Israel Trip Blog

Last Touring Day

After breakfast we went to the garden tomb. While some believe that Jesus was crucified at the site where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located with the tomb close by there. Others believe is at a garden close to a hill that had the look of a skull. That this is the true place of the crucifixion and bural and resurrection. I tend to believe that the garden tomb is located in this garden area of the skull or Golgotha.

After we visited the garden tomb we went to the new US Embassy which opened May 14, 2018.

Then we went to ride camels and eat lunch at Abraham’s Tent.

We made the day short brcsuse we have to leave the hotel at 1am. Our flight is at 4:50am.

Hopefully we will get a couple hours of sleep before we leave.

Day 7

Today we started out going to The Western Wall Tunnels. Going into the old city there were many Bar Mitzvahs going on.  We stopped and celebrated with them. We saw the largest stone in the Temple Mount. Approx. 100,000 tons. We saw the original streets of the Western Wall. Saw a large that the stone cutters stopped the work after Herod died. We walked through the water reservoir. A huge cistern.

The roads were blocked everywhere because of Prince William’s visit today. As we came out of the Tunnels, William’s motorcade went right by us. Our group was the only ones on the street at the time.

We went to the Garden of Gethsemane.  Its smaller than it was during Jesus’s day.  During His day there were many more olive trees and presses there.  There’s is s church built over the rock where Jesus was praying and then arrested. The rock is exposed inside the church.

We then went to the Mount of Olives over the garden. We had our picture taken facing the Eastern Gate that is closed until Jesus comes back.

We went to the temple Western wall so that we could leave prayers on the wall and to pray. Again there were many Bar Mitzvahs.  We just missed Prince William praying at the wall.

We ate lunch at Aroma’s. Israel’s Starbucks but really much better.

After lunch we went to Jerusalem Museum.We finished the day visiting the site of Caiaphas the high priest. He had a jail there to hold criminals. We went down into a pit that is believed where Jesus was held for a few hours. Read Psalm 88. There’s a church built over the pit today, but made the pit available below. It was quiet emotional.

We ate dinner at the hotel, Dan Jerusalem Hotel. We are getting ready for bed.

Day 6

Today after breakfast we went to the Temple Mount. We watched at the Western Wall as people prayed. We go there tomorrow. On the Temple Mount is the Rock of the Dome and another large Muslim mosque. The Jewish Temple was destroyed in 70AD.

Dome of the Rock

We went to the place where Mary was supposed to have been born. We sang in the church. We sang Holy Holy Holy and the chorus to Turn your eyes Upon Jesus. Wow! The acoustics were awesome.

We saw a statue of Anne and Mary as a child. Anne was supposedly the mother of Mary. Outside the church was the Pools of Bethesda. It’s on the level of the original city. It is in ruins and is an archaeological site.

We then went on the Via Dolorosa route. Stopping at The Church of the Sepulchre where the crucifixion took place. The saw the stone supposedly where they lay Jesus’s body for burial wrapping. Then we went to the place supposedly where the tomb was. (One of two different places.)

After lunch we went to Mount Zion to see the Upper Room. (Probably wasn’t the actual one, but one like it.) Then we stopped by King David’s tomb. Again, probably not the actual place.

Then we went to the Israel Museum. There was a model of the Old City of Jerusalem. The Dead Sea Scrolls are housed there as well.

The we went to the Holocaust Museum. That was very emotional.

Day 5 – Ein Gedi, Bethlehem, & Jerusalem

After a great breakfast we drove to Masada. It was wonderful. They have recently repaired the existing wall.

We then went to Ein Gedi. The place where David hid in a cave from Saul.

We had lunch in Jerusalem and then went to visit Bethlehem.

At Ein Getti

An Ibex in Ein Gedi

Greek Orthodox, part of Church of the Nativity

Outside our hotel in Jerusalem.

One of the 44 columns in The Church of the Nativity

First View of Jerusalem

Bethlehem – Manger in cave where Jesus was laid.

