"Blessed are you when you arrive... and blessed are you when you leave!" Jewish Bet Midrash saying!
The Pray4Zion Tour (P343) to Israel during the "Feast of Shavuot / Pentecost"
May 11th - 20th, 2013
Alf & Julie Saunders who have more than 17 years experience in the Middle East met the Pray4Zion tour group arriving from South Africa at Ben Gurion Airport upon arrival and with the help of an amazing Messianic believer Tour Guide led the tour group through the Holy Land with facinating teachings at Biblical Sites in Israel.
The highlights were many... Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Nazareth, Cana, Tiberius, and including: A boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where we simply worshipped the Lord and marvelled at places such as Capernaum, Mount of Beatitudes and Tabga where Yeshua (Jesus) walked and did most of His miracles. Then on to Baptism in the Jordan River where everyone was handed certificates to say that they were baptised there and even a second Baptism site where it is believed that John the Baptist - baptised the Lord! Our tour continued on to Bet Shean where the bodies of Saul and his sons were tied to City Walls and to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.
The next stop was Masada where 967 Jews committed mass-suicide rather than to surrender to the Romans knowing that their fate. The group went up the Mountain by cable car and could see the wonderful views over the Dead Sea and Judean Desert. At Ein Bokek we were "at the lowest point of the earth!" Then proceeded on to visit to the waterfalls at En Gedi which is simply amazing since it is located at the Dead Sea where the water is highly salty and in the desert... and so this waterfall brings life and oasis of fresh water.
The Holy City of Jerusalem is always awesome and just a feeling of awe to everyone as we realize God wrote His Name across the valleys. At the Garden Tomb we saw Golgotha and had Communion together. We waleked through the Old City and on top of the Temple Mount or as we know it as Mount Moriah. Visit through the gates of Jerusalem and walked "the Via Dolorosa" and the Church of the Holy Sephulcar. We drove to the Church of St. Peter Galicantu where Peter denied the Lord which is also know as the "House of Caiaphas" or the "Church of the Cock-Crow!" It is also where our Lord was kept in the dungeon.
At the Upper Room we discovered that this is where Yeshua (Jesus) had His last supper with the disciples and also believed that King David was buried here. We explored the Western Wall and then went on an amazing tour undergroud through the "Western Wall Tunnels." We spent time in prayer at "Mt. of Olives" and "The Garden of Getsemane." En route we also visted "Dominus Flavit Church" and the "Pools of Betsaida" where the only two of Yeshua's miracles were done.
Our Journey took us to Bethlehem where our Lord was born and a view of "Shepherd's Fields!" On our final day in Jerusalem we finished the tour with a visit to the Israel Museum where the Dead Sea Scrolls are kept and saw amazing artifacts from Herod's time as well as an awesome large model of Jerusalem 2000 years ago with the Temple in its finest beauty. Then sadly as the tour was coming to an end the most appropriate place to vist was "The Yad Vashem" or Holocaust Musuem and reflect on a period where 6 million Jewish souls suffered and died in the second world war.
On our way to the airport we felt an overwhelming love for Jerusalem - the Eternal Capital of Israel. The group left Israel feeling that God has more in store and that... as Christians we need to stand with and support Israel. This tour has just touched the surface... and already some have vowed to return... "Next Year in Jerusalem!"