At the beginning of May we went on a pilgrimage to Israel. This was our third time visiting the Holy Land and we pray for many more because it is such a special place. Not only is there so much Biblical history there but the stage is ready for numerous future Bible prophecies that will happen in an around Israel. Experiencing the land for yourself provides a completely new dimension when reading His Word and helps visualize places with extra context that brings the passages to life.
Here are a few highlights…
Western Wall – Temple Mount – Old City – Hezekiah’s Tunnel
Our first full day in Jerusalem started at the Western Wall and going up onto Temple Mount. After making it through the security checks we were able to walk around. This is a highly charged place, you can feel the spiritual activity there – both good and bad! Then we went to St Anne’s Church before walking the Via Dolorosa and the Stations of the Cross. The day was finished walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which is always good fun!
Mount of Olives – Church of the Ascension – Pater Noster – Chapel of Dominus Flevit – Garden of Gethsemane – Upper Room – Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu
We had a spectacular view of Mount Moriah from the Mount of Olives, it was a glorious morning with the sun rising behind. There are many places to see all within close proximity, we visited the Church of the Ascension and Pater Noster (where Jesus taught the Lord’s prayer) before walking down the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations where we get a great view of the East Gate. Then we went to the Upper Room (Cenacle) where tradition holds is the place of the last supper before our final stop of the day at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu.
Bethlehem – Shepherd’s Fields – Basilica of the Nativity – Bethlehem Bible College – Old City walls
It was an early start getting into Bethlehem before the rush. We took in the amazing views across the Shepherd’s Fields, then went to the Church of the Nativity. While in Bethlehem we had the rare opportunity to visit the Bethlehem Bible College for a short presentation on their work. We finished the day back in Jerusalem walking the Old City walls.
Garden Tomb – Jericho – Galilee
The debates will continue whether the Church of the Holy Sepulcure or the Garden Tomb is the actual place of Jesus’ crucifixion and tomb, but for us the Garden Tomb is a special place. We were able to spend the morning here while it was still quiet and take communion together as a group. This was the perfect way to conclude our time in Jerusalem before heading up to Galilee via a stop off in Jericho for a cable car ride up to the Mount of Temptation.
Sea of Galilee – Mensa Christi – Capharnaum – Mount of Beatitudes
The Sea of Galilee hasn’t changed since the time of Jesus, this makes it such a special place to be around. You can almost picture the Biblical accounts happening as you meditate on the shore. Starting the day on a Worship Boat makes this extra special! When the engines are switched off the calm and peace while drifting in the Galilee is surreal. Reluctantly we headed for shore on to Mensa Christi, then walked the Gospel trail to Capharnaum. The day ended on the Mount of Beatitudes where we took in the views had more quiet time.
Yardenit – Cana – Nazareth – Mount Tabor
Yardenit is baptismal site on the Jordan River. Getting there early to miss the rush of other groups made such a difference, it is another beautiful and peaceful place. Then we made our way to Cana and Nazareth before our final stop of the day to Mount Tabor.
Haifa – Mount Carmel – Caesarea
On our final day we drove through Haifa on our way to Mount Carmel.
Caesarea where we stopped at Caesarea Maritima. This was our first time in Caesarea and really enjoyed seeing the remains of the ancient city originally built by Herod the Great.
And that was it – our time is Israel had sadly come to an end!
Our Guide – Yaakov Arram
Yaakov Arram was our guide throughout the trip, he was extremely knowledgable and helpful as we travelled around Israel. He displays immense passion and enthusiasm about the land and his work, along with an infectious sense of humour. If you are visiting Israel and looking for a guide Yaakov is highly recommended. More info and contact details are on this website – Yaakov Tours.