First Baptist Church Valdosta GA
May 15-26, 2010

This trip to Israel included total of 15 participants, from Georgia and Texas. We visited Israel from the North to the South, even went to Petra in Jordan. Here is the itinerary for this trip, together with few comments participants had about this trip:

Day 1, Saturday, May 15, 2010
Depart from the US to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Day 2, Sunday, May 16, 2010
Arrival to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv Delta Flight 152 Arriving at 05:20 PM). Meeting and assistance. Transfer to our hotel in Tiberias.
Overnight: Moriah Plaza Hotel or similar, Tiberias

Day 3, Monday, May 17, 2010
Today we start our tour in Israel. Leaving Tiberias, we will visit Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus and spend some time in the Nazareth Village where we will learn how people used to live in the time of Jesus in a Jewish village. We will also visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and the old Synagogue where Jesus himself was teaching. Driving pass Mary’s Well, we will then continue to village of Cana of Galilee where Jesus performed his first miracle turning water into wine at the Jewish wedding. Rest of the day we will spend in the Golan Heights where we look at the Israeli-Syrian border and learn about the different wars of Israel.
Overnight: Moriah Plaza Hotel or similar, Tiberias

Day 4, Tuesday, May 18, 2010
We start our day with a Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee and spend some time in a prayer service on the same waters Jesus walked (Mark 6:48-50). Visit to the museum in Nof Ginosar where the “Jesus Boat” is displayed. This amazing ancient fishing boat, from the 1st century, was discovered sunk in the mud in the Lake of Galilee. Then we will walk the path of Jesus in the land of Galilee.  We will visit the sites where his ministry began; where he preached, performed miracles and gathered the multitude to follow him: Mount Beatitudes, site of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12), Capernaum, the headquarters of his ministry where we will visit the old Synagogue and Peter’s House, Tabgha, where the multiplication of the loaves and fish took place (Matthew 14:19-21). Our day will end with a baptism service at the Jordan River (Luke 3:21-22). 
Overnight: Moriah Plaza Hotel or similar, Tiberias

Day 5, Wednesday, May 19, 2010
We will start our drive to Jerusalem via the coastal area of Israel. Our first visit will be to  the top of Mt. Carmel, where the great prophet Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal and proved to the people that the God of Israel is the true God (1 Kings 18:17-40). On to Megiddo, the city of King Solomon and King Ahab, where 20 different layers of civilization were excavated also known as the valley where the kings of the earth will gather for the battle commonly referred to as the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-16). Caesarea, the port city built by King Herod the great 2000 years ago and the place where Simon Peter shared the gospel with Cornelius, the Roman centurion who became the first Gentile convert (Acts 10: 44-48), will be our next site. We then continue to Jerusalem. Depending on arrival, we might stop for a panoramic view of Jerusalem from Mt. Scopus and a traditional entrance for the Holy city.
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 6, Thursday, May 20, 2010
Full day tour of the Old City of Jerusalem. Starting with a panoramic view from Mt. of Olives, we will then continue to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus “often met with his disciples” (John 18:2) and where he spent his last hours in solitude before being captured by the Romans (Luke 22:47-53). Up to Mt. Zion to visit the Upper Room, Cenaculum, the place of the Last Supper (Luke 22:14-22) and the place where the gift of the Holy Spirit came upon believers who were gathered there on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Here is also King David’s Tomb.  Walk from there through the Zion Gate to visit the Jewish Quarters and the Roman Cardo, the main street in the Byzantine period of Jerusalem. On to the Western Wall, the holiest place for Jews, to pray to God’s presence and put a note in the wall. We will tour the Western Wall Tunnels, walking under the Western Wall plaza to the base of this remarkable wall and along it, all the way up north. Continue to walk the Via Dolorosa, the fourteen stations of the cross, starting at the Pool of Bethesda and to the Church of the Holy Sepulchure.
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 7, Friday, May 21, 2010
Full day tour of the New City of Jerusalem. We will start the day visiting the City of David Excavations, where we will learn about Jerusalem of 3000 years ago. We will then pass the Knesset, Israeli Parliament with the famous Menorah, view the Supreme Court and drive to Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial. Continue to Machane Yehuda Market to get a sense of Jerusalem and the many faces of the people in it while we watch them getting ready for Shabbat. Towards the evening, we will go to the Western Wall to watch the Jewish people as they come to pray at the most sacred place for Jews.
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 8, Saturday, May 22, 2010
We start our day with the Israel Museum, the place where the Dead Sea scrolls are on display and the model of 2nd temple Jerusalem. We will then continue with a visit to Bethlehem and end our day with the Garden Tomb, Golgotha or Calvary. Here, Jesus was crucified, died on the cross, was buried and raised from the dead (Matthew 27:33-61) and here we will have a service. Time permitting, we will visit the Bible Time Center in Ein Karem.
Overnight: David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 9, Sunday, May 23, 2010
Descend the eastern slopes of the Judean Hills to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea. On to visit Qumran, the place where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written by the Yachad (Essene) Sect 2200 years ago and where they were discovered in 1947. View of the Ein Gedi waterfalls where King David escaped from his enemies and continue to Massada, the royal fortress built by King Herod and used by the Jewish Zealots as the last stronghold during the great revolt against Rome between 66-73 AD. Rest of the afternoon we will enjoy the Dead Sea, where we can experience ‘floating’ on the water. We will then drive down to Mitzpe Ramon for overnight.
Overnight: Ramon Inn Hotel or similar, Mitzpe Ramon

