You’ve Read the Book … Now Connect with the Land!
GraceConnect is hosting a trip to Israel with Dr. Randy Smith, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church, Sebring, Fla. The trip will allow participants to connect with the land of the Bible during 12 days in March 2018. It departs from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on March 2 and returns on March 13. The cost is only $3,999 per person from New York City. (The land price, only, is $2,899. Travelers would be expected to arrange their own transportation to Israel.)
Liz Cutler Gates, executive director of GraceConnect, will help lead the trip.
During the trip, participants will focus on four key conflicts in the background of Jesus’ public ministry, including stops at Caesarea Maritima, Mt. Carmel, and Nazareth. They will look at the background, education, and theology of the disciples while visiting sites such as Mt. Arbel, Magdala, Mt. Beatitudes, and Capernaum, including a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Visits to Dan Nature Reserve and Tel Dan with the Canaanite (Abrahamic) city gate, Banias (Caesarea Philippi), and Katzrin (Talmudic Village), will provide tour members with a look at the common teaching style of ancient rabbis. While examining the Perean Ministry of Jesus, the group will visit Beth Shean (huge excavations of a Decapolis city), Jordan Valley, Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls), and “swim” in the Dead Sea from the comfort of a beach-front hotel. The tour will ascend Masada via cable car and learn of the zealots’ final stand against Rome. Traveling north along the Dead Sea, topics for discussion include the desert storm of Habakkuk, the salt covenant of David, and various Biblical wilderness themes. After Jericho, the group stops at Genesis Land for a camel ride and some desert hospitality.
The final days of the tour will be based in Jerusalem, where the group will discuss the expectations for the Messiah and their relationship to the record of the preaching of Jesus, including visits to the Mt. of Olives, Gethsemane, and House of Caiaphas. An investigation of the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth will take the group to Bethlehem and Shepherd’s Fields. A journey through the “salvation geography” of Jerusalem in the Gospel of John will take the tour to sites such as the Temple Mount, Pools of Bethesda, Via Dolorosa, and the Holy Sepulchre, including communion at the Garden Tomb.
The group will also visit Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial), stroll through the Jewish Quarter, and visit Western (Wailing) Wall Plaza and South Wall excavations (Davidson Center). There will also be a free day in Jerusalem for shopping, returning to local sites, or touring other historic locations, before heading home.