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Israel Tour with Dr. Bryan Widbin Strong Rock Christian School March 30, 2021

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Itinerary

Day by Day

1
tuesday
Chicago or St. Louis, Istanbul

Today we will meet at Chicago International airport or St. Louis for our connecting flights to Tel Aviv via widebody aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.

2
wednesday
Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Tiberias

This morning we will arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our flight to Tel Aviv. Upon arrival in Tel Aviv we are met by our guide who will be with us for the time we are in the Holy Land. Continue through Tel Aviv, the largest city in Israel. We proceed up the new toll road in Israel to the famous Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee where we check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

3
thursday
Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Beit Shean

This morning we enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, returning to Nof Ginosar where we will see the New Testament Boat found below the sea. Continue our morning tour with a visit to Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes. In the afternoon we stop at Magdala, one of the oldest synagogues dating back to the first century AD. Home of Mary Magdalena and was the fishing center where Peter would have brought his catch to be sold or processed. We follow the Rift Valley the Rift Valley running parallel to the Jordan, along the route Jesus most frequently traveled to Jerusalem. We visit Bet Shean at the foot of Mt. Gilboa, where King Saul was slain, see the evidences of Egyptian, Roman, and Byzantine occupations, and view the ancient tel, Roman Theater and church mosaics. Our last stop today will be at the Jordan River where we will have the opportunity to be baptized, then transfer to the hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

4
friday
Cana, Nazareth, Caesarea, Jerusalem

We are going up to Jerusalem.” (Matt. 20:18). We drive west to Nazareth. Traveling through Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first Miracle, turning water into wine (John 2). We proceed to Nazareth and ascend the Mount of the Precipice at the brow of Nazareth overlooking the Valley of Jezreel, synonymous with Armageddon. We then drive through the valley to the mound of Megiddo, Har Megiddo in Hebrew, which gave its name to Armageddon. We then ascend Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. From there we drive towards the Mediterranean coast traveling south along the coastal highway to Caesarea by the Sea. We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore this Roman bridgehead to the east, which became the Christian springboard to the west. After the visit to this ancient harbor, we board our bus and we head up the historic Beth Horon road (Joshua 10:10) to the Benjamin Plateau, passing ancient Gibeon and continuing on to Jerusalem. Finally, atop Mt. Scopus, we behold majestic Jerusalem. Check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

5
saturday
Masada, Qumran, Dead Sea, Jericho

Today we drive to Masada and ascend by cable car to the magnificent ruins of the fortress where, from 70 to 73 AD, Jewish defenders made their last stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We see the remains of storehouses, cisterns and a sixth-century Byzantine church. Continuing alongside the Dead Sea, 1,300 ft. below sea level -- the lowest spot on earth -- we proceed to Ein Gedi where time permitting we will walk the path to see the waterfall in the desert. This afternoon we continue to Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We will have a stop for lunch and time for those that want to swim in the Dead Sea. We travel to Jericho, the world’s oldest city. From the excavated tel atop the ruins of ancient Jericho we view the lush green Jordan Valley, Elisha’s spring and Qarantal, the Mount of Temptation. We will head up to Jerusalem and return to the hotel for dinner.

6
sunday
Mt of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Herodium, Shepherd's Field, Bethlehem

"If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace" (Luke 19:42) We start the day via the Chapel of Ascension and Paternoster to the Mt. of Olives for an orientation view of Jerusalem and the opportunity of a group photograph overlooking Jerusalem. We then walk the traditional Passion walk. We descend to the church known as Dominus Flevit ("Our Lord weeps"). After viewing the Golden Gate, we walk downhill to Gethsemane, where we take time to meditate on the Gospel text and view the Church of All Nations. Next we visit the Upper Room and the Tomb of King David, enter the Zion Gate and proceed to the Steps that entered the temple and the Southern Wall. It was here that Jesus would have taught the disciples. See a video that shows the temple as it was at Herod's (or Jesus') time. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11). We drive south to the region of Bethlehem passing Rachel's Tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem. We drive to a hilltop for a view of Bethlehem, noting its relation to the rest of the central mountain range, including Jerusalem, as well as to the desert and the area of ancient Moab. This is Herodium, the palace set in a conical mountain built by Herod to mark his tomb. Note the juxtaposition of the two Kings of the Jews. The King Herod buried in great opulence and the King of the Jews born in a humble manger in Bethlehem sitting in the background of the Herodium. We then drive to one of the possible sites for Shepherds' Fields. We continue into Bethlehem itself, walking through the restored old town to the Church of the Nativity and visiting the manger and see the cave of St. Jerome. We drive back to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

