Israel Holy Sites Bring The Word Alive
In Tel Aviv, we proceed through customs and security and meet our guide who assists us to our motor coach. We have a short drive to our hotel in the Netanya area in time for our special welcome dinner. This morning, we depart for the Galilee to visit Biblical sites at Caesarea Maritima, where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion. We also see Megiddo and Mt. Carmel, where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. Time permitting, we’ll stop at the Druze Village for a short lunch break (not included). We continue our Israel holy sites touring to Nazareth to visit the “Nazareth Village” with detailed explanation of what life was like during the time of Jesus. We also visit Cana on the way to Tiberias for overnight on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. After breakfast, we travel north to the Golan Heights for a beautiful view of northern Israel’s landscape. Then we continue to travel our Israel holy sites as we head to Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” We embark on a short hike to Tel Dan to see the altar of Jeroboam. For lunch, we’ll enjoy an included box lunch while overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Afterwards, we make our way to the Mt. of Beatitudes, with time for reflection and worship. Then we visit Capernaum. Next, we board a replica wooden “Jesus Boat” for our boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We conclude our sightseeing with a visit to the new Magdala archaeological site, which is rich in cultural history for both Jews and Christians. Afterwards, we see Gadara.
Did You Know? Capernaum was Jesus’ base for His early ministry.
Swimming in the Dead Sea
We begin our sightseeing with a drive to Bethsaida, and then make our way to the Jordan River and have the opportunity to step into that special river before heading to Gideon Springs. Next, we visit Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. Finally, we ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem in time for dinner and overnight. After breakfast, we begin our our Israel holy sites touring as we drive to the Wilderness. The road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea region is a decent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. Our first stop will be at Masada, where we take a cable car up to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of fortifications, waterworks, the synagogue, temples and palaces. Next, we continue our Israel holy sites touring to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. A short drive takes us to Qumran and the settlement of the first century sect known as the Essenes, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Afterwards, we follow the road south along the western shore of the Dead Sea where we will stop for a short swim. We begin the day with worship on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breathtaking panorama of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage will proceed down the Old Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and the Church of Agony, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed. We will walk to the holiest site in the whole Jewish world, the Western Wall of Herod’s temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre temple area purchased by King David. On this site now stands El-Aksa Mosque, and the magnificent Dome of the Rock. There will be a few hours for lunch (not included) and exploration on your own. We continue our Israel holy sites touring to St. Stephen’s Gate, to walk the Via Dolorosa, including St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Pavement, Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo. We continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. A short walk takes us to stand on the original steps that Jesus walked on as he entered the Temple area.
Visiting the Church of the Nativity
This morning, we visit the Shrine of the Book Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the fascinating 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as it would have appeared in Jesus’ time. Next, we drive to the City of David, an incredible archaeological find. Afterwards, we take a short walk to Hezekiah’s Tunnel. Be sure to bring a flashlight and water shoes to walk through the tunnel. Anyone wanting to stay dry can walk through Hezekiah’s shaft. If time permits, we will visit the newly excavated Pool of Siloam. Next, we continue our Israel holy sites touring to see the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. We end our Israel holy sites touring today with worship and communion at Golgotha and the Garden Tomb. We begin our day with a visit to Bethlehem and a visit with Pastor Mitri Rabeb at Christmas Lutheran Church to learn about their ministry (provided he is in country during the time of our visit). We pass by Rachel’s tomb on the outskirts, and visit the Church of the Nativity and Shepherd’s Field. In Bethlehem, we visit an olive wood factory and shop. Then we drive to Herodium. This “palace-fortress” built by King Herod is located on the edge of the Judean Desert, where he would be eventually buried. Afterwards, we will visit Bethany. Then we depart for the Elah Valley to see the brook where David slew Goliath. From here, we continue our drive to Jaffa for a special Farewell Dinner. We then transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for our flight back to the U.S.A.