It’s been several weeks since I joined several other pastors from Faith Promise on a trip to Israel. Our time consisted primarily of visiting locations to film for our upcoming Easter series, but it also afforded us some time to visit a few locations not included on film. As the time since the trip continues to increase, I’ve finally set out to jot a few notes to accompany the huge number of photos I took in an attempt to share the details of the trip with those who are interested.
For those unfamiliar with the geography of Israel, the land where a huge portion of the Bible is located, it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but just understanding the location of the major bodies of water in the area has been very helpful to me and will make your reading of Scripture much less irritating.
Israel is just northeast of Egypt, is about the size of New Hampshire, and is mostly contained between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. I’ve linked the map above to the location in Google Maps, so you can look around and zoom in, if you’d like.
We flew into Tel Aviv, the city that is in the location of the biblical town of Joppa, well know for being the port town from which Solomon’s cedar logs for building his palace and the first Jewish Temple were received. It’s also the town where Peter was staying when he had his vision of the animals descending in a sheet. Biblical mentions of Joppa >>
From there, we drove north and east to the west coast of the Sea of Galilee in the town of Tiberias (map). The sun had already set when we arrived, but a few of us walked around the area of the nearby boardwalk. This is the place we slept there for our first night. I remember being particularly touched with the thought that this ocean at night was a common location for Jesus and his disciples, and the event of Jesus calming the storm was specifically on my mind. Biblical mentions of Tiberias >>
No idea why the beds were always side by side like this. Chad would always separate them by at least five or six inches as a demonstration that we weren’t sharing a bed together.
Our first meal in Israel. Very fresh and very typical of the food. For some reason, it had never struck me how much agriculture happens in Israel.
References to western culture were very few and far between, but Hebrew (which reads right to left) makes everything look cool.
Walking to the boardwalk with Michele (behind me), Nolan, Micah, and Chad.
Israeli currency. Colorful stuff.
Interestingly enough, Israel currency is still called the shekel, just like it was in the Old Testament.
Unfortunately, neither my roommate, Chad Funk, or myself slept much that night, but fortunately we were up and at the boardwalk in time for a spectacular sunrise over the Sea of Galilee (the lowest freshwater sea on earth).
Random piece of mosaic artwork that I really liked.
Our view back at our hotel room.
Gathering up in preparation for our second day in Israel. (Part 2)