7
monday
Old City, Via Dolorosa, Garden Tomb

“He has risen!” (Mark 16:6) After breakfast we transfer to the Dung Gate, where we walk via the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. We ascend to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third holiest site of Islam, located on the site of the ancient Temple Mount. Here the first and second Temples once stood. Just to the north we find the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church. The church is perfectly preserved from the Crusader period – with remarkable acoustics. Continuing on we see Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, and the Arch of Ecce Homo (Behold the Man). We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) through the bazaars as far as the Holy Sepulcher. From there we walk from the Christian Quarter along the Arab Souks through the Cardo Maximo and past the Armenian Quarter. Continuing to Mt Zion and to the grounds of a church called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. (Here, the Assumptions Fathers suggest, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus). We board our bus to the Garden Tomb where we will end our day with a special visit and the possibility of having a private communion on the grounds outside the city walls. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

8
tuesday
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, USA

We transfer to the Ben Gurion airport for our flight home with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible reading.

Pre-Tour: 12 Day with Egypt and Jordan (Harris)

Day by Day

1
friday
Chicago, Istanbul

Tour members are welcomed to Chicago for our departing flight to Istanbul via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.

2
saturday
Cairo

This afternoon we arrive in Cairo and be met and transferred to our hotel for check in. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

3
sunday
Cairo, Memphis, Sakkara, Pyramids and Sphinx

This morning we drive to Memphis to see The Colossus of Ramses and alabaster Sphinx. When Memphis was the capital of Ancient Egypt, Saqqara served as its necropolis. There we’ll see a burial complex that goes back more than 3,000 years. The step pyramid at Saqqara was designed by Imhotep for King Djoser (c.2667-2648 BC). It is the oldest complete hewn-stone building complex known in history. We’ll also visit the newly opened Imhotep Museum which we’ll see before our lunch break. This afternoon we go to the Giza Plateau to explore the area around the ancient Pyramids, one of the wonders of the ancient world. We’ll even enjoy a camel ride and see the Sphinx up close and personal. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

4
monday
Cairo, Museum, St. Sergius, Old Cairo, Amman

This morning we visit the Egyptian Museum with its priceless gems including the tomb of Tutankhamen and other world-famous relics. We will visit the Nile and take a felucca ride before our lunch break. This afternoon we tour Old Cairo, including the principal Coptic church in Cairo, Abu Serga (St Sergius). The crypt dates from the 6th century and is the traditional site where Joseph, Mary and the Christ child rested on their flight into Egypt. We tour Old Cairo, including the Coptic church of "Al-Mu'allaqah", dating from the early fourth century and the Mohamed Ali Mosque. We will go to the airport for our short flight to Amman. Upon arrival we will be met and taken to our hotel for dinner.

5
tuesday
Amman, Petra, Amman

This morning we will drive to Petra. Today we will spend time in one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Start the tour of Petra; you are in the heart of the rose red Seir mountains as mentioned in the Biblical Book of Genesis. This mountain range houses the Aaron Peak, which is the highest locality in Petra and the burial place of Aaron brother of Moses. A walk down through the narrow ‘Siq’ passage, being the main entrance to Petra, along 1250 meters brings you to the first monument Treasure "the same as the one seen in the Indiana Jones' movie". A walk further down through the outer ‘Siq’ encompassed by tombs and burial chambers brings you to one of the largest theaters in Jordan. This theater is carved into the sand stone mountains of Petra at the bottom of the High place of Sacrifice Mountain. Apparently some sacrificial rituals used to take place here. Now, it is time to walk up hill to the Royal Tombs. You will have a great view of the lower part of Petra with all its Roman remains. These tombs are: The Urn- Corinthian- Silk- and Palace tombs. This afternoon we will board our motor coach and take a panoramic ride of the outer environs of Petra. We will head back to Amman for dinner and overnight.