Alter above place Jesus was born.

Little door to the entrance of The Church of the Nativity. Linda hit her head here. (That should show how little it was!!)

Info from Yesterday

After a very good breakfast we left to see Magdala.  The home town of Mary Magdalene.  (Mary of Magdala) Archeologists have recentlty found the town. It is a fascinating find.

We left Magdala to see a first century boat found in the Sea of Galilee.

We then proceeded to Bet She’an.  The capital of The Decopolis. The ruins is massive. From theaters to temples, to public bathhouses. This is the city where Saul and his sons bodies were put on the city wall. This is a very significant ruins that have been found.

We rode by Country of Jordan, went through the area called The West Bank.  It is actually the area of Samaria. No one locally calls it The West Bank. We rode by the city of Jericho. Saw Mount Nebo where Moses was buried by God. The whole area is Desert.

We ate lunch at Qumran. Yes, the place where the dead sea scrolls are found.

We passed and looked at the area of Masada.  We go there tomorrow.

We ended up at the Dead Sea. We floated in the Sea. Some took mud baths. We had a good time.

Magdala, Bet She’an, Dead Sea, Qumran

June 25



Discovered in 2009img_2534img_2533img_2532img_2531

Mosaic in Temple area of Magdalaimg_2530

Archeologists Workingimg_2529

Cleansing Areaimg_2528

Water System and Wash Bowl

Fish Market Poolsimg_2523img_2522

Boat MuseumIMG_2520img_2518IMG_2515

1st Century boat discovered in Sea of Galileeimg_2517

Bet She’an

Bet She’an Bath House


Jordan, we were in the West Bank. It’s not called that here. It is Samaria. img_2482

Acre after acre of date palms.

Mount Nebo, where Moses died and was buried.img_2476img_2475

Mount Nebo over The Dead Seaimg_2474


Pools at Qumran

Cave 4 in QumranIMG_2461

Caves of Qumran



Day 3 Adventures

June 24

image1 (5)

We had another big breakfast at the hotel at 7am. Since we are staying at the same hotel tonight we didn’t have to pack up.

We left at 8am to go to the Mount of Beatitudes. A beautiful place where it is believed that Jesus gave His sermon of the Beatitudes. Today, the Catholic Church runs the place. There was a beautiful chapel there.

We went from there to Tel Dan. When Dan (one of the tribes of Israel) couldn’t beat his enemies and tired of fighting, he moved to this location. Afterward Jeroboam built a pagan altar there. It was built on the same principle and plans of the Temple that Solomon built, except he sacrificed animals. It was a fantastic opportunity to have truth win.

At Dan there was also a famous gate of the city called Gate of Abram or the Canaanite Gate. It was fascinating.


We left Dan to eat lunch. Most of us got Tilapia from the Sea of Galilee. It was the whole fish. Tilapia is known as Peter’s Fish. The fish Jesus told him to catch that had a coin in its mouth so they could pay taxes.


After lunch we went to The Church of the Multiplication. The place where Jesus fed over 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.


Mosaic of 5 loaves and 2 fish. And rock of blessing where Jesus blessed the bread. IMG_2364

Then we went to Capernaum, known as the Town of Jesus. Peter’s mother-in-law’s house is found in the ruins. There is a Catholic sanctuary built over the ruins of her house. There is a glass floor over the ruins of the house. In Capernaum there are several ruins of other houses and structures. There is a synagogue built in the 4th century, but it is built on the foundation of the synagogue of Jesus’s time. There’s a statue of St. Peter there as well.



Statue of Homeless Jesus at CapernaumIMG_2360

Peter’s Mother in Law’s House

Catholic Church over Peter’s Mother in Law’s HouseIMG_2358IMG_2348

Ruin’s with synagogue in back.


Earliest depiction of Ark of the Covenant.IMG_2335


We then went on a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We sent the church a video saying hello from the boat.