Day 10, Monday, May 24, 2010
Today we will visit the famous Ramon Crater and learn about how it was created. We will then have a Jeep Tour into the Crater to view its unique and beautiful views. Rest of the day we will drive down to Eilat, the most Southern city in Israel for overnight.
Overnight: Agamim (Isrotel) Hotel or similar, Eilat

Day 11, Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Full day trip to Petra, Jordan and back to Eilat
Overnight: Agamim (Isrotel) Hotel or similar, Eilat

Day 12, Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Today, our last day in the land, we will leave the hotel later in the morning and drive down to Tel Aviv. We will stop at the Desert Tabernacle in Timna park to learn about the way this Tabernacle was built. We will stop at the Ellah Valley to talk about the famous fight between David and Goliath. We will then drive to Tel Aviv to visit the city founded 100 years ago. We will drive through the Rabin Square where Yitzhaq Rabin was assassinated , see the Bauhaus neighborhoods of early Tel Aviv and visit Jaffa, the old port city and the artists galleries. Our day will end with Dinner in Tel Aviv before we head to the airport for our flight back home (Delta Fight 153 Departing at 11:35 PM)

6 Replies to “First Baptist Church Valdosta GA
May 15-26, 2010”

  1. My trip to Israel was the joyous trip of a life time, for which I will always be grateful

    As we were touring, I was reminded over and over of the humbleness of Jesus. From the time of His birth to the time of His death was humility. He lived, taught, and healed in a land that was rugged- hot, dry, mountainous. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, and was victorious over death and is now in heaven with the Father. He has sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us that we might know His presence.(Phil.2:6-11)

    Upon arising that first morning, we were greeted with a spectacular sight from our hotel room that I shall never forget. There , in all of its beauty, was the Sea of Galilee. It was awe inspiring and set the stage for the exciting days of our journey.

    There was so much to see and take in.. I know the days ahead will be filled with flashbacks of the days spent in Israel.

    The fellowship enjoyed together in our group was a great blessing as we shared with each other. There were lots of laughs and precious memories to hold on to.

    My thanks to Marguerite for leading us and teaching the Word. Having to go without Ike was hard. The lord was faithful, giving her peace and strength every day.

    My thanks also for Bro Phil (respectfully, ButterPhil) for his spiritual insight on our tour. It was special to be baptized by him in the Jordan. Thanks,also, for the personal attention that he , and all the others,gave me all along the way.

    I believe that it was God’s will for me to take this trip, blessing me physically everyday. There is nothing but praise for His provision in every way- the food, the hotels, guide, and bus driver-were the best. For Don and Sara driving us back and forth to the airport.

    I can only say, “Praise the Lord”

    Betty Catherine Batts 5/28/10

  2. We made it to the wonderful State of Texas and home to the girls. We are hopeful that you made it with no problems. We cannot find the words to tell you how much we enjoyed our time with you and the wonderful experience in Israel and the bond we feel with each of the pilgrims who made the walk with us. Our lives are much inspired and most blessed. I just wish I knew what time it is. Our best to all.

