I know it came as a shock to me, and judging by your emails to many of you as well. The deadline to sign up for our February 5-16, 2014 trip to Israel was this past Sunday. Unfortunately that date had completely gotten past me and I know many of you were considering it who were not able to get everything nailed down by that date. So, the tour company has graciously given us another two weeks for anyone still interested to sign up. We already have plenty of people going, but there are six spots remaining and if you’d like to join us you now have until October 1, 2013 to register. You can get all the details and register here. They are treating us very well because the tour coordinator is a good friend and interestingly enough was my first editor at Harvest House years ago when I wrote The Naked Church and The Vineyard.
For those concerned about security issues while in Israel, we’ve received this notice from the tour company: “Safety is always the primary concern for The Israel Tour Company. ITC groups travel under the care of an Israeli land operator, guide, and driver who are well-informed and up-to-the minute in terms of daily security conditions and concerns. The US State Department is not discouraging travel to Israel at this time. The warning for Israel that currently exists is on par with the worldwide warning in place for Americans traveling anywhere in the world since 9/11. As of now, the security situation is stable and tour cancellations are unlikely. A tour cancellation would most likely be precipitated by a change in the US State Dept. Advisory. For the full text of the US Advisory you may go to their website.
For those that haven’t decided whether or not they want to come, you have no idea how much being in the land where God made himself known to the world will affect you and add huge dividends to your Bible reading as you picture the actual sites in which history happened. In addition to being all about Jerusalem (with visits to the dungeon under Caiphas’ house, a private part of the garden in Gethsemane, the traditional site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the site of Solomon’s Temple and excavations back to the time of Jesus, we will also be in the second most-mentioned site in the Bible after Jerusalem—Capernaum, which is situated along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It is definitely one of the most amazing places you’ll be visiting around the Sea. Some of the great Old Testament stories will also be a part of your experience as you explore Israel. You will see the caves where a young David hid from King Saul at the springs of Ein Gedi. You’ll view the location of Jericho where the Bible says the walls came down. You’ll walk through the place where King David looked over onto Bathsheba’s rooftop. You will stand where his son built the First Temple. From the top of Mt. Carmel, you will look over the Valley of Armageddon as Elijah did when he challenged the prophets of Baal. We”ll also visit Masada and the Dead Sea.
We hate to waste these last six slots if there are any more folks that would like to come. You’d be more than welcome to join me and 33 of my friends for a wonderful tour of Israel.