Shalom & Preparation
Our 2019 Holy Land Tour starts today!
Almost 300 people are flying in from all over the world to Tel Aviv as of this morning. We know that God has a fantastic journey in store for those that are trekking with us. We also know that everyone can't go on the trip, so we'd love to share some of what the Lord is doing with those of you that weren't able to go with us this year. While everyone is traveling today, though it's too late for the trip this year, we thought it would be a good idea to help you prepare with you some Holy Land travel tips.
Prepare with the Necessary Books:
There are so many great books to read to help you prepare for your trip! Even if you aren't able to go to Israel just yet, these books provide an excellent framework for you as you consider the land of the Bible. This past year, these three books have helped us learn more about this extraordinary land.
The Hope by Herman Wouk
This post is the first part of a two-part historical fiction that walks through the great things that took place when Israel was declared a nation in 1948. It treks through the struggle for independence up to The Six Day War. I'll be honest, the love stories got a little lame, but I found myself jumping from the book to various resources to find out more information.
Israel a Concise History of a Nation Reborn by Daniel Gordis
As the title suggests, this is the most thorough and concise history of Israel that I have found. The maps in the middle of the book are fantastic. The author incorporates all aspects of Israeli culture - language, religion, music, and politics - to walk through a modern history of Israel.
A Beggar in Jerusalem by Elie Weisel
I read Weisel's Night when I was in sixth grade. This book walks starts in Jerusalem after the Six Day War when Israel is reunited. David, the main character, walks through the Old City of Jerusalem, interacting with beggars. Though short, this one is a deep read and a window this moment in time from a Holocaust survivor's viewpoint.
4. Israel, My Beloved by Kay Arthur
Another historical novel that starts in the 6th century and walks up through Israel's independence and modern-day unification. "This novel captures the heart of God's chosen people discovering His enduring love and provision and His promise for final redemption."
Prepare with THE Necessary Book:
1. Get to know Luke and Acts, friends. Precept's Bible Study Method will help you engage in relationship with God through knowing His Word. Luke is a fantastic gospel to work through because of both the detail and the chronology of the life of Jesus.
Short on time? Last year we walked through The Gospel of Mark. Make sure to mark your geographical locations in your Bible, so when you get to Israel, you'll be ready.
2. Some people think that the Old Testament is irrelevant, but we'll save that for another blog post. If you're going to be in the land of the book, then you need to get pretty familiar with some books in your Old Testament. This trip we've been walking through Joshua and Judges. They're both a great place to jump in.
We've also been writing our Precept Upon Precept Study on Ecclesiastes, so I've been walking through all things Solomon. 1 Kings and Amos have been fantastic too. It doesn't matter where you start but start!
3. If you don't know where to start, Precept has an excellent training called How to Study Old Testament History & Prophecy. We guide you with the tools you need to feel no longer intimidated by the names, history, and geography of the Old Testament.
Prepare with these Necessary Travel Tips:
Bring your own caffeine! Do you run on caffeine? Bring some to spare and something to carry it! Starbucks via packets have traveled with us to Asia, Africa, and Israel. You add hot water, and you're good to go.
2. Walk, step, and climb. You probably won't recognize it, but you're going to be trekking some steps while you're in Israel! The Galilee portion is wide open spaces, though there are some hills to climb. When you "Go up" to Jerusalem, you're going to feel like you're climbing stair after old stair. Be sure to get some miles in, build up your mileage before you leave. It's fun at the end of the day to look at your wearable device to see how far and high you've climbed. Luca wears a Whoop! Becky has an Apple Watch. Even if you don't have a wearable, if you have an iPhone, it will keep track of all of this for you. For the brave, be sure to check out the Snake Trail at Masada instead of riding up the incline. We're going to try it out this year!
3. Go with a trusted guide. More people than ever are trekking to the Holy Land. Our Precept Ministries trip reached capacity months ago. Hotels are packed. Sites are busy. Since the United States Embassy has moved to Jerusalem, more and more people are traveling. Go with someone you know, a trusted guide. Precept, Kay Arthur, and our trusted guides in Israel have been leading trips for over 40 years. It makes a difference to travel with people who have built relationships with Israelis through the years. If you're going to go, go with someone you know.
4. Don't believe everything you see on the news about Israel. You probably already know this by now, but for some reason, media outlets in the United States seem to either absolutely ignore Israel or over exaggerate what is happening there. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground. If you're going with people you trust, they'll keep you up to date on travel details before you go and take care of you while you're in the country. Precept travels with Inspiration Christian Tours. Between our Israeli guides, Tour Team, and Precept Team - you will be safe.
A trip to the Holy Land is a fantastic experience.
Those of you that have been before, do you have any additional Holy Land tips?