6
wednesday
Amman, Mt. Nebo, Jordan River, Tiberias

This morning we board our bus and drive along the Exodus route north along the famed historical King's Highway. Arriving at Madaba,we visit St George’s Church with its 6th century mosaic floor showing a map of the Holy Land as Christian pilgrims knew it in that period. Continue to Mt. Nebo, from where God showed Moses the Promised Land. This afternoon we take a short drive to the recently discovered baptismal site of “Bethany beyond the Jordan” For us Christians, the most significant event associated with the River Jordan is undoubtedly the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. It is strongly suggested that this took place very close to Beit Abara, where Joshua, Elijah and Elisha crossed the river. In the New Testament times, it became known as Bethany, the village of John the Baptist. (This Bethany is not to be confused with the village of Bethany near Jerusalem, where the Bible says Lazarus was raised from the dead) “ The Bible clearly records that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3: 13-17), and that John the Baptist lived, preached and baptized in the village of Bethany, on "the other side of the Jordan" (John 1: 28). The baptism site, known in Arabic as alMaghtas, is located at the head of a lush valley just east of the Jordan River. It is now protected and since 1999 it is accessible to visitors. After Jesus’ baptism at Bethany, he spent forty days in the wilderness west of the River Jordan, where he fasted and resisted the temptations of Satan (Mark 1: 13, Matthew 4: 1-11).” Continue north to the Sheik Hussein border where we cross into Israel and continue on to Tiberias where we are taken to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

7
thursday
Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Beit Shean

This morning we enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, returning to Nof Ginosar where we will see the New Testament Boat found below the sea. Continue our morning tour with a visit to Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes. In the afternoon we stop at Magdala, one of the oldest synagogues dating back to the first century AD. Home of Mary Magdalena and was the fishing center where Peter would have brought his catch to be sold or processed. We follow the Rift Valley the Rift Valley running parallel to the Jordan, along the route Jesus most frequently traveled to Jerusalem. We visit Bet Shean at the foot of Mt. Gilboa, where King Saul was slain, see the evidences of Egyptian, Roman, and Byzantine occupations, and view the ancient tel, Roman Theater and church mosaics. Our last stop today will be at the Jordan River where we will have the opportunity to be baptized, then transfer to the hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.

8
friday
Cana, Nazareth, Caesarea, Jerusalem

“We are going up to Jerusalem.” (Matt. 20:18). We drive west to Nazareth. Traveling through Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first Miracle, turning water into wine (John 2). We proceed to Nazareth and ascend the Mount of the Precipice at the brow of Nazareth overlooking the Valley of Jezreel, synonymous with Armageddon. We then drive through the valley to the mound of Megiddo, Har Megiddo in Hebrew, which gave its name to Armageddon. We then ascend Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. From there we drive towards the Mediterranean coast traveling south along the coastal highway to Caesarea by the Sea. We enter Caesarea Maritima to explore this Roman bridgehead to the east, which became the Christian springboard to the west. After the visit to this ancient harbor, we board our bus and we head up the historic Beth Horon road (Joshua 10:10) to the Benjamin Plateau, passing ancient Gibeon and continuing on to Jerusalem. Finally, atop Mt. Scopus, we behold majestic Jerusalem. Check in to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

9
saturday
Masada, Qumran, Dead Sea, Jericho

Today we drive to Masada and ascend by cable car to the magnificent ruins of the fortress where, from 70 to 73 AD, Jewish defenders made their last stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We see the remains of storehouses, cisterns and a sixth-century Byzantine church. Continuing alongside the Dead Sea, 1,300 ft. below sea level -- the lowest spot on earth -- we proceed to Ein Gedi where time permitting we will walk the path to see the waterfall in the desert. This afternoon we continue to Qumran and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. We will have a stop for lunch and time for those that want to swim in the Dead Sea. We travel to Jericho, the world’s oldest city. From the excavated tel atop the ruins of ancient Jericho we view the lush green Jordan Valley, Elisha’s spring and Qarantal, the Mount of Temptation. We will head up to Jerusalem and return to the hotel for dinner.

