Travel Group to the Holy Land
Our travel group begins in Netanya on the Mediterranean Sea and the views are stunning! The next morning of our travel group departs for the Galilee, visiting the following Biblical sites: Caesarea where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion and later where Paul made his appeal to Rome. Next, we drive up Mt. Carmel to see where Elijah brought down the fire of God. From there we look over the Valley of Armageddon. We will stop at Tel Megiddo to see an ancient site from Old Testament times. We go on to Nazareth to the massive Church of the Annunciation and then make our way over to Mount Precipice, the traditional site of the cliff from which an angry crowd intended to throw Jesus after his bold proclamation in the Nazareth synagogue. From there we will go to Cana, to the area of the wedding feast and the site of Jesus’ first miracle. We’ll arrive in Tiberias for dinner and overnight on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Reflection at the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River
The following morning of our travel group will see the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee. It is a spectacular site. Most of today will be exploring the ministry locations of our Lord around the Sea of Galilee: Mt. of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Magdala (discovered only a few years ago), Mt. of Transfiguration, the site of the First Breakfast (John 21), and the Sea of Galilee itself. We will be on a boat that day on the Sea reading, studying, and reflecting on the ministry of Jesus where he did his ministry. If we have time, we will go to city of Sepphoris where it is likely Joseph and Jesus worked during his early years! His humanity and his divinity will be brought into our focus in an unforgettable way. The next morning, our travel group goes to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter made his faith confession. We will have a short hike/walk to Tel Dan where we will see the idolatrous altar of Jeroboam and the gate of Abraham. Afterwards, we visit Beit Shean, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. On the way, we will stop at Jericho and visit the original baptismal site of our Lord along the Jordan. Next, we stop on the way to the majestic city of Jerusalem and look at the ancient monastery of St. George’s Monastery at the Wadi Qelt.
Did you know? Those who are traveling with their spouses will have an opportunity to renew their vows in Cana!
The road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea region is a decent of 4,000 feet in 13 miles. Our travel group makes its first stop of our at Masada, where we will make our way by cable car to the fortress built by King Herod. Here we survey the ruins of fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. We then drive to Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. A short drive takes us to Qumran, the location of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery. Afterwards, we follow the road south along the western shore of the Dead Sea. We will make a special stop at the Dead Sea (the lowest spot on earth) for a short swim.
The travel group will begin the next morning atop the Mount of Olives and processing down to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive groves to the beautiful Church of the Agony. From here, we will head to the Christ Church, where we will worship with saints of various nationalities in the oldest Protestant Church building in the Middle East. Now in the Old City, we will head over to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the site of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. We then walk through the various quarters of the city – Armenian, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish — and visit numerous sites including the Western Wall of Herod’s temple (Wailing Wall), St. Stephen’s Gate, St. Anne’s Church, the Pools of Bethesda from John 5. The following morning our travel group continues to the Israeli Museum where we will see a fascinating scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. We will be at the Shrine of the Book Museum, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Next, we will go to the ancient temple steps and then take a breathtaking tour of the Western Wall through its archeological tunnels. We will stop at St. Peter Gallicantu and the ancient Roman steps outside the House of Caiaphas. We finish our day at the Garden Tomb. Our travel group will have time on the next morning to make our way to Bethlehem to visit the oldest church in the world, the Church of the Holy Nativity and the grotto cave where Jesus was born. We visit the Cave of St. Jerome as well and then drive over to the Shepherd’s Fields where certain poor shepherds received the Good News and where Ruth and Boaz got together making it possible for the line of David to continue up to the birth of the Messiah. In the afternoon, we have some free time to do more exploring, see a few more sites, or even do some shopping in the Old City. We will leave Jerusalem for a visit to the ancient port of Joppa, where we will also enjoy a farewell dinner together, say our good-byes, and head to the airport for our late-night flight back home to the States.