The Fredericksburg Christian School Bible Tour to the Holy Land
May 27-June 5, 2019
Organized by Robin Clay, teacher, Fredericksburg Christian School. You can contact her at [email protected]
Have you always wanted to see the Holy Land?
Would you like to walk where Jesus walked?
Do you have a thirst to learn more about the Bible?
This will be a trip that will forever change the way you read your Bible!
To sign up for the trip:
Downloadable reservation form PDF can be found here.
An online reservation form that can be found here
Join us for so many sites that you have read about in the Bible, including:
- Sea of Galilee boat ride
- Baptisms in Jordan River
- Rabbi Tunnel Tour of Western Wall
- Communion service at Garden Tomb
- Sloshing through Hezekiah’s Tunnel
- A camel ride in the desert
- And so much more!
Today we will go to Washington DC for our international flight to Israel via a wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.
DAY 2 – Tuesday, May 28, 2019: Completion of our trip to Tel Aviv
We lost 8 hours going across the time line and with the time of the flights, we will arrive in Tel Aviv this afternoon/evening. We will be met by our guide who will be with us for the time we are in the Holy Land. Board our bus and travel through Tel Aviv, proceeding to the city of Netanya on the Mediterranean to our hotel where we will check in for overnight.
This morning we begin our day at Caesarea, a port on the Mediterranean Sea that was built by Herod the Great and dedicated to Augustus Caesar, the Roman emperor. Here you will have a chance to sit in the Roman theater, walk along the hippodrome, and check out a Crusader fort. You can also see where Herod’s palace once stood, as 2,000-year-old floor mosaics can still be seen on the shore. Paul was under arrest and certainly was here! This is considered one of Israel’s major archaeological sites, and the sea makes it one of the most beautiful places in the country. We then take a step back in time at Nazareth Village, which has been constructed to look like a 1st century village just like Jesus would have known. You will have a chance to talk to a shepherd, carpenter, and others who will speak in their first century way. It is quite an experience! Our next stop is the ancient city of Bet Shean, a place where Saul’s head was hung from the city wall after he was killed. It is a wonderful archaeological site that gives us an idea of what an ancient city looked like, with a theater, baths, and a large “tell” which we can climb up. This site comprises more than a dozen civilizations and is an awesome site to walk! Finally, we make our way to our hotel for the first of our two-night stay.
DAY 4 – Thursday, May 30, 2019: BAPTISMS / CAPERNAUM / ST. PETER’S FISH LUNCH / MOUNT OF BEATITUDES / MAGDALA / BOAT RIDE
(Photo baptismal candidates at the Jordan River) This morning is a special time to practice the ordinance of water baptism. We will go to the Jordan River where those participants who have never been baptized (or who do not remember their infant baptisms) will have a chance to give their testimony and be immersed. Next we continue to Capernaum where the home of Peter’s mother-in-law and the town’s synagogue can be seen. Let’s have lunch at a restaurant to partake of a St. Peter’s fish (or, if you wish, chicken) meal. After lunch, the Mount of Beatitudes—a place where we can read from the Sermon on the Mount. Next we will visit a 2,000-year-old synagogue in Magdala, which was just excavated in the past decade. It is the home of Mary Magdalene and scholars are certain that Jesus would have been in this synagogue. Our final activity is taking a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee…how exciting! We will have a chance to hear Christian worship music, dance to Jewish songs, and celebrate our time in the Holy Land. After this, we will see a New Testament boat found two decades ago during a drought dating to the time of the apostles.
- See a video on Baptisms at the Jordan River (if you haven’t been baptized, you too can participate in this very important ordinance)
- See a video on the Mount of Beatitudes
- See a video on Capernaum
- See a video on the Jesus Boat and a Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee
- See a video on Magdala
(Photo of cistern on Masada) We wake up early and start the day by taking an extended bus ride down to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on the earth (1300 feet below sea level). After a few hours of driving, we visit Qumran, the place where the Essenes lived who compiled the Dead Sea Scrolls that were first discovered in 1947. Next, we visit Masada and ascend by cable car to the magnificent ruins of the fortress where, from AD 70-73, Jewish defenders made their historic stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We will have a chance to explore as we walk through the storehouses, cisterns, and palace created by Herod the Great. We then head over to a Bedouin camp to ride camels in the desert—how many of your friends have done that? Finally, we go to the Dead Sea where we have planned a special retreat at a resort hotel. This is a place where you can enter the waters of the Dead Sea for a swim and mud yourself. Or, if you’d like, utilize the basement spa area of the David Resort hotel—just sit back and let the bubbles relax you.
We will first stop off in Ein Gedi, a desert oasis and the place where Saul hunted for David, but David found Saul first. We can hike up to the upper waterfalls of this magnificent place. Then we’ll head north to the Herodium, the palace set in a conical mountain that was built by Herod the Great and where his tomb was uncovered in 2007. Remember, it was Herod was visited by the Wise Men. He did what he could to prevent the “King of Kings” from being born, including the “Massacre of the Innocents.” After seeing this man’s monument to himself, let’s go visit one of the possible sites for the Shepherds’ Fields—perhaps we could celebrate Christmas a bit early by singing “Silent Night” inside one of the caves! Bethlehem is where Jesus was born, a direct fulfillment of Micah 5:2. We can visit the Church of the Nativity where, in a basement cave, we will stand in the same place where the Savior was born. We will also visit the quarters where Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate in the fourth century. Let’s take time out for lunch as well as shop at an olive wood store run by believers. Our next stop is the city you have heard so much about, Jerusalem, the capitol of the Bible. We will go to a place on the Mount of Olives for an overview of this most important city before heading to our hotel, the last place we will stay.
DAY 7 – Sunday, June 2, 2019: WESTERN WALL / TEMPLE MOUNT /RABBI TUNNEL / SOUTHERN STEPS / ZION /POOL OF BETHESDA / ST. ANNE’S CHURCH
(Photo at right Jewish boys at the Western Wall) This morning we will visit the Western Wall, the last remaining remnant of Herod’s Temple and the holiest place in all of Judaism, before touring the Rabbi Tunnel, which takes us down to the very foundation of the walls. From here we heave over to Temple Mount, which is where the Dome of the Rock is located. This is the site where the Holy of Holies was located. We next will visit the Southern (Teaching) Steps—Jesus was certainly here, right outside the temple itself. After lunch in the Jewish Quarter, we will take a walking tour through the Old City of Jerusalem, seeing the street of Aeilia Capitolina (2nd century Jerusalem) and Hezekiah’s Broad Wall, the traditional spots for the Upper Room and David’s Tomb before going to visit the Pool of Bethesda, which is where the man was healed in John 5. There is a beautiful church next door where perhaps we can sing a hymn (maybe Amazing Grace). If there is enough time, maybe we can do a little shopping in the Christian Quarter.
- See a video on the Western Wall (filmed by Eric Johnson)
- See a video on the Western Wall
- See a video on Temple Mount
- See a video on Amazing Grace in St. Anne’s Church
DAY 8 – Monday, June 3, 2019: CITY OF DAVID / HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL / CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER / ISRAEL MUSEUM
We start at the City of David, the city where David ruled, and Hezekiah’s Tunnel and hike 1749 feet from one end to the other. This tunnel was dug by Hezekiah’s men in the 8th century BC. We will also see the Pool of Siloam talked about in the Bible, as part of it has recently been uncovered! We then head over to the Old City and make our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the site where the most evidence lies for where Jesus was killed and then resurrected. You will have a chance to step into a tomb that is 2,000 years old (not Jesus’s) to give you an idea of a rock-cut tomb. We’ll have lunch in the Old City before heading over to the Israel Museum to finish our day. It is here where we can get an overview of Jerusalem from 2,000 years ago by walking around a scale model of the city that is the size of half a football field. Here is also the Shrine of the Book, where the world’s best collection of Dead Sea Scrolls are located. Finally, we will see the museum where a number of important biblical artifacts are found, including the Pontius Pilate inscription, Caiphas’ ossuary, and the Tel David inscription.
- See a video on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
- See a video on the City of David
- See a video on Hezekiah’s Tunnel as well as comments by high school students afterward
- See a video on the Israel Museