Following in Jesus' Footsteps
Designed specifically for Terry & Melissa's micro group.
You need to be invited by them to register for this group. Features include:
1. Following Jesus' footsteps and ministry we will start in Jerusalem (4 nights), then go into the Desert Wilderness where Jesus' ministry began (2 nights in Dead Sea Region) then go up to the Galilee (3 nights).
2. Spiritual formation exercises and team meetings to build relationship with each other and friendship with Jesus.
3. Trying several different levels of accommodations.
4. There are times when you get to direct your own experience through choices in the itinerary.
5. We build in some free time so you can interact with people of Israel or sit and contemplate what it all means. Or take a nap and rest your eyes and feet.
We will try several different levels of accommodation, from a hotel house (3 bedroom) and AirBnB to Resort and Spa-level, so you can experience the wide variety that is Israel. Please pack your own pillow if you're a finicky sleeper.
There is a ton to learn and catch up on, even if you know your Biblical history. This will be like a college level course, so we require some pre-req. reading or video-course watching so we all have an equal grid of understanding when arriving in Israel.
It is not required, but we highly suggest going unplugged at least during the day while you are on tour so you can fully engage in where you are. Share with friends at home & on social media at night or when you return. If your phone is your only camera, decide to use it only for taking photos or ask around and see if you can borrow a camera for the trip.
If you want to purchase trip insurance to ensure your travel, trip interruption, or emergency medical evacuation insurance you'll need to contact your personal insurance specialist.
Or try www.travelinsurance.com (we don't get a commission or anything and you can choose your level of coverage)
Check out our packing suggestions here! We are limited to only what you can carry in one-go. :) Usually one checked bag and one carry-on sized bag. We suggest a backpack that rolls for ease of transiting long international terminals. Also our Airbnb will have a washer and dryer.
Lunch and snacks are on your own. We suggest bringing a box or two of protein bars in case lunch is delayed by our adventures. We don't want anyone to get hangry!
Day 9 (Friday Oct 23) Golan Heights and Western Galilee
After breakfast this morning, we will drive north to the Golan Heights, see a couple of dormant volcanos(!) and visit Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus asked Peter, “But who do you say that I am?” and discover the significance to His phase “and the gates of hell will not prevail against (the coming of the Kingdom).” Then drive to a 30-minute stair-hike to a hidden Banias waterfall.
For the afternoon we have options:
Option A: we can head up Mount Bental to the Syrian border and see Mount Hermon and climb into a real Israeli bunker from 1973 Yom Kippur War and have some coffee/tea or lunch. Then if there is time in the late afternoon route home, we might stop to climb the ruins of Nimrod’s Castle.
Option B: find a little Sea of Galilee access point and go for a swim.
Dinner plans will be made on the go as to what we end up doing that day. We'll return for one more night to our Tiberias house-hotel.
Day 10 (Saturday Oct 24) Final Day
Option 1 for Final Day: We can enjoy a leisurely breakfast before check out with our bags packed for the airport around 10AM. Stop at the Carmelite Monastery where Elijah and God bested the prophets of Ba'al and take in a rooftop a view of the Valley of Armageddon. We will then drive toward Tel Aviv and wander through the nooks and crannies, stop at Simon the Tanner's house and enjoy a leisurely (but early) finale dinner in town and head to the airport by 7:00 to begin the security checks by 8-8:15 for your 11:55 Delta flight home. (while Kim returns the van).
Option 2 for Final Day: Wake early, pack the van and head west with a 8:30 AM departure, stop at the Carmelite Monastery where Elijah and God bested the prophets of Ba'al and take in a rooftop a view of the Valley of Armageddon, then continue west to explore Caesarea, an ancient port city and see a short on-site film about King Herod the Great's crazed building frenzy. We'll make a short stop to see the still-standing ruins of the ancient Roman Aqueduct at the Mediterranean shore. Then find a nice place for our finale dinner before we head to the airport around 6:15 and begin the security checks by 8-8:15 for your 11:55 Delta flight home. (while Kim returns the van).
Day 11 (Sunday Oct 25) Airport, Security and Fly Day
Fly, fly fly! Don't forget those stretch breaks we learned in our team meeting before leaving! Home to BHM by Should be home to BHM by 11:03 AM on Sunday.
About 3-4 weeks later...
After returning home, I offer you a final team meeting where we can debrief about our time together in the Land. can be at a restaurant or on line, or in someone's home.
STuff you should know before you go
Our Jerusalem days are walking tours, so there is no transportation provided except our feet. This helps us connect with the people and land the way Jesus did. You may hire a taxi on your own, back to the AirBnB if needed, but we suggest that you start training your body as you train your heart for this trip so you will be able to fully participate in it with your teammates.
Trips include accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, entrance to sites and all the spiritual side of things. However, lunches, tips, insurance, and souvenirs are on your own. Flights are priced separately and cost is set by the airline.
This trip is personalized and limited to 4 people. Our small size allows great access. Included is some discipleship and personal spiritual development through prayer activations, spiritual formation exercises, and "Friendship with Jesus" imaginative prayer which strengthens and deepens the spirit. These exercises accompany each Ruth Israel Initiative Journey of Understanding Trip at about half of our stops in the Land, and the Lord usually shakes some things up in our hearts in a beautiful way.
The volume of information available to you while you are in Israel won't sink in unless you have a proper grid of understanding already formed with which to process all that we will experience, so the book Unbroken Cord by D.H. Withers is a prerequisite for preparation. And Sandra Teplinsky's book Why Still Care About Israel? will really fill out your foundation so that you can get the most out of your time in Israel. See the Resources Page for even further study. If you are not accustomed to journaling or "listening prayer" Seth Barnes book Listening Prayer is another book you'll want to pick up to prepare your heart and skills for listening for God's voice as you interact together in the Holy Land. It is great to hone listening skills in a daily devotional.
Ruth Israel offers several team meetings, 1 or 2 even before we leave home (number depends on team need), to build friendships and get a little bit of cultural preparation, and share what God is doing in our hearts. In the Land, the meetings will help you process all you are experiencing, but you will also have some evenings free to rest or explore the city on your own. One of our team meetings will take place on the shores of the Sea of Galilee as we listen to the lapping water at night!