Day 1: Departure from LAX
Today we embark on our Journey to the Holy Land. Prepare yourself for a life-changing experience. Get some rest on the flight…tomorrow you will be walking where Jesus walked!
Day 2: Arrive Israel
We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport where we will be met by our Israeli guide who will accompany us during our entire stay in Israel. We travel northward to our hotel for two nights in the coastal area near Tel Aviv. The remainder of the day is free to walk along the Mediterranean, relax, and have dinner. The time is right for a personal devotional with the sunset over the “Great Sea.” Enjoy a time of prayer of thanks for safety and the special blessings ahead, a prayer for the people of this land, and a good night’s rest.
Day 3: Tel Aviv – Jaffa
Today we travel the short distance south to Jaffa, the oldest port in the world. Jonah set sail from Tarshish from Jaffa but was swallowed by a large fish. Jaffa was also the home of Tabitha, who was raised from the dead by Peter. Peter had his vision here while lodging in the home of Simon the Tanner. We spend the majority of the morning in Jaffa with free time to explore this ancient town. We return this afternoon to our hotel where you are free to enjoy the hotel amenities, beach or the surrounding city blocks.
Day 4: Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Megiddo
After breakfast, we travel by private motor coach along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea, where Gentiles first heard the Good News from Peter and were baptized. We’ll see the Roman Amphitheatre, hippodrome, a film on history and remains of this famous port city, and aqueduct. We journey on to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. Next we travel through the Jezreel Valley to Megiddo, the Armageddon Battlefield, where archaeologists have unearthed 20 levels of civilization. We continue east arriving in the Galilee. We will have dinner and overnight lodging for the next five nights at our Kibbutz along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Day 5: Beit Shean, Nazareth, Baptism
This morning we travel southward to Beit-Shean/Scythopolis, the most magnificent archeological site in Israel, located at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan valleys. Like Jericho, it has been almost continuously occupied throughout history. After defeating Saul and his sons on Mt. Gilboa, the Philistines hanged their bodies on the walls of Beit-Shean. During the time of Jesus, Scythopolis was one of the chief cities of the Decapolis - a league of ten cities sharing Greek culture and government. We then travel north, through the area of Cana and Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, where we visit the Nazareth Village - a wonderful recreation of Biblical times with costumed guides. We end our day with a memorial baptized service at the Jordan River Baptismal site.
Day 6: Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Bethsaida
This morning we begin with a breathtaking view across the Sea of Galilee with a visit to the church commemorating the Sermon on the Mount. Following here we have a short trip to Capernaum where we will visit the ruins of an ancient synagogue and Peter’s home. Then we travel on to the site of the possible multiplication of loaves and fishes in Bethsaida. After viewing the ancient Fisherman Boat at an operating Kibbutz, we enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Sea of Galilee. A brief scripture reading and devotional on board brings to life the experiences of Jesus and the fishermen disciples, concluding a wonderful day.
Day 7: Safed & Tiberias
This morning we travel to Safed, the highest town in all of Israel and a center for Jewish religious studies. Covering a number of small hilltops, its old town center is a wonderful place to explore on foot via its narrow streets and steep stairways, which tucked away amongst the town’s picturesque houses have become home to a large artist colony. Arriving back in Tiberias this afternoon, we are set free to explore the waterfront promenade. We return to the hotel for dinner this evening!
Day 8: Hula Valley, Golan
Today we spend time a top the Golan Heights, and area known for its strategic location during the 6 Day War. We begin our day a top Mt. Bental giving us a clear geographical picture of the surrounding region, including a wonderful view of Israel’s, Mt. Herman. This afternoon in return to the Galilee we travel through the Hula Valley, historically located north of the Sea of Galilee, this has been a location of Biblical history for centuries.
Day 9: Galilee to the Dead Sea
Following the fertile Jordan Valley southward from the Galilee to the Dead Sea, your guide will point out the agricultural restoration of the “Land of Milk and Honey,” the Kibbutz system and Israel’s intricate irrigation development. We pass ancient Jericho, view from a distance this city famed as the oldest in the world. Afterwards we proceed to Ein Gedi, "Spring of the Goat," an oasis on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Because of its warm climate and abundant supply of water, the site developed a reputation for its fragrant plants and date palm groves. This is where King David hid from Saul, and where God defeated the enemies of the Israelites by praise and worship led by King Jehoshaphat. Our lodging for the evening is at the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth.
