Tag Archives: JJ Travel in Israel

A Tour

So today is the last day of the tour! Crazy! Isn’t that always how it feels at the end of something you’ve been anticipating? Like how did we get to the end? Anyway, it’s not really the end ’cause up next is a conference. Yay!

So most of my previous pics have just been of RP and I, but it has definitely been a tour with all 43 of us English-speaking ones.  So today’s pics are imbued with a bit more of the tour flava.

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Sun rising over Galilee

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Jordan River (waaaay commercialized)

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The Date Store for souvenirs - yay for decorating with burlap coffee sacks!

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Sweet saints from Switzerland enjoying a coffee at the Date Store

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Amichai our fearless tour guide overlooking the valley of Jezreel

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More sweet saints from Texas and Vancouver

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The tour group marching up the hill of Megiddo

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RP & a brother from Cali

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So I want to say something about this last picture. This is RP and our second guide reading ministry portions as we were on the Hill of Megiddo overlooking the valley of Armageddon. These times were the highlight of the trip. Being able to be physically in these spots while reading about their spiritual significance was awesome. Not only that, but then we prayed. We prayed for the Lord to train us in this age to fight with Him so that we will be qualified to return with Him in the physical fight at the end of this age. Hallelujah!

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Galilee

I like Galilee so much better than Jerusalem.  There is an atmosphere of peace here.

Boat ridin’ across the Sea of Galilee with Chinese, Spanish, and English-speaking saints, singing hymns of praise:

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On from there to Capernaum. Here we visited the ruins of a synagogue which was built on top of the synagogue where Jesus declared that He is the bread of life:

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From there to Mt. Hermon and the springs of Hermon:

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From there we went to a kibbutz, El Rom, which is the highest kibbutz in the world located in the Golan Heights. Here I took a picture of a self-reflective fly:

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And a pensive dog:

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(Super pertinent, right?)

Actually here we learned a lot about the Yom Kippur war. A 19-day battle between Egypt & Syria vs. Israel. The battle of the Valley of Tears, just 1.5 miles from El Rom involved 800 Syrian tanks vs. 180 Israeli tanks and 28,000 troops vs. 3,000 troops. To sum up, not only did the Israelis hold their ground, they even advanced into enemy territory on both the Syrian & Egyptian fronts. This is really a miracle of God.

We visited the Valley of Tears and what struck me was the juxtaposition of the idyllic and war.
The valley is gorgeous.
There are snowy mountains in the distance, pastoral vineyards, and flocks of goats. But pockmarking the serene scene is barbed wire and signs that say Danger Mines!

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Last day of the tour tomorrow!

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To the Sea…!

And we’re off. Today we left the bustle of Jerusalem and headed towards the Sea of Galilee. Our first stop was a Biblical garden. All the plants grown in this reserve are from the Bible. Our guide was awesome, bringing in the significance from both the Old and New Testament. For example, he took us to this 1900 year old cistern:

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In Israel there is a short, but flood-like rainy season on which all life depends. I didn’t get all exact details but basically the children of Israel would pray and sacrifice on the 8th day of the feast of harvest for the next year’s rain. It was on that “last” day that Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone thirsts let him come to Me.” John 7:37. That was the day everyone was praying for water. Everything the Lord did and all His timing was significant.

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RP grinding herbs from the hyssop plant

Then we stopped for lunch, where we found Wi-Fi. Woot! And here’s a photo shout out to my sisters:

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Finally to Caesarea by the Sea (not to be confused with Caesarea Phillipi). Cool ocean breezes. Gorgeous Mediterranean seas. This harbor also came out of Herod’s megalomaniacal building schemes  (remember he also built Masada and the Temple Mount).

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no instagram filter needed... it was just beautiful

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Mt. of Olives & Gethsemane

Today I am tired.
But just soaking in what I can.

There has been a lot of fellowship from the saints in Israel, emphasizing our need to not exalt the physical realm, but to appreciate the reality – Christ!
Today in the garden of Gethsemane
RP and I were enjoying the significance of the word Gethsemane – olive press. The Lord, through His human living, was compounded with every necessary human experience. Every experience He needed to have as a human being was put into Him in those 33½ years. Then in Gethsemane He began to be pressed (just like an olive is pressed to produce olive oil). What flowed out was the very essence of all that human experience compounded into the life-giving Spirit. Imagine if you put olives along with spices into a press, what would be produced would be an olive oil infused with all the elements of all those spices. So that the Spirit who enters into us enables us to live the life that the Lord lived. This is how we live the Christian life, by enjoying the wonderful, all-inclusive, compounded, life-giving Spirit. Hallelujah!

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O Jerusalem! This is the view from the Mt. of Olives on the Eastern side of Jerusalem

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ancient, like centuries old, olive trees.

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Masada

This site is a major symbol of Jewish resistance.

Masada means fortress and it’s basically a giant cliff/mountain in the middle of the dessert with a plateau on top. Herod built a few palaces on the top, ya know, “just in case” he needed a safe getaway. He stayed there something like twice.

So when the Romans were conquering the holy land, the last bastion of Jewish rebels holed up there and took advantage of Herod’s established food and water supplies.  Well, after several years of siege, the Romans finally built a ramp up the side of the mountain by which they rolled up a battering ram. So the story goes that in their last act of noble defiance, all 900+ Jews committed suicide, rather than be enslaved.

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the Roman ramp

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yes, we're rockin bucket hats. It was 97 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

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1st Stop: Qumran

This is the site of the discovery of the dead sea scrolls. They were discovered in a cave by some Bedouin shepherds. The scrolls were written by an extreme religious sect who lived outside of Jerusalem in the Judean desert.

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A special tour

Tonight was our first night meeting our tour group with JJ Travel (www.jjtravelinisrael.com). What a wonderful sight! Saints from New Zealand, Mexico, the U.S., and elsewhere gathered not only to see Israel but to be blent together for the producing of the one new man. We were given our tour book with the title, “Touring Israel according to the Vision of God’s Economy.” Hallelujah! Just thanking the Lord for the opportunity to see this land not only in the physical realm, but through the lens of the spiritual significance in God’s eternal move on earth. 

And tomorrow, to the Dead Sea…!

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