10
sunday
Mt of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Herodium, Shepherd's Field, Bethlehem

If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace" (Luke 19:42) We start the day via the Chapel of Ascension and Paternoster to the Mt. of Olives for an orientation view of Jerusalem and the opportunity of a group photograph overlooking Jerusalem. We then walk the traditional Passion walk. We descend to the church known as Dominus Flevit ("Our Lord weeps"). After viewing the Golden Gate, we walk downhill to Gethsemane, where we take time to meditate on the Gospel text and view the Church of All Nations. Next we visit the Upper Room and the Tomb of King David, enter the Zion Gate and proceed to the Steps that entered the temple and the Southern Wall. It was here that Jesus would have taught the disciples. See a video that shows the temple as it was at Herod's (or Jesus') time. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11). We drive south to the region of Bethlehem passing Rachel's Tomb on the outskirts of Bethlehem. We drive to a hilltop for a view of Bethlehem, noting its relation to the rest of the central mountain range, including Jerusalem, as well as to the desert and the area of ancient Moab. This is Herodium, the palace set in a conical mountain built by Herod to mark his tomb. Note the juxtaposition of the two Kings of the Jews. The King Herod buried in great opulence and the King of the Jews born in a humble manger in Bethlehem sitting in the background of the Herodium. We then drive to one of the possible sites for Shepherds' Fields. We continue into Bethlehem itself, walking through the restored old town to the Church of the Nativity and visiting the manger and see the cave of St. Jerome. We drive back to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight.

11
monday
Old City, Via Dolorosa, Garden Tomb

“He has risen!” (Mark 16:6) After breakfast we transfer to the Dung Gate, where we walk via the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. We ascend to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third holiest site of Islam, located on the site of the ancient Temple Mount. Here the first and second Temples once stood. Just to the north we find the Pools of Bethesda (John 5) and St. Anne’s Church. The church is perfectly preserved from the Crusader period – with remarkable acoustics. Continuing on we see Pilate’s Judgment Hall, the Chapel of Flagellation, Lithostrotos, and the Arch of Ecce Homo (Behold the Man). We then follow the Way of the Cross (Via Dolorosa) through the bazaars as far as the Holy Sepulcher. From there we walk from the Christian Quarter along the Arab Souks through the Cardo Maximo and past the Armenian Quarter. Continuing to Mt Zion and to the grounds of a church called Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. (Here, the Assumptions Fathers suggest, was the house where the High Priest Caiaphas interrogated Jesus). We board our bus to the Garden Tomb where we will end our day with a special visit and the possibility of having a private communion on the grounds outside the city walls. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

12
tuesday
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, USA

We transfer to the Ben Gurion airport for our flight home with unforgettable memories to cherish always. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible reading. 

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Choose Dates & Pricing

* $500 deposit per person
Departure Date Oct 29 - Nov 9, 2021
Price / Person $4,620.00
Tour Number: 211120 (From Chicago) (Pastor Harris)
* Wait listed must call before signing up 602.788.8864
Departure Date Oct 29 - Nov 9, 2021
Price / Person $4,805.00
Tour Number: 211120 (From St. Louis) (Pastor Byrd Jr.)
* Wait listed must call before signing up 602.788.8864
Departure Date Nov 2 - Nov 9, 2021
Price / Person $3,320.00
Tour Number: 211120 (Israel Only) (From Chicago) (Pastor Harris)
* Wait listed must call before signing up 602.788.8864
Departure Date Nov 2 - Nov 9, 2021
Price / Person $3,498.00
Tour Number: 211120 (Israel Only) (From St. Louis) (Pastor Byrd Jr.)
* Wait listed must call before signing up 602.788.8864