Tag Archives: biblical tours

Day 11: {Jerusalem} Hezekiah’s Tunnel, City of David, Southern Wall steps, & Jewish Quarter

Our last day here was so much fun!!

We started out going through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a cave like thingy, underground the city of Jerusalem. It took like 30ish minutes maybe. This was SO. MUCH. FUN. I love this stuff. We’ve been though a lot of caves the past couple weeks, and I’ve just loved every minute of it. (It makes me feel like a spy or cave diver or something, I don’t know..) This one was the most fun, by far though. The water came up to our hips at some points, we had to duck and turn sideways to get through it.. so awesome. I wish I could post the videos we took because they give a better picture of what it was like (and they’re down right hilarious), but tons of pictures will just have to do..

Because who doesn’t pretend to be Rudolph with their red head lamp?

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sweet, precious family 🙂IMG_9475

the girls were so brave 🙂IMG_9487

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Obviously it looks brighter because of my camera’s flash, but it was pitch black in there. IMG_9489

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We made it 🙂Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

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On to the city of David, the Southern Wall steps, and the Jewish Quarter to eat and shop

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Why is this so funny to me?
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I went on this trip not knowing a single person, and left with a 2nd family 🙂 These folks are awesome and were incredibly gracious & welcoming to me. I’m grateful for the Ross’ example.

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I got to talk to several people here which made me very happy! A lot of conversations were about how they view Americans as hating Israel. Please don’t be scared of this place. The media & government are only going to show & publicize and exaggerate the negative things about foreign countries. This is a beautiful place with beautiful & kind people!!

One thing that surprised me about being in Israel, even though I already “knew” the statistics, was that there are very few followers of Jesus there. To many, everything seems like it’s right in front of their faces, but they put their faith in so many other things, including religion. Many here don’t understand the grace & freedom in the Gospel, and/ or don’t believe Jesus as the Messiah & Son of God, sent to redeem the broken world and bring people back into right relationship with God.

I have absolutely loved every minute of being in this place. It was really overwhelming because we did SO MUCH and learned a TON. I didn’t document even half of the things I saw and learned, just some highlights, but I am so glad that I did! Since we did so much, I was constantly forgetting what we did even the day before and what happened in what place, etc.. So I am really glad that I recorded the highlights of my days on this blog, even though all of them were days late. (Side note, I was totally wrong about the touring thing.. It rocked. There were pros & cons to touring vs being on my own & doing my own thing, but the pros outweighed the cons for sure. Also, I DEFINITELY recommend coming here to anyone!! It’s worth every. single. penny. I promise. I know of a group, with the same awesome leader that I had on this one, going this year, so let me know if you’re interested!)

I can’t even describe what the Lord did in me mentally and emotionally here. Sure, it’s cool to”walk where Jesus walked” or whatever, but the truth is, Jesus lives in me! And you too, if you are in Christ. & we don’t need this place to validate God’s Word. It’s sufficient on it’s own. I learned so much. A lot of times I IMG_1910felt completely stupid, like I don’t know anything/ enough.. it was really overwhelming at some points. But like I said from the beginning, I don’t leave here with a head full of knowledge; I leave here knowing that God had a mission here, and we are living it out.

Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” We are His witnesses! Ambassadors of Christ. If you’re a follower of Jesus, please know that this is for you. Your salvation has nothing to do with you and isn’t about you at all. It’s about exalting the name of Jesus & bringing others to Him. Look at that verse again: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (the people around you) and in all Judea (the people in your greater area) and Samaria (the people you don’t like), and to the end of the earth. Across the street and around the world. That’s where the Lord wants you. He wants His name exalted in your life where ever you are at. As you’re going, make much of Jesus, making disciples. (If you would like to be trained on how to do this biblically, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE shoot me a text, Facebook message, email, phone call, WHATEVER. I would loooooove to meet up with you. Not that I am perfect at this by any means, but I am walking with Jesus trying to be obedient to His Word & would love to walk along side you. I literally don’t care who you are, please let me know, and we can walk through this, obeying & learning, together!)

I’m extremely, extremely grateful that I was able to come to this place, especially at such a young age. But I’m even more grateful for what happened here. I’m grateful that God wanted so badly to be in relationship with us that He became man, as His Son, meeting every demand of the law so that we might become the righteousness of God. I’m grateful that when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He decided to submit to His Father’s will and go to the cross. I’m grateful that He took the punishment and bore & satisfied the wrath of God.. the wrath that I deserve. I’m grateful that because of what God accomplished through His Son, I never have to experience being forsaken by God, but instead, I get to be in a very personal, intimate relationship with Him. I’m so grateful that Jesus kept every promise. I’m grateful that He didn’t stay in the tomb, but that He rose, is alive, and is at the right hand of God. I’m grateful that in Jesus, there is fulfillment of the law, and that because of Jesus, there is grace. I’m so very grateful. Tears fall when I think about this place. Sometimes, because I am sad and filled with guilt at what I should have to endure, but then I remember that I get to celebrate this place and what God accomplished through Jesus here.

{“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8}

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So a couple weeks before I left for Israel, I wrote about the season of doubting I experienced last semester, and was still working through. I would love to sound super spiritual & write now about how this trip completely & totally changed my life and confirmed every single doubt I’ve ever had and now my faith was solid, but that wouldn’t be the truth. Honestly, I’m still working through all of that. And I’m completely okay with that. Yes, the Lord is increasing my faith, but I still have doubts, questions, & uncertainties. I don’t know everything and that scares me a little lot, but that’s okay! I’m bringing those things to the Lord & believers close to me, working through it all, not ignoring it like before. Walking by faith.. (2 Corinthians 5:7) I’m learning/ realizing that God identifies Himself.. I don’t do that for Him, so regardless of who I say that He is (or who I doubt He is), He is God, and that does not change. I don’t decide who He is. He decides that for Himself. (I don’t have a clue if that makes sense.. Still trying to figure out how to put words together to make my thoughts make sense.) The Lord is molding & sharpening my worldview, and I’m reminded yet again how thankful I am that the Lord continues to change & sanctify us as believers.

I’m extremely thankful for this place and what God accomplished through Jesus here 2,000+ years ago, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11)

Video to come soon.. as soon as I have time to make one..


Day 10: {Jerusalem} Bethlehem, Israel Museum, & Garden Tomb

Today started off with a couple short stops, then to the Israel Museum.IMG_9301

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Original Dead Sea Scrolls!! (They were found by a young shepherd boy in the 1940s I think.. just less than 5 miles from where we stayed one night.) These provide proof of the Old Testament.. even though God’s Word needs nothing to validate itself, it’s still pretty awesome. 

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So crazy! I ran into someone else I know! I met & have only seen this friend in Nepal, and saw him here in Jerusalem! How weird! We’ve yet to see each other in America..

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On to Bethlehem, birth place of Jesus.. (This will definitely give me a different picture when I sing all of those Christmas songs about the birth of Jesus in this place.)

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Waiting in line for an hour & a half to enter the cave at the exact location where Jesus was born.. IMG_9319

The original stone floor of the (now) Church of Nativity, the oldest church in the world still being used today. This church is owned by 3 different religions, Roman Catholics, Greeks, and Armenians. All 3 have services here throughout the day, every day.

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So unbelievably crowdedIMG_9344

Well, there it is..
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Okay people, this is worth documenting! My first Israel meal that was actually Mediterranean food! It’s called chicken shawarma. Okay, so I got it completely plain with just chicken in bread, but it’s a start, right??

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and some kind of dessert that I kind of, sorta liked.. (don’t judge my ugly finger nails, I’m in Israel, ok)

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We made a quick stop to the Shepherds Field where we talked about the incarnation of Jesus. We read Luke 2:1-21 and Philippians 2:5-11. A lot of times when we think of the birth of Jesus, we think of a barn or stable with hay & wood, but in actuality, all around Him was stone/ rocks.
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The incarnation, the way Christ took on humanity “in flesh,” is beautiful. The mission of the incarnation is to redeem a broken world, rescuing sinners. The manifestation of the incarnation is that we get to live the life of Jesus in the world, on mission with God! We are fleshing out Jesus’ model here on Earth. We are His hands and feet! How awesome! (2 Corinthians 5)

Next we went to the Garden Tomb. Some believe this is where Jesus’ tomb was, but that is most likely not the case. The church of the Holy Sepulcher is much more likely to be the location. The real purpose of this place is to give a mental picture, to show a model of what it would have looked like, with the tomb the way the tomb would have been. But again, just like I said in a previous post, the exact location of the tomb is pretty irrelevant. He’s not in it, He is RISEN! We don’t need proof.. His Word is enough.

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I’m really thankful that “the tomb” is empty, that Jesus is alive, and that He is coming back!! 🙂 I long for that day!!

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We took the Lord’s Super here. Such a sweet, sweet time reflecting on the cross and the Gospel. Being in Israel has been awesome, and I’m thankful that this isn’t just a place with a lot of history and made up stories, but that Jesus really is who He says He is, that He did what His Word said He did here, and that He’s going to do what He says He’s going to do. I’m beyond thankful for what God accomplished through Jesus is this place, and that in Him fulfillment for everything is found!

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Our last stop for the night was the IMB prayer house. Missionaries live & come here often for rest and encouragement. This is also where It Is Well’s writer’s family lived. We sang that song here. While we were there, a believer from the Czech Republic, a pastor at a church in Nigeria, and a missionary from Thailand came by. The pastor in Nigeria told us about how people are dying, getting their kids taken from them, kicked out of there communities, and losing their families where He is pastoring because they are deciding to trust in & follow Jesus. The Lord reminded me here how small I am, and how big He is! There are people following hard after Jesus all around the world, in places where following Jesus costs them everything (some, even their life)! Yet still, it is well.. because He’s worth it all.

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They have a huge prayer room with maps and encouraging signs and prayers filling the walls. It was good to stop, reflect, and pray here.

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Tomorrow is our last day, and I don’t even want to think about leaving 😦

Today we prayed specifically that we would be obedient to the Great Commission and Acts 1:8; please join us & pray that you too would be obedient to the command that is to every follower of Jesus!

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