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Israel Trip 2023

The official registration for an 11-day trip to Israel I am leading from March 13th through March 23rd of 2023 is OPEN and space is limited.

You can visit the tour page HERE and register HERE and it is available for anyone and everyone.

On this trip, not only will we have an expert Israeli tour guide who will teach us along the way, but I’ll be doing some inspirational teaching and leading Bible studies at some of my favorite sights. We are also planning on having live worship at specific sites, led by my friend Devon Arredondo.

For instance, at the empty tomb, we will be able to celebrate communion together while also spending some time in worship of the risen Lord. We’ll stop on the boat on the Sea of Galilee and worship the One who calms the wind and the waves. We’ll spend time in Ein Gedi, where many of David’s Psalms were inspired, and sing praises to our Good Shepherd.

One of the biggest faith-building experiences of my life has been my trips to the Holy Land in the summer of 2017 and 2019.  As a pastor, nothing has been more invigorating to my preaching than this trip.  The Bible exploded to life in a whole new way in my heart and mind as I was able to stand at the shore of the Sea of Galilee, sail across it on a boat, be baptized in the Jordan River, walk the streets of Jerusalem and look into the empty tomb (pictured above).  Words cannot express how amazing it was to experience Israel first hand and now I’m inviting you to go back with me.

Through Faith Based Expeditions (FBE), we will travel the Holy Land, getting 8 full days of sightseeing and Bible study.  We will encounter the power and presence of Jesus as we travel His homeland recalling His ministry, and His miracles, in Galilee and in Jerusalem.  We will experience the lives and the land of those who have built the powerful foundation of faith that we stand upon today.  (Full itinerary HERE or below)

The cost of the trip is $3,325 per person (plus airfare). FBE will work hand in hand with each registrant to make sure they get the right flights and times for their trip.  Anyone traveling from the same airport can work together to select certain flights as well. In doing the trip this way people are able to save money by using airline miles or credit card points for their flight, and shopping around for the best rates that fit their budget.

The initial deposit is $400 per person, with the full balance due 100 days prior to departure (December 13th, 2022). You can make payments at anytime prior to the balance being due. ($300 of the deposit is non-refundable. Please read the full terms and conditions HERE.)

The cost of the trip is also based on 30 registrations and a minimum of 10 registered individuals are required for the trip. (20-24 registrations $3,495 per person, 25-29 registrations $3,390 per person. Again, please read all terms and conditions for individuals rooming alone and cancelation policies)

FBE will also work hand in hand with all registrants throughout the process to make sure that each person has all the information they need for the trip.

The tour price includes: 

  • 4 and 4+ Star hotel accommodations.
  • Meeting at the Ben Gurion Airport on arrival and departure
  • Ground transfer from Ben Gurion Airport to the group’s Tel Aviv hotel upon arrival
  • Ground transfer from the Jerusalem Hotel to the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv at the end of the tour
  • All transfers on sightseeing days
  • Gratuity for driver, guide and hotel staff
  • Luxury air-conditioned motor coach
  • Entrance fees for sites indicated in the Itinerary
  • Daily buffet breakfast and dinner in hotels as indicated in the itinerary
  • 8 Lunches as indicated in the itinerary
  • Bottled water on board the bus during the touring days
  • Porterage at hotels
  • Group Farewell Dinner
  • Headsets for each passenger to listen to the guide while touring

Tour price does NOT include:

  • Domestic or International airfare
  • Hotel cost for any passenger arriving prior to March 14th, 2023.
  • Hotel cost staying after 11:00 AM on March 23rd, 2023.
  • Any additional cost imposed by our suppliers or Government VAT tax increase
  • Optional Travel Protection Insurance
  • Optional Sites NOT included in itinerary that have entrance fees
  • All beverages including alcoholic beverages (excluding bottle water on board the bus)
  • Personal incidentals charged to hotel room
  • Single Supplement Fee of $1,195 per person for individuals requesting to room alone or if a roommate cannot be assigned
  • Items of personal nature.

Itinerary

DAY 1: MONDAY, MARCH 13th, 2023 – DEPART FOR TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

The group departs for Tel Aviv, Israel.  Dinner is served on the overnight flight from the US.

