I will never tire of the greeting that awaits visitors pouring into baggage claim at Ben Gurion International Airport! Welcome to Israel!
Our Phoenix group was met by our guide, Aly, and our other tour guests who flew separately from other parts of the world. There were mixed emotions as we lamented the cancellation of one guest whose flight was cancelled, and we anguished with our Canadian guest who had to deal with a huge issue between the online booking company who neglected to pay the airline, and the airline who would not honor the documentation presented. This guest went to great expense to purchase another ticket. Nonetheless, she arrived and we are trusting the Lord to bless her in a special way (and recoup her money from the online booking company.
While we bear the burdens of those who faced travel difficulties, we rejoice that our group flight from Phoenix to San Francisco, then San Francisco to Tel Aviv went very smoothly. In fact, we arrived almost an hour early, leaving those meeting our flight to scramble to meet us!
A few who arrived much earlier in the day were there to meet us at our hotel when we checked in and for the first time, we all met face-to-face! Our preparation meetings served us well, as we recognized one another and quickly became “family.” It is going to be a fantastic tour!
Tomorrow, we begin our tour in Samaria, known more commonly as the West Bank. It is truly the heartland of Israel, and we will dispel the notion that Jews and Palestinians cannot live and work together peacefully! During the day, we’ll make a stop at a factory where Jews and Palestinians work together. We’ll also spend time at Shiloh, where the tabernacle once stood and where Hannah prayed for a son. While in Samaria, we’ll meet actual Samaritans (think woman at the well) to hear about their way of life. If all works out well, lunch may be served at the upstairs restaurant at the home of a Samaritan family. It is the perfect opportunity to see and understand just how diverse, yet welcoming, Israel really is! For good measure, we will toss in a scenic trip to Mt Gerizim to consider God’s blessing vs Mt Ebal, which represents curses. Gerizim receives lots of rain and snow, while Ebal is dry and barren…yet they sit side-by-side! It’s a fascinating detail of Israel’s history and makes an interesting study!
These first two days of the tour are very important to draw our group together and will set the tone for our entire trip. Those of you at home play a huge part as you pray for us! Thank you so much…and please continue. Meanwhile, our prayer for you is that your are blessed by these updates. We want you to feel part of the experience!
BTW – many of you have friends and family on the tour. If you would like to send them well wishes, you may do so in the comments. We’ll make sure they get them!
Blessings to you as you enjoy the journey with us! More pictures to come!
PS: Want to see our itinerary? You’ll find it here! (Subject to change, of course!)
2 thoughts on “Welcome to Israel!”
Praying for all of you!
May the Holy Spirit be present and fill each of you with Gods great love as you tour His chosen land amongst His chosen people
Amen…thank you Sissel! I pray you are blessed as you follow!