I’ll never forget waking up on the first day I was in Israel in the summer of 2017, stepping out of my hotel room and looking over the Sea of Galilee. I made a fresh cup of coffee, took my Bible down to the edge of the water, and read the story of Jesus walking on the water during a storm. Later that day, we boarded a replica ancient boat (the one pictured here), rode out to the center of the sea, stopped, and read the story as a group. It forever changed my view of that portion of Scripture.
You can experience that same thing on a trip to Israel I will be leading from June 10th – 18th in 2019. Registration is open HERE and it is open to anyone and everyone. This is not just an “Element Church” trip, although I’d love to go with as many Element family as I can. I’m planning on doing some teaching and study at some of my favorite sights along the way.
One of the biggest faith building experiences of my life was a trip to the Holy Land in the summer of 2017. 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 6 days of sight seeing 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 $2,545 (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. For those going from Element, we will work to travel together. In doing the trip this way people are able to save money by using airline miles or credit card points for their flight.
The initial deposit is $400 per-person, with the balance due 100 days prior to departure (March 3rd, 2019). You can make payments at anytime prior to the balance being due. The cost of the trip is also based on 20 registrations and a minimum of 10 registered individuals are required for the trip. If less than 20 people sign up, there will be an extra charge of typically $50 – $150 per person. Also, if for some reason the trip has to be cancelled there is a $150 penalty per person for trips under 10 registrations. $500 per person for trips over 10 registrations. (While we hope this would never happen, I want to make sure you are aware of that potential)
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 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
- 6 Lunches as indicated in the itinerary
- Bottle 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 10:00 AM on June 11, 2019
- Hotel cost staying after 11:00 AM on June 17, 2019. (check out time is 11:00 AM on May 27, 2019)
- 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 $795 per person for individuals requesting to room alone or if a roommate cannot be assigned
- Items of personal nature.
DAY 1: MONDAY JUNE 10, 2019 – DEPART USA FOR ISRAEL
DAY 2: TUESDAY – JUNE 11, 2019 – ARRIVAL IN TEL AVIV
Arrive in Tel Aviv. Tour group will be met at airport and assisted with arrival procedures. Dinner and overnight beside the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2019 – CAESAREA / MEGIDDO / MT. CARMEL / NAZARETH VILLAGE / TIBERIAS (SEA OF GALILEE)
Today we depart for the Galilee enjoying stops at the extensive ruins of Caesarea, 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 Megiddo (the valley of Armageddon) and then to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah prayed and God defeated 450 prophets of Baal with fire from heaven (1 Kings 18). We end our journey at “Nazareth Village”– a re-created village offering detailed explanation of what life was like during the time of Jesus. Dinner and overnight in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Provided
DAY 4: THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2019 – GOLAN HEIGHTS / CAESARA PHILIPPI / TEL DAN / CAPERNAUM / MT. OF BEATITUDES / SEA OF GALILEE BOAT RIDE
Following breakfast, travel north into the Golan Heights along the Banias River to the ancient site of Caesarea Philippi (Banias), where Jesus asked His disciples “who do men say that I am?” (Mark 8: 27-30). We will enjoy a short hike through the beautiful nature reserve of Tel Dan (named for the tribe of Dan) where we will see the gate of Jeroboam (2 Samuel 18:4 “So the king stood beside the gate while all the men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands.”) and the ancient mud gate dating to 1800 BC. Heading back to the Sea of Galilee area, we will enjoy time at Capernaum (Mark 1: 31-38), the base of Jesus’ early ministry, the home of Peter, and the site of many healings. We will also visit the proposed site where Jesus reinstated Peter in John 21. A short drive then takes us to the Mt. of Beatitudes to enjoy time for spiritual reflection and meditation as we reflect on Jesus’ teachings from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5: 1-15). Ending our day, we will board a replica “Jesus Boat”, a fishing boat of the kind used by the disciples of Jesus, for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Provided
DAY 5: FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2019 – BEIT SHE’AN / JERICHO / BETHANY BEYOND THE JORDAN / JERUSALEM
We begin our journey to Jerusalem with a brief stop at Beit She’an, one of the best-preserved Decapolis Roman cities. In Beit She’an, the bodies of King Saul and his sons were hung from the city walls (1 Samuel 31:10-12) after the Philistines defeated them. From here we head to Jericho then to the Jordan River/Bethany Beyond the Jordan, for baptisms. This is the site where tradition holds Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. We soon ascend to the majestic city of Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Provided
DAY 6: SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2019 – MT. OF OLIVES / PALM SUNDAY ROAD / GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE / WESTERN (WAILING) WALL / HOLY SEPULCHER / BETHLEHEM
We begin our day on the beautiful Mt. of Olives to behold the breathtaking panorama 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). Entering the Old City of Jerusalem through the Zion Gate, we walk 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 golden Dome of the Rock (the third holiest shrine in all Islam) and the El-Aksa Mosque. From the temple area, we make our way along the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) the road which Jesus walked after being sentenced by Pontius Pilate– including stops at St. Anne’s Crusader Church and 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, and the ancient Cardo-reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditional site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. We end our day with a visit to Bethlehem visiting the Church of the Nativity-the birthplace of our Lord and Shepherd’s Field, where the angel of the Lord proclaimed the Good News of the birth of the Savior (Luke 2:8-18). Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Provided
DAY 7: SUNDAY JUNE 16, 2019 – MASADA / EIN GEDI / QUMRAN / DEAD SEA
Leaving Jerusalem this morning, we meander through the Judean desert and along the western shore of the Dead Sea. Our first visit is 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. We enjoy a short stop at lovely Ein Gedi, the desert oasis where David hid from King Saul (1 Sam. 24: 1-7). We continue on to visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were written over 2000 years ago and discovered in 1947. We conclude the day with a relaxing float in the healing waters of the Dead Sea (the lowest spot on earth). **Please be sure to bring water shoes, as the bottom surface can be rough, swimsuit, and a towel from hotel. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 8: MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2019 – SHRINE OF THE BOOK AND THE MODEL CITY / GARDEN TOMB / FREE AFTERNOON
Following breakfast we drive to the Israel Museum to visit the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed. Additionally, the 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem, as the city would have appeared in Jesus’ time, will fascinate you! Afterwards we visit Golgotha and the Garden Tomb for a time of quiet reflection, worship, and communion. Following the visit to the Garden Tomb, we return to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Provided
DAY 9: TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019 – CHECK OUT OF THE HOTEL / TEL AVIV AIRPORT
We check out of the hotel following breakfast and transfer to the airport for our return flight to the USA.