tel, Roman Theater and church mosaics. In the afternoon we enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum, then visit Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes. Our last stop today will be at the River Jordan where we will have the opportunity to be baptised, then transfer to the hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

DAY 5 - Friday, February 13, 2015


We leave Tiberias for Jerusalem, on the way we pass through Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle. Continue to Nazareth, boyhood home of Jesus and then proceed across the Plain of Jezreel to Megiddo to visit the excavations of over 20 different civilizations. Visit Muhraka on Mount Carmel. In the afternoon we visit Caesarea on the Mediterranean, the Roman aqueduct and port, Crusader's Moat, and the famous Roman Theater. We pass through Tel Aviv via Jaffa (Joppa), the city of Jonah, where Peter had his housetop experience at the home of Simon the Tanner (Acts 10). Proceed by way of the Aijalon Valley to Jerusalem for check-in and dinner at our hotel.

DAY 6 - Saturday, February 14, 2015


Today we drive to Masada and ascend by cable car to the magnificent ruins of the fortress where, from 70 to 73 AD, Jewish defenders made their last stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We see the remains of storehouses, cisterns and a sixth-century Byzantine church. Continuing alongside the Dead Sea, 1300 ft. below sea level -- the lowest spot on earth -- we proceed to Ein Gedi. Here we will have a stop for lunch and swim in the Dead Sea or walk the path to see the waterfall in the desert. This afternoon we continue to Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We travel to Jericho, the world's oldest city. From the excavated tel atop the ruins of ancient Jericho we view the lush green Jordan Valley, Elisha's spring and Qarantal, the Mount of Temptation. We will head up to Jerusalem and return to the hotel for dinner.

DAY 7 - Sunday, February 15, 2015


"If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace" (Luke 19:42) We start the day with an orientation to Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives with an opportunity of a group photograph overlooking Jerusalem. We then walk the traditional Palm Sunday route to the church known as Dominus Flevit ("Our Lord weeps"). After viewing the Golden Gate, we walk downhill to Gethsemane, where we take time to meditate on the Gospel text. Boarding our bus we drive to the Dung Gate. Just inside we walk to the Southern Wall excavations. We then examine the ruins near the south side of the Temple complex, including steps where we may be certain that Jesus and the disciples walked, then to the slopes of Mt. Zion there we will visit the Upper Room and King David's Tomb. This afternoon driving south, we visit Solomon's Pools, Jerusalem's main source of water for almost 2000 years. Passing the Herodian the palace set in a conical mountain that was built by Herod to mark his tomb. We will proceed to the Shepherds' Fields and time permitting sing a few Christmas carols. We conclude the day with a visit in Bethlehem, walking through its alleys and markets to the Church of the Nativity. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 8 - Monday, February 16, 2015


"He has risen!" (Mark 16:6) After breakfast we transfer to the Dung Gate, we walk up to the Western Wall Judaism's holiest site. We ascend to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of Islam, located on the traditional site of the ancient Temple Mount. It is believed that here is where the Temple once stood. Just to the north we find the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne's Church, the church is perfectly preserved from the Crusader period – with remarkable acoustics. We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) through the bazaars as far as the Holy Sepulcher. From there we walk through the Christian Quarter along the Arab Souks and past the Armenian Quarter.  This afternoon exit the Old City at Mt Zion to the grounds of a church called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. (Here, the Assumptions Fathers suggest, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus.). From there we board our bus and transfer to the Garden Tomb where we will end our day with a special visit and the possibility of having a private communion on the grounds outside the city walls. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 9 - Tuesday, February 17, 2015


This morning we will board our bus for our exciting tour to the famous Rabbi Tunnel. Here we will enter by the Western wall plaza and go down to the foundation of the Second Temple. We will see a model that will demonstrate where we are in location to the Temple in the time of Christ. Continue along the tunnel as we proceed to the Gateway of the Priests entry to the Holy of Holies. We will continue to the Temple Institute where we will see the making of the instruments for the new temple. We will see how they are following the Bible for exact instructions. We will see a film explaining where the Rabbi believes the Ark of the Covenant is located. This afternoon we will head to Yad Vashem and see the Museum of the Holocaust. Continue to Shrine of the book and the model city of Jerusalem at the time of the Second Temple. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 10 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015


The entire day is free to explore this famous city, take any private sightseeing excursions desired, shop or just relax. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

DAY 11 - Thursday, February 19, 2015


We transfer to the airport for our flight home with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible reading.

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