DAY 2: TUESDAY, MARCH 14th, 2023 – ARRIVAL IN TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

Our flight arrives at Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) where we are greeted by our guide and assisted with arrival procedures. Dinner and overnight beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

Dinner provided

DAY 3: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15th, 2023 – CAESAREA MARITIMA / MT. CARMEL / NAZARETH VILLAGE / MT. PRECIPICE TIBERIAS (SEA OF GALILEE)

Today we depart for the Galilee enjoying stops at the extensive ruins of Caesarea Maritima, an ancient port city, built by King Herod and later becoming the seat of government of the Roman governors, and where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman centurion (Acts 9 & 25). We continue to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah prayed, and God defeated 450 prophets of Baal with fire from heaven (1 Kings 18). Next, we drive to Nazareth Village – a recreated village offering a detailed explanation of what life was like during the time of Jesus.  We take a short ride to Mount Precipice, the traditional site believed to be where an angry mob attempted to throw Jesus off the cliff after his bold proclamation in the Nazareth synagogue.  We continue on to Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee area for check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided

DAY 4: THURSDAY, MARCH 16th, 2023 – MT. TABOR / CAPERNAUM / BOAT RIDE ON THE SEA OF GALILEE

We begin our special time in the Galilee, rich in memories of the life of Jesus, with a drive to Mt. Tabor, where the early church fathers believed that the Transfiguration of Jesus occurred. Returning to the Sea of Galilee, we visit Capernaum (Mark 1: 31-­38), the base of Jesus’ early ministry, the home of Peter, and the site of many healings. We end our day aboard a replica “Jesus Boat”, a fishing boat of the kind used by the disciples of Jesus, for our ride on the Sea of Galilee. We return to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Tiberias.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided

DAY 5: FRIDAY, MARCH 17th, 2023 – CAESAREA PHILIPPI / TEL DAN / TABGHA / MT. OF BEATITUDES / PETER’S PRIMACY

After breakfast, we travel north into the Golan Heights to visit Caesarea Philippi – where Jesus asked His disciples “who do men say that I am?” (Mark 8: 27-30, Matt. 16:13).  Continuing North, we enjoy a short hike through the beautiful nature reserve of Tel Dan where the remnants of the Bronze-Canaanite Era can be found. This area later became the northernmost city of the Kingdom of Israel belonging to the Tribe of Dan (1st Kings 12:28-29). We will see a Canaanite-era gate as well as an impressive ritual site, most likely built by King Jeroboam, as well as the Israelite Gate from the time of the Judges.  We make a stop at Tabgha, the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes followed by a short walk to visit Peter’s Primacy – located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and best known for where Christ appeared to His disciples after His resurrection and where He commands Peter to “feed and tend” His flock. We enjoy a time of teaching and prayer at this lovely site.  We ascend to the Mt. of Beatitudes where we enjoy the beautiful view of the Sea of Galilee as we reflect on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. (Matt. 5: 1-15). We return to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Tiberias.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided 

DAY 6: SATURDAY, MARCH 18th, 2023 – MT. ARBEL / BEIT SHE’AN / BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN (FOR BAPTISMS) / VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH (WADI QELT) / JERUSALEM

Today we depart early for Jerusalem with interesting places to visit along the way.  Before we depart the area, we make an early morning stop at Mt. Arbel taking a short hike for an incredible panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee. We leave the Galilee area and stop at Beit She’an to see one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. In Beit She’an, the bodies of King Saul and his sons were hung on the city walls (1 Samuel 31:10-12). We continue through the Judean desert to Bethany Beyond the Jordan, believed to be the location where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.  Here we enjoy a time of teaching, worship, and an opportunity to be baptized. Before ascending to the holy city of Jerusalem, we stop to view the Valley of the Shadow of Death- another name for the road between Jerusalem and Jericho- the ancient road used by David, Jesus, and thousands of Jews heading to festivals in Jerusalem.  Soon after, we enter Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: SUNDAY, MARCH 19th, 2023 – MT. OF OLIVES / PALM SUNDAY ROAD / GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE / POOLS OF BETHESDA / THE PAVEMENT / WESTERN WALL / WESTERN WALL TUNNEL / SOUTHERN STEPS