Day 10: Dead Sea
Our day begins with a cable car ride to the mountain top fortress of Masada. Here our guide will treat us to the history of the famous zealot stand. Later we return to our Dead Sea hotel where you are free the remainder of the day to spend time in the special spa or enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea for a relaxing float before dinner.
Day 11: Sodom & Bethlehem
We depart the Dead Sea this morning traveling south into the Negev. We look across the landscape claimed to be the area of Sodom and Gomorrah. We envision the Pillar of salt of Lot’s wife before heading north for a visit to Bethlehem. We spend the remainder of the day surrounding the birth of Christ in Bethlehem and the Shepherd Field. We arrive in Jerusalem and our hotel lodging for the next 6 nights.
Day 12: Jerusalem
We begin the day with a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people. Our climax of the day is the area of Golgotha (place of the skull) and the Garden Tomb, where we celebrate the resurrection with communion and a time of praise.
Day 13: Christ Church, Mount of Olives
This morning we experience a memorable service at Christ Church by worshipping this morning in the heart of Jerusalem. Following our time this morning we walk where Jesus walked; beginning the afternoon with a panoramic view of the city, Mount Moriah and the Dome of the Rock from atop the Mount of Olives and then the Garden of Gethsemane. How many have wished to be whisked back in time to get a glimpse of our Lord or hear His voice if only for a moment? To walk between the ancient olive trees, read the scriptures of Jesus' prayer and take time for personal reflection is important here.
Day 14: Old City, City of David
This morning we enter the Old City, via Stephen’s gate for a walk along the Via Dolorosa. While walking along the Via Dolorosa, we are reminded of His way of suffering along with a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We make our way through the narrow streets and along the Cardo, Jerusalem's main street 1500 years ago, for a visit to the Western Wall and then the fascinating Rabbinical Tunnels leading us through the Second Temple era. The tunnel and exhibit give a clear understanding of the amazing construction of the Temple Mount, giant stones, water supply and Roman street where our Lord was led to judgment. Before exiting the tunnel we see the immense cornerstone rejected by the builders. We finish our sightseeing just outside the Dung Gate on the southeastern hill below the Temple Mount in the City of David. We visit Gihon Springs, the original water source for Jerusalem, view new excavations including a typical Israelite four-room house, the lower city wall and the cistern where Jeremiah was imprisoned A highlight today will be a water walk through the incredible Hezekiah's Tunnel to the pool of Siloam, the place of Jesus' miracle in John 9. Before returning to our hotel, our guide will take us to an overview of the city from the hillside overlooking Jerusalem and the Gehenna Valley. This meaningful teaching time will bring together the many things that you have seen to date.
Day 15: Around Jerusalem
Conditions permitting, we will visit the Temple Mount, with commentary on the Temple Periods, and the variety of belief systems past and present that make this area so valuable. An interesting and educational time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of centuries old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the following days. We conclude the day by returning to the Old City and entering via the Joppa gate for a visit to the historic Tower of David Citadel. Built to strengthen a strategically weak point in the Old City's defenses, the citadel that stands today was constructed during the 2nd century BC and subsequently destroyed and rebuilt by, in succession, the Christian, Muslim, Mamluk, and Ottoman conquerors of Jerusalem. It contains important archaeological finds dating back 2,700 years.
Day 16: Modern Jerusalem
This morning we set out to visit Joseph’s Storehouse Ministry in the heart of the land of Israel. This afternoon you are set free at Mahane Yehuda Market, often referred to as "The Shuk,” is a marketplace (originally open-air, but now at least partially covered) in Jerusalem. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the market's more than 250 vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables; baked goods; fish, meat and cheeses; nuts, seeds, and spices; wines and liquors; clothing and shoes; and housewares, textiles, and Judaica. In and around the market (whose name literally means "Judah's camp”) are falafel and shawarma stands, juice bars, cafes, and restaurants. The color and bustle of the marketplace is accentuated by vendors who call out their prices to passersby. We make a final stop today where you are once more set free to explore Ben Yehuda street, the center of Jerusalem’s nightlife. We return to our hotel in Jerusalem for a final dinner followed by a time to freshen up. We then transfer to the airport for our overnight flight arriving back into Los Angeles, in the morning of October 16th.