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May 09 2013

Israel Tour 2013 Video

israeltour2013

Thanks to Rick Dean for creating this video and sharing it with us.

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Coming Home

April 28, 2013

As we make the trip home, we’ve been reflecting on some of the highlights of this trip:

  • Cruising across the Sea of Galilee
  • Hiking the hot ruins of Qumran
  • Floating on top of the Dead Sea
  • Praying at the Western Wall
  • Worshiping in the Garden Tomb

Each person’s favorite memory is at least slightly different, and we’ve been challenged to put our experiences into perspective. Without the knowledge of God’s plan working through history, all we have seen would be just buildings, water, and old stones piled on top of each other. Instead, because of the perspective of eternity, all of it has become worthy of remembering. Our prayer is that the truth of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection will be exceedingly precious to us—and that we’ll be able to share what we’ve experienced in new ways to build God’s Kingdom. Our parting words, as we all  go our separate ways were these: “May nothing be more precious to you than Jesus.”

-Janine Nelson


The Garden Tomb

April 27, 2013

In the Garden Tomb with the whole group. I keep looking over to the empty tomb–that is the most powerful visual dynamic in my lifetime. Jesus has touched the deepest part of my soul through His suffering, and then exit, from that empty tomb staring at me. What a powerful worship and praise service in the Garden tomb. Words are
inadequate.

-Mark, blue bus


Golgotha and the Garden Tomb

April 27, 2013

In some ways, the best was saved for last. Today we meditated on the Passion Week as we toured a site identified as Golgotha. Then, nearby, we shared in worship and communion at the garden tomb. Both the site of the cross and the tomb are empty, but our hearts are filled with joy at what those vacancies mean: our Lord is the risen Savior who lives in and guides our lives today. We got a fresh opportunity in that place to experience the delight of anticipating His return in glory!

Our hearts and minds filled with “remembering.” We begin our travel home tonight, taking every bit of what we have learned and experienced here with us.

-Janine Nelson


Israel’s Place in the Holy Land

April 26, 2013

Those of us who are Bible people often leap from the pages of Scripture to the existence of Israel today, marveling over God’s faithfulness and power displayed in gathering His people to His land once again. But today we got a sobering glimpse of the horrendous suffering and tragedy that the Chosen People have had to overcome to once again live in the land. The Israel Museum and the Vad Hashem memorial had us in awe and tears as we viewed the stark evidence of the holocaust and the difficulties still faced by Israel in maintaining its place in the Holy Land.

Each day’s exploration confirms our hope and trust in God’s truth and promise to us throughout history. As our trip winds down, we’re tired, but thrilled to experience all we can before heading back home.

-Janine Nelson


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