We begin our day on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breath-taking view of the Holy City. Our pilgrimage will proceed down the Palm Sunday Road to the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive grove, and the Church of All Nations, where tradition holds that Jesus prayed on the night of His betrayal (Matt. 26:36, John 18:1). We will visit the private area of the Garden of Gethsemane for a time of worship and meditation. Entering the Old City of Jerusalem through the Zion Gate we walk along the ancient road making stops at The  Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic (John 5:1-15), the Pavement, where Jesus stood while being tried by Pilate, Ecce Homo Arch “behold the man”, and the ancient Cardo.  We continue through the old city to the most holy site of the Jewish people, the Western (Wailing) Wall of Herod’s Temple. Beyond the wall lies the 35-acre Temple area purchased by King David (2 Samuel. 24:18-25). On this site now stands the Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El-Aksa Mosque. After visiting the Western Wall, we will enter the Western Wall Tunnel to walk along the entire length of the Western Wall.  We continue to the outside of the temple wall to stand on the Southern Steps- the very steps where Jesus would have taught!  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided

DAY 8: MONDAY, MARCH 20th, 2023 – MASADA / EIN GEDI / FLOAT IN DEAD SEA / JERUSALEM

This morning, traveling along the Dead Sea, our first visit is to the amazing Masada, the fortress built by King Herod and site of the last Jewish resistance against the Romans in 73 AD. Ascending Masada by cable car, we will be able to survey the ruins of the fortifications, waterworks, synagogue, temples and palaces. Continuing along the Dead Sea, we will enjoy a stop at the desert oasis of Ein Gedi.  After a time of teaching and worship, we enjoy hiking to the waterfalls and seeing the caves as we imagine David hiding here from King Saul (1 Sam 24: 1-7). Our next stop before leaving the Dead Sea area will be to enjoy a “float” in the healing waters of the Dead Sea. (Please be sure to bring water shoes, as the bottom surface can be rough, swimsuit, and a towel from hotel) Dinner and overnight at hotel in Jerusalem.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided

DAY 9: TUESDAY, MARCH 21st, 2023 – BETHLEHEM / SHEPHERD’S FIELD SITE / UPPER ROOM / CHURCH OF ST. PETER IN GALLICANTU AND CAIAPHAS’ HOUSE / JERUSALEM

We begin our day with a short drive to Bethlehem to visit the Church of Nativity – the birthplace of our Lord, and Shepherd’s Field, where we will venture into ancient caves.  Returning to Jerusalem, we visit the Upper Room, the site of the last supper followed by a visit to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, the site of the House of Caiaphas and where three times Peter denied Christ. We will see the original steps used by Jesus as he was held at Caiaphas’s house before being tried by Pontius Pilate and ultimately, crucified.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided

DAY 10: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22nd, 2023 – TEMPLE MOUNT / CITY OF DAVID INCLUDING HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL / GARDEN TOMB

We begin our day with a visit to the Temple Mount to see the Godlen Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Jerusalem) and the El-Aksa Mosque. This area is traditionally said to be the site where Abraham demonstrated his devotion to God by taking his son, Isaac, to be sacrificed (Genesis 22). This is also the site where the First and Second Temples were built. Next, we visit to the City of David where we visit the archeological remains of David’s period and that of the Kings of Judah (2 Samuel 5: 8-10). We will have the opportunity to walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the 2,700-year old tunnel dug during the reign of King Hezekiah (2 Chron. 32:30) and remaining today as one of the wonders of early engineering.
The tunnel ends at the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man. *A flashlight and good water shoes will be helpful should you choose to walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel.

We end our day with a visit to Golgotha and the Garden Tomb for a time of quiet reflection, worship, and communion.  Farewell dinner and overnight in hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner provided 

DAY 11: THURSDAY, MARCH 23rd, 2023 – DEPART FOR USA

Following breakfast, we check out of the hotel by 11:00 AM and depart for airport for return flight to USA.

Breakfast provided