Summer of 2020
We know that when you decide that bringing your kids along on your exploration of Israel it is a big decision, and cost will be a major determining factor for most people. (Besides age and engagement level on the kids' part). While most tours are geared toward the adult learning experience, there is no reason children and teens can't receive the same experience with Jesus and empowerment in their Bible reading that will set them up for life in the Word in ways most of us had never dreamed was possible. What if when you were a ten-year-old instead of just hearing about how Jesus and Peter walked on the water, you had actually swum in the Sea of Galilee? How might that experience change the way you interact with the God of the Bible?
We are developing right now a curriculum to be used 4-6 months before you embark on this life-changing journey, so that your children will be able to fully engage with the special experiences, hand-picked for age suitability across the decades of life (interpretation: mom and dad, you'll have fun and learn a lot too!) It includes, ancient and modern history, Bible, and soul-care development aspects in each lesson. And team meetings held on line will include cultural awareness teaching, allow for questions to be addressed, and explain what to expect.
The largest expense of course is the flight, which is the same for children or adults, but with a little flexibility, we can cut a $1500-flight down toward the $1000 range. The second biggest expense is a guide and driver and vehicle. For a small group of a few families, we would be doing our study ahead and rent a 9-passenger van to travel together at a more relaxed and flexible pace of our own choosing. The next biggest expense is hotel accommodation. Here is where each of the two price points below differ. If a group of families is ready to go bare-bones in their accommodation (hostels etc.) in order to be able to afford this experience as a family, we have that option. If you want to put a little bit more into the trip to have a nice crash-pad at the end of the day, we have worked up a price for that option too. The places we visit during the day remain the same. A passport is a must for each traveler, so as you're budgeting, don't forget to add that in.
Proposed 1-week Itinerary stops in the Family Journey of Understanding
Itinerary can change according to things going on in Israel at the time of travel and according to the needs of the particular families traveling.
Day 1- fly fly fly from Atlanta to Tel Aviv
Day 2- arrive, claim your bags, rent our vehicle and drive famous HWY 1 from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Depending on time, we will stop at the Valley of Elah (David and Goliath Field). Then continue on to Jerusalem. Check into our hotel and get a good night's sleep. Hillel 11 or YMCA 3 Arches.
Day 3- Start with a good breakfast and strong Middle Eastern coffee. We will walk from our hotel to the Old City of Jerusalem and get an over view of the city by walking on top of the ramparts (walls) from Jaffa Gate past Zion Gate toward the Western Wall. Come down, take a moment of prayer and head out through the Dung Gate to the City of David. Don our shorts and water shoes and grab a flashlight in order walk down into Hezikiah's tunnel, flowing with refreshing water. We'll slosh through a tiny cavern about 1 kilometer to the Pool of Siloam and take a taxi back to our starting point to watch the movie of the tunnel's creation by King Hezikiah in an amazing feat of engineering even for today. Lunch break back inside the Old City walls. Then we'll go visit the Temple Institute and view the proposed 3rd Temple plans. Then we walk outside Zion Gate to visit David's tomb, and the Upper Room. We'll take a slower walk back to our hotel, allowing shopping time and can buy an ice cream or drink to sip. Depending on time and energy levels, we'll either go ahead and stop for our first dinner out in Jerusalem or go back to the hotel for a short rest first.
Day 4- Today we will drive to the Israel Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem and look around for 2 hours (will not feel like enough time!) and meet up in the cafe for a quick bit of early lunch, and then on to today's servant outreach. On our way back into town we'll drive past Bethlehem, and up to the top of the Tyellet (Panorama Park) for amazing views of all of Jerusalem and on to the Garden Tomb and the Garden of Gethsemane and Mount of Olives at the golden hour and sunset. We'll drop the van back off at hotel parking and walk to dinner back at Ben Yahudah Street.
Day 5-Pack up and check out of our hotel, but leave our vehicle on site. Walk into the Old city and take a final stop at the Western Wall, tour the Rabinnical Tunnels, St Anne's Church and examine the ruins of and singing in the amazing acoustics of the church. Grab some lunch in town and drive out of town to the desert and Dead Sea. Stop at a rest area for a snack and a short camel ride. Check into our accommodation and grab our swim suits and water bottles for the craziest swimming party ever...the mineral-laden Dead Sea! Dinner will either be out at the Ein Bokek resort area restaurants or back at the hotel. In the evening after sun goes down we will drive into the desert night to view the sky Abraham saw when God promised him descendants as numerous as the stars of the heavens! We'll have communion and worship time together.
Day 6- after breakfast we will pack up our van and visit Masada early, and then climb to the waterfalls of Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul. Grab a quick snack-lunch on the go to eat in the van on the way to our stop at Qumron where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Then we drive north toward the Galilee area. If all goes according to plan, we should have time to stop for a quick swim at Gan Ha Slosha, the 3 pools swimming hole with a little waterfall of turquoise waters, OR a Jordan River baptism, based on the group's needs. Both close by 5, and we will stop in Tiberius for some food (either get some pizza or stop at a grocery store for sandwich fixings) to take back to our very nice hostel by the Sea (Kerei Deshe for both groups). Time for another swim in the evening if you like.
Day 7- Today we will make our way around the Sea of Galilee in the footsteps of Jesus. Stops include Mount of Beatitudes, Magdela, Jesus Boat Museum and boat ride on Sea of Galilee, St Peter's Primacy, and Capernaum. Dinner, shopping and boardwalk time in Tiberias then back to Kerei Deshe for an evening swim in the Sea of Galilee.
Day 8- we check out make out way west. We will pass by Nazareth or Cana and drive across the Valley of Armageddon and stop at Mount Carmel where Elijah slew the prophets of Ba'al. Then head toward Caesarea, the ancient Port city where Paul sailed from, watch a movie showing the building of the place and how it's looked through the last 2000 years. Our flight time will determine our next steps. We will have a farewell dinner then watch the sunset into the Mediterranean Sea at the Roman Aqueduct and/or make our way to Tel Aviv. Either for another overnight at a Messianic-run hostel to catch an early/mid-day flight the next day, or go straight to the airport to catch an overnight flight. (If a family is interested in making sure they have this extra night and perhaps adding a full day playing at the beach and walking around Tel Aviv on Day 8, just mention it in booking.)
Day 9- either beach day in Tel Aviv or fly, fly flying back to the US.
Pricing Standard 2-star accommodation