IMG_2342IMG_2341IMG_2338Raising the US flag and playing the National AnthemIMG_2339

We went swimming in the hotel pool before eating dinner at 7pm.


Updates from Pastor Larry


June 22

We arrived in Israel and met our guide Olga and bus driver Marshal. They took us to our hotel last night. Sabbath started at sunset. We stayed in Netanya by the Mediterranean Sea. We ate a Sabbath meal. It was unbelievable, everything you can imagine. It was buffet style. All kinds of meats, vegetables, fruits, you name it they pretty much had it. Walked along the Mediterranean Sea after dinner. No shops were open because of being the Sabbath.


Mediterranean Seaimg_2110img_2231img_2233

Netanya, outside of Tel Aviv, where we spent last night. img_2234


June 23

Started day two off at 6 o’clock in the morning with a breakfast that was unbelievable, all kinds of things. Some of them I’m not even sure what they are, but they were good.

We got on bus at 8 o’clock and headed to Caesarea, a port city that was built by Herod the Great. Of course all that is left is ruins. Paul was kept in prison for 2 years in the palace of the king. They had games, chariot races, and other things at the arena in Caesarea. All that is left of the king’s palace is just foundational. Some of it has fallen into the water. There was also an amphitheater there that was probably where Herod died of stomach pains as found in Acts.

We went to see the aqueduct system built by Herod, just so he could get fresh water to Caesarea. It was carrying water from Mount Carmel.




Pool at Herod’s Palace at Caesarea.



VIP Section of the Arena – Where chariot races and gladiator fights were held. img_2217

We left Caesarea and went to Mount Carmel where Elijah faced the prophets of Baal and defeated them. From Mount Carmel one of the highest points you can see is The Valley of Jezreel. It is an unbelievably large Valley that covers almost as far as you can see. There was a Catholic monastery there now that watches over that area on Mount Carmel.


Mount Carmelimg_2152img_2151

Jezreel Valleyimg_2150img_2148img_2146img_2145img_2154

Elijah on Mount Carmelimg_2161

We left Mount Carmel and ate at a local restaurant where you can get falafel or chicken schnitzel. Plus you could get lots of other stuff and a salad.

We left there and went to Megiddo. It is across the Jezreel Valley from Mount Carmel. Megiddo is mentioned several times in the Bible. Today it is in total ruins. At one time Solomon had his chariots and horses stabled there.

We walked through the water tunnel where they would get water without having to go outside of the city. From the top we can see Nazareth, Mount Moreh, and Mount Tabor, which also has significances in the Bible.

After Megiddo, we went to Nazareth and toured a city that looks much different than when Jesus lived there as a child. We went to Nazareth Village, a replica of Nazareth during the time of Jesus. We saw a winnowing floor, sheep pen, wine press, and watch tower. There was also an olive press, a carpenter home with carpenter shop and sewing room. There was a synagogue like the one Jesus taught in. There were olive trees and a grape vineyard among other things.


Synagogue in Nazarethimg_2166img_2167

Weaver in Nazarethimg_2169

Home in Nazarethimg_2172img_2173

Carpenter Toolsimg_2175IMG_2176

Wine Pressimg_2180

Olive Pressimg_2182


Sheep Penimg_2185img_2186


400 Year Old Olive Treeimg_2189


Driving through Cana, didn’t stop. img_2193

A settlementimg_2194

Sea of Galilee – Going there tomorrow!img_2195

We left Nazareth and went to Tiberias to spend the night. We are staying at a hotel on the Sea of Galilee. Had supper at the hotel, roast beef, chicken, spaghetti and meat balls, salmon and all kinds of salads and deserts.

Now off to bed for another early start tomorrow!




They’ve Arrived!

The crew has arrived safely in Israel and has a lot planned over the coming days! Keep them in your prayers as they navigate this new territory and 7 hour time difference! We can’t wait to hear about everything they will see and do on this once-in-a-lifetime experience!