Visiting the epicenter of human history
by Dan Meyer
Earlier this year, we decided that the best way to share our 45th wedding anniversary was to take that "trip of a lifetime" to Israel.
For centuries, Jerusalem and Israel have been at the epicenter of human history -- ancient trade routes, early Roman civilization and most importantly the land of the Bible. It continues to be at the heart of world news and, prophetically, will be the place of Christ's return.
Having been a student and teacher of the Scriptures for almost 40 years, I always had to refer to maps and reference books to get a handle on the "where" and "when" things happened that were recorded in the Bible. Being there opens up a whole new understanding and perspective on the times and people of the Bible -- from Abram, David, Hezekiah, Jesus, Paul, the early church and so much more. There is simply layer-upon-layer of history to be explored.
We traveled with a group from Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, hosted by Gary Chapman and his wife, Carolyn.
Chapman is The New York Times best-selling author of "The Five Love Languages" and other books about keeping family relationships healthy and growing. He has been dubbed "the love guru" by the major television new networks. This was their 19th trip to the Holy Land.
Chapman was the "color commentator" for our tour, led by our Jerusalem-born guide Seliba Danho -- what an encyclopedic knowledge about the history and sites we visited. Ever try drinking out of a fire hose? That's how fast the information was shared.
Early on, I simply put my notes down and tried to put myself "in the moment" at that location and take it all in.
Now, back home, when I am preparing a Bible study lesson, I have a whole new appreciation for the times, people and places. They "come alive" with new significance and impact. I can literally put myself in the places where major events occurred -- whether wandering in the Judean wilderness, sailing the Sea of Galilee, standing atop the Temple Mount, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane or watching the sunrise over the Eastern Gate. It is truly a life-changing experience.
When we returned to Boone and began sharing our experience with friends and family, they became excited to think about making this pilgrimage themselves.
We decided to help make it happen for those who were seriously interested and began working with our local friends at Templeton Tours to return to the Holy Land next spring -- April 27 to May 7, 2013.
They have been great to put a complete package together for us, which covers air and land travel, three meals a day, four-star hotels, tips, transfers -- all inclusive.
We will arrive in Tel Aviv and visit Joppa, Jonah's port of embarkation for Tarshish, before spending our first night in our hotel on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The following days will include visiting Caesarea by the sea, Nazareth, and a stay in Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, which we will ride across on a boat. We will see Bible prophesy come alive as we travel through the Jordan River Valley to Jericho and spend a night in Israel, on the shores of the Dead Sea, and on to Jerusalem. Mount Olive, Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb and Tel Aviv, before returning home.
We will take a group of about 40 on this once-in-a-lifetime, life-changing pilgrimage and invite our High Country friends to join us.
If you are interested and desire more information, feel free to contact us at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact Templeton Tours at (828) 264-8800.