11-DAY INSPIRATIONAL EXPEDITION THROUGH ISRAEL
WITH PASTORS RICHARD GOTTHARDT AND FRED WILSON
MAY 22- JUNE 1, 2017
Most Christians spend their entire faith lives simply reading about the places where Jesus performed His ministry. What would it be like to see those places with our own eyes?
At Santa Cruz Bible Church, we believe it is vital to step deeper in our relationship with Jesus. Stepping into Israel on this trip will help make it happen. When you walk where Jesus walked, the Bible comes alive. When you cross the Sea of Galilee on a boat like the disciples and stand in the synagogue where Jesus taught, you will never read your Bible the same way again. Join us for this amazing adventure.
Monday, MAY 22 – International Travel
Depart from San Francisco to Tel Aviv
Tuesday, MAY 23 – Welcome to Tel Aviv
Welcome to Israel. We will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport and receive assistance and transfer to the hotel – dinner and overnight.
Wednesday, MAY 24 – Tel Aviv to Tiberas
Following breakfast at hotel, we will head to Caesarea, the former capital of Judea. You will have the opportunity to visit the remains of this ancient port, which aided as a base for the Herodian navy. We then drive to Megiddo, one of the most important archeological sites in Israel. We then travel further onto Mount Carmel we we can enjoy the view from the mountain range. We will continue to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. Here we will visit the Grotto of the Church of Annunciation, Sisters of Nazareth Convent and the Nazareth Village. Your first full day culminates with a transfer to Tiberias. Upon arrival in Tiberias, you will check-in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Thursday, MAY 25 – Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Tabgha & More
Today after breakfast, we board a boat for a cruise on the Sea of Galilee. During this ride, you will view The Sea of Galilee Boat, also known as the Jesus Boat housed in the Yigal Alon Museum in Kibbutz Ginosar. Following the Sea of Galilee, we continue on to the Capernaum, the launching place of Jesus’ ministry. In Capernaum, you will have the opportunity to see the Synagogue of where Jesus taught, and gave His sermon on the Bread of Life. We proceed to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered what is perhaps the most famous sermon ever preached – “The Sermon On The Mount”. In Tabgha, the site of the Miracle of the “Loaves and Fishes”, we visit the Church of the multiplication, with its 4th century mosaic floor. Also, in Tabgha is St. Peter’s Primacy where Jesus bestowed church leadership upon Peter. Our day concludes here. Enjoy dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Friday, MAY 26 – Tiberas, Banias, Tel Dan & Yardenit
Following breakfast, we drive to the Golan Heights and visit Banias, one of the sources of the River Jordan and the site of ancient Caesaria Philippi, where it is believed Peter made his confession of faith in Christ. We then go on to visit Tel Dan, a nature reserve and the source of the Dan and Jordan rivers. It is an impressive archaeological site with unique remains of the Canaanite and Israelite cities and a Biblical High Place. We return back towards Tiberias and drive to Yardenit, a Baptismal site in the Jordan River. Here we will have the chance to be baptized. Return to your hotel for dinner and an evening at your leisure.
Saturday, MAY 27 – Tiberias to Jerusalem
Depart today to Cana, site of Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine. We then proceed toward the archeological site of Beit Shean. We will have time to wander the newly excavated city, one of the largest ongoing dig in the land of Israel with its amphitheater, colonnaded Roman streets, mosaics and Roman bathhouses. Time permitting we will visit Jacob’s Well in Samaria, where Jesus asked a Samaritan woman for a drink and offered her “living water”. In Jericho, the oldest city in the world, look for the sycamore tree that Zacchaeus, the tax collector, climbed to get a better view of Jesus when he was there on his way to Jerusalem. Above Jericho is the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus, after praying and fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, was tempted by the devil. Today, our tour concludes with our arrival into Jerusalem. Enjoy dinner and overnight at your new accommodations in Jerusalem.
Sunday, MAY 28 – Jerusalem
We begin our day with a visit to the Church of St. Anne’s, the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents; and the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the crippled man. We will continue down to the Temple area, which is considered the most Holiest places. Here we will spend time at Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqsa, the Western Wall and the Hasmonean Tunnel. Below the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City lies the Praetorium where Jesus was condemned by Pontius Pilate. Retrace the steps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa (the way of the cross), while experiencing the colorful bazaars, alleyways and marketplaces to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Overnight in Jerusalem.
Monday, MAY 29 – Bethlehem: Church of Nativity, Cave Chapel in Shepherd’s Fields, Olive Wood Shopping
Today we visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. In Bethlehem, we have the opportunity to view the Shepherd’s Fields. In the caves of these fields, you are still able to see the soot marks of fires that shepherds lit to keep warm. The tour concludes at the Manger Square, which stands in front of the Church of the Nativity. We’ll spend some time shopping for wood carvings before returning to Jerusalem for dinner and rest
Tuesday, MAY 30 Dead Sea: Masada, Ein Gedi, Qumran
After an early breakfast we visit Ein Gedi – an oasis in the desert and a green Garden of Eden in the wilderness. It is situated on the shore of the Dead Sea at the feet of majestic mountains and cliffs. Later, we will drive along the shores south and stop at the Caves of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and visit the excavations. We will continue south to the legendary mountaintop plateau of Masada and ascend by cable car to the ancient synagogue and to explore the ancient fortress. We conclude our day at the Dead Sea. As we get closer to its shores, we will start to descend to the lowest point on the surface of the earth, some 1305 feet below sea level. Here we will have the opportunity to cover ourselves in mud, use the sulfur pools and float on the unsinkable Dead Sea.
Wednesday, MAY 31 – Jerusalem
Our last day is full of adventure. After an early breakfast and check -out,we will drive to the top of the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of Jerusalem. Visit the Pater Noster Shrine, where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster). Descend the Mt. of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus brought His disciples here to pray the night before He was crucified. The Garden still contains trees with roots that date back to the time of Jesus. Beside the Garden is your next stop, the Church of All Nations, built over the “Rock of Agony”. This is where Jesus prayed alone on the night of His arrest.The tour continues with a visit to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas (Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu). This Church commemorates where Jesus was examined and eventually imprisoned before the Council in Jerusalem. You will also visit the Upper Room on Mt. Zion, where Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Last Supper and, the Garden Tomb where Jesus appeared to His disciples after His Death and Resurrection. Transfer out in the evening to the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv to return to the USA.
Thursday JUN 1 – San Francisco
Arrival in the morning at SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. End of our services until next time.
If you’d like to know more about this trip or want help in planning your own unique experience in Israel, send me a message. I look forward to being in touch!