    Larry Combest
    Combest, Sell & Associates, LLC

  3. Dear Family and Friends,

    Every part of this trip has been an example of perfect timing. That held true this morning. After a long night flight from Israel, we landed in Atlanta, 55 minutes early. Yes, unheard of! We breezed through all the steps of entering the U.S. with very few lines. We were all hugging goodbye at 7:00 AM, eager to meet our rides for the last leg of this incredible journey.

    I would like to sincerely thank First Baptist Church of Valdosta, Georgia for sponsoring this trip.

    I am gratefully to Pastor Phil West for his vision for this mission trip. His inspirational messages added much depth to our experiences.

    Marguerite Harrell, as the trip leader, was tireless in her efforts to organize, teach, care for and love the rest of us. Thank you, Marguerite, for showing us what it means to walk out and live your faith.

    Our tour guide, Moshe Malka, was masterful at people management and a brilliant guide. I would not want to do this trip without him. When I hugged him bye at the Tel Aviv airport, I felt he had given his all to make our Israel Experience perfect.

    Thanks to Andrea Johnson and Suzie King for being the trip photographers. We estimated they took over 2000 photos. I guess they must have miss a few shots!

    Thanks to Betty Batts for going on this trip. She is an inspiration. At 80 years of age, she showed us what a lovely child of God can do. I want to grow up to be like Betty.

    Dean Brooks, Mary Morgan and Marilyn Kemper are new friends that I am grateful to know. All remarkable women with wonderful life stories. Their faith in God and joy in life are gifts to all who meet them.

    I am so pleased Larry and Sharon Combest choose to take this trip. For me, they combined my old life with my new life. For everyone else, they added the Texas flavor that always enhances. Thank you, dear friends.

    To my traveling companion, Jessie Bass, my love and gratitude. On this trip as in everyday life, your gift of caring always shines through. Thank you for putting up with me.

    And my undying gratitude to Vickie and Fred Wilkinson without whom I would have never been invited to go on this trip. Sharing it with you made it even more of a remarkable life experience.

    So Dear ones, this is not the end of this trip. This journey will continue for me as I read and study the Bible, as I talk to others about what I have seen, as I seek out new topics I have heard about, lesson to the news, as I look for new ways to live my faith.

    This journey has blessed me mightily. I am spiritually stronger. Hopefully that translates into being more of the person God intended me to be. I am totally humbled by the God Almighty we serve and by Lord Jesus who was willing to save this lost lamb.

    Your sister,

    Gloria W. Norwood
    May 27, 2010

  4. Greetings from Daytona Beach:

    While waiting for my ride from Daytona Beach Airport, I enjoyed the lush green scenery. The Nile Delta was lush and green where the Israelites lived for over 400 years. Then they left Egypt and headed for the Promised Land, but first they had to go through the desert (to make us stronger, we all have our deserts to traverse). I have the greatest respect for the Israelites after having traveled in the Negev.

    What a trip? Every day brought a better understanding of God’s Word, a knowledge of the customs of the Jews and the sights and smells of “The Land.”

    I love the passion Moshe has for his country. He is so knowledgeable and so willing to share. I loved the time we shared around the Sea of Galilee and the trip on the boat. When the “Stars and Strips” were raised and the National Anthem was played, I felt my heart about to burst. I have a passion for my country too! My favorite places: the tunnels under the Western Wall and the Machtesh Ramon Crater. The Holy Land is so diverse from Dan to Be’ersheva and beyond. I feel a natural drawing to this wonderful land because someday we’ll share it with our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

    I enjoyed getting to know each of you. It’s amazing how children of God are one big family that cares for one another and has so much in common. I especially thank Dean Brooks for being so kind and considerate as my roommate. I thank Fred and Vickie for inviting me to be a part of this trip; they have been so kind to me. Gloria and Jessie befriended me and kept an eye on me. I look forward to getting to know Gloria better when she visits Daytona Beach. No one can tell stories like Marilyn; she kept levity in the group. Betty was an inspiration to all of us and without this trip, I would never have met Larry, Sharon and Suzie – super people. I appreciated Brother Phil’s insights and scriptures, sharing communion and just being a friend. I’m so happy that he and Andrea could share this time and experience. I’ve left Marguerite until last because it’s hard to put into words my appreciation for all she has done for us. I know she was torn between wanting to stay home and care for Ike and to carry out her obligation as host on this trip. She mingled with and was available to help each person. Her spiritual comments and scripture were “right on.” She was a wonderful leader especially when it came to shopping and this group didn’t need any encouragement. We missed Brother Ike but I want you to know that you were prayed for all along the trip – especially at the Western Wall. You will continue to be in my prayers.

