Gaye and I are considering leading another tour after Easter next year (Somewhere around April 20 – May 4th, dates to be confirmed).
Part of me wonders why.
The last trip was a great experience (read Ross Walker’s TravelPod blog). Do we need another?
The first time we travelled to the Holy Land we just wanted to lay eyes on the actual places whose names we have heard since childhood. And since the situation in Israel and the Middle East have long been a concern of our church we hoped for insight.
But this will be our fourth trip.
We have friends with whom to re-connect. Still something else beckons.
Part of it is a deep desire to share a wonderful discovery. “Hey, c’mon, up here, this the place they were going to throw Jesus over the cliff. Long way down, eh?” “This way to board the boat for our trip on the Sea of Galilee.” I am excited to share discovery.
Another part may be the intrigue of the complex.
Compared to British Columbia the Holy Land is not geographically large although it overflows with diverse cultures, history, memories of injustice, and many groups determined to walk the way of peace and justice.
And part of it is simply that we always learn something new from the land, our friends and the people with whom we travel.
The knowledge and enthusiasm of our guide seems endless; the schedule full and often relentless.
After the trans-Atlantic flight, heart and head land with a thud in Tel Aviv. Then, within minutes, we are at Joppa, the old seaport that existed at least 15 centuries before Christ. Every day overflows.
Many of the details are familiar. Now I am less the student trying to remember detail or the preacher trying to store anecdotes; still I long for more.
I am not alone.
Even though our tours are one of the longest and most comprehensive I always hear people channeling my thoughts. “I need more time in Jerusalem. I need to talk to more people in Bethlehem.”
This time we will, although I hold no expectation that all my curiosity will be satisfied.
We will start in Cairo, spend some time at the pyramids and seek out some of the ancient and often forgotten churches. Then north to Mt. Sinai with the option to emulate Moses and climb the mountain. No buses although camels will take you half way. Others can look at the descendant of Moses’ burning bush.
Then east to Jordan, spending the day at the amazing site of Petra; other ancient Biblical sites follow on the trip north. Finally, across the Jordan River into Palestine and spend five to seven days there, in the Galilee but mostly in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
If we sense interest we’ll work out a more exact itinerary.
If this is something which might interest you let me know. We would love to be part of your experience and for you to be part of our next engagement with the Holy Land.