By: Peter Larocque – April, 2018
I had the awesome privilege last month of being a part of the TBN, (Trinity Broadcasting Network) Hope & Grace 2018 Israel Tour. I left Boston on Sunday March 4th @3:01pm and arrived at JFK, New York @4:28pm. A small 1and ½ hours flight, but my next time in the air wouldn’t be so short. I departed JFK @ 11:28pm that same evening and arrived in Tel-Aviv, Israel the next evening Monday, March 5th at 5:25pm, a 10 and ½ hour overnight flight. Not only was I dealing with a long flight but I also had a 7 hour time difference, (Israel is ahead of us here in the USA), so upon arrival in Israel I was running on pure adrenaline!
My next adventure was going through passport check at TSA stations and then customs, this took what seemed like forever, but once I made it through I was met by a smiling tour guide who then walked me to my luxury bus which took me to my luxury hotel where I checked in and was introduced to my roommate followed by a wonderful dinner which led to a well-deserved night of sleep.
Every morning except for the Sabbath we were woken up by a 6:00 AM wake up call, so Tuesday March 6, 2018 began my first full day of my tour of a lifetime!
Here are the sites and holy places I visited;
Tuesday, March 6: The Garden Tomb, Museum of the Holocaust, Mount of Olives, Palm Sunday Road, Garden of Gethsemane, Roman Catholic Church of All Nations, also known as Basilica of Agony.
Wednesday, March 7: Old City, Bethlehem, The Church of The Nativity, Mount Zion, City of David, Western Wall, (Wailing Wall).
Thursday, March 8: Friends of Zion Museum, Jewish Museum, Old City & Temple Model, Jewish Quarter Park, The Upper Room, King David’s Tomb, St. Peter in Gallicantu Jerusalem, (The sacred pit where Jesus was held in custody).
Friday, March 9: The Good Samaritan Road, Jordan Valley, (On road trip I saw many Negev Bedouin used to be nomadic and later also semi-nomadic Arabs who live by rearing livestock in the deserts of southern Israel), The Golan Heights, Sea of Galilee, City or Sea of Tiberius, Margalla Hills, Mountain of Beatitudes, Church of The Beatitudes, Capernaum, The City of Jesus, Boat Ride on The Sea of Galilee.
Saturday, March 10: Morning Baptisms at Qasr El Yahud, Qasr el Yahud is the official name of a baptism site in the Jordan River Valley region of the West Bank that is legally part of the State of Palestine, but under Israeli occupation. Masada and a visit to the Dead Sea.
Sunday, March 11: Mountain Range of Carmel, City of Nazareth, Mountain Range, Mt. Tabor, Mt. Precipice, Caesarea: Coastal Port, The Mediterranean Sea.
Monday, March 12 (Last Tour Day) : Mt. Olives, The Jewish Quarter, The Lion’s Gate, The Church of Saint Anne, is a Roman Catholic church, located at the start of the Via Dolorosa, near the Lions’ Gate and churches of the Flagellation and Condemnation, in the Muslim Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem. Pools of Bethesda, The Via Dolorosa, “Way of Grief,” “Way of Sorrow”, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, also called the Church of the Resurrection or Church of the Anastasis by Orthodox Christians), is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The church contains, according to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, at a place known as “Calvary” or “Golgotha”, and Jesus’ empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected. Jaffa Gate: A stone portal Walls of Old Jerusalem City, it is one of several main gates in Jerusalem’s Old City Walls. Zion Gate, Dung Gate, Golden Gate, Lion’s Gate, Herod’s Gate, Damascus Gate, The New Gate, and Jaffa Gate.
Now you can understand why I call this Israel Tour a Trip of a Lifetime! Sure there was lots of tradition mixed into this trip, but that’s why God gives us a brain and more importantly, The Holy Spirit to lead us into the all truth! While standing at each place I was able read along in The Scriptures that pertained to that area. The scriptures which have stood the test of times still stand taller than what man has called “Holy Places”.
Also on this Monday March 12 at 11:30pm I began my long overnight flight home. (Due to space, I’ll write more on my trip home in a later column).
One thing is for sure that hasn’t changed which The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:17-25, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
I got to see firsthand the difference between The Law and The Grace of God.
There are many other things that I experienced and learned on my trip to Israel and as the Spirit of God leads me I will be blessed to share with you in future columns. But for now, my heart is full and thankful and happy to be home.
Love to all of you,
Peter Larocque, firstname.lastname@example.org