    My thanks to Marguerite, Moshe and Ohad for a wonderful trip to God’s Holy Land.

    In Christ’s love,


  5. Moshe: My shoes arrived today in good order, Sat. June 5, 2010. Thank you for taking of this.

    My Israel trip was a blessed experience, one I shall not forget. Seeing the places and the land where Jesus was, is a dream come true.

    This trip was made perfect because of the wonderful guide you were to us. Every day was well planned,our hotel accommodations were the best, the food was delicious and our driver was great

    I pray God’s blessing on you and your family.

    In Jesus name,

    Betty C. Batts

  6. Greetings from the small town of Dexter, GA!!

    We have officially been back one week now and I can still say I will never be the same. It’s amazing to dig into the Bible and read about all the places that we visited. As I reflect on the trip, I am overwhelmed with emotions. First of all, I feel so blessed to have been able to go to The Holy Land at my age. I look forward to possibly going again. I also feel very humbled about the entire experience. To see, smell, and walk on the very land our Lord did is awesome!! I could feel the Holy Spirit working in my life from the moment we stepped foot on the plane and even this very day. I know it was only because of the Holy Spirit that I was able to even go on the trip and leave my precious little ones behind! 🙂

    My favorite places we visited were The Garden Tomb and Caperneum. I could really feel the presence of the Lord there. It was great to be able to stand in a circle with hands held in the synogogue of Jesus and say a special prayer lifting up Ike. (By the way, my prayers are still with him for peace, understanding and healing) I enjoyed all the scripture that was read at each site. It really made the Bible come to life! The Garden Tomb was awe inspiring. To read the scriptures about Golgatha “Place of the Skull” and see the mountain “skull” had so much meaning. At a place where we could really be sad for Jesus was crucified and buried…I was praising Him for dying on the cross for my sins and for rising again. Thank you God! The sharing of communion there just put the icing on the cake for me. As I left the Garden Tomb, I actually felt uplifted but with tears in my eyes! What an awesome experience.

    Thank you everyone for being understanding about my claustrophobia during the cable car ride- a special thanks to my dad, Gloria, Sharon and Larry for bunching up to provide a little more space for me! Ha! I did it and I made it through! 🙂 I want to thank Marilyn for all her stories that made me laugh so hard throughout the trip. Jessie for getting me warm in the cold Jordan River water after baptism. Dean and Mary for their kindness throughout the trip. Suzie for my partner in crime taking pictures and for taking the time to snap some priceless shots of me and my dad. For Fred and Vickie- I would like to thank you for your friendship and most of all the adored “pink hat” that I wore the entire trip. Dad said it was much easier to find me with it on. And that marvelous holy God sent aloe vera for my sunburn!! That felt amazing. Mrs. Betty- I must say it was a pleasure watching you at your age climb those mountains, rocks, etc. I can only pray I would be in the condition to visit the Holy Land at your age. Truly a blessing from God. Marguerite- I am inspired by your excitement and zeal for the scriptures. I appreciate all you did to organize the trip for us and I can only imagine what you must have been feeling prior to leaving on the plane and leaving Ike behind. Please know you blessed us all by going and The Lord will bless Ike for him letting you go. I hope you are enjoying your time with him. Last but definately not least, I would like to thank my daddy. (I saved the best for last dad!) I can’t think of anyone I would have rather spent my time with in Israel. The trip is a precious memory that I will live everyday of my life as I journey on and read the scriptures. I will always think “I was there…with my dad.” AWESOME! Thank you for asking me to go and allowing me to go! Well, my free time is up. Emma and Ava are waking from a afternoon nap.

    Thanks everyone for an awesome time. I will forever remember Moshe and Ohad and will keep them in my prayers as they lead other groups in this awesome experience!


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