When I first heard about the Experience the Book Tour to Israel with author Mesu Andrews, my heart leapt into my throat and I knew I wanted to go! So I began to pray, despite knowing that financially, there was no way it could happen. Two days later, I was shocked to be given $1,000 towards the trip and knew that God was going to provide. And provide He did! Seeing the way He provided made me wonder how many times I missed out on blessings God had for me because I didn’t have the faith to even ask Him for them!
I was delighted to find out that in addition to the opportunity to meet Mesu personally, author Carol Towriss (whom I had met previously), and blogger friend Amanda Geaney were also going to be going on this trip!
As I was preparing to leave, the scare from the coronavirus was beginning to escalate. Honestly, my biggest concern was that the trip would have to be postponed. Happily, it wasn’t!
I was delighted to discover that my roommate for the trip, Becky, is a kindred spirit! Within minutes we were laughing together like old friends. Enough so that several of the others thought we had been friends for years! It was fun having someone to travel with who can be as silly as I can and isn’t fussy about suitcases on the floor! We even tried our hand at learning Hebrew when the announcements on the plane were given, first in English and then in Hebrew. 🙂
After flying all night, we arrived to a fairly empty airport and breezed through customs, ready to start our very busy day touring.
We started at Caesarea, visiting the ruins there. You may recall from Acts 10, this is the city Cornelius, the centurion, lived in. It was pointed out what a great starting location this was for us, being the site where God poured his Holy Spirit on the Gentiles!
From there, we traveled up to Mount Carmel, the site of one of my very favorite Old Testament accounts, that of Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal and Ashtaroth to prove their gods were real. If you haven’t read this fascinating story or need a refresher, be sure to read it in I Kings 18.
From this beautiful vantage point, we were able to see so many significant places such as
- Mount Gilboa where Saul and Jonathan died
- Megiddo, known most famously as the site of the battle of Armageddon spoken of in Revelation
- Mount Tabor, possibly the location of Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17) and the place where the Israelites under the generalship of Barak, accompanied by Deborah the prophetess, fought Sisera (Judges 4)
- The Jezreel Valley and the Samaritan Hills were also visible from here
We next headed to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew up. There is a wonderful ministry there, Nazareth Village. It is designed to appear as it would have 2,000 years ago. Actors are dressed in period clothing. The guide did a fantastic job of sharing what daily life would have been like and shared the gospel clearly.
Oh! My report on the trip would not be complete without mentioning the cats. Everywhere we went, we saw cats, including inside the airport! While they weren’t entirely feral, they were not very domesticated. We were told they were encouraged due to their excellent skills in reducing the snake and rodent population. One of the women on the trip counted the cats we saw. I lost track at around 70 cats!
Be sure to stay tuned. I’ll be sharing more about the trip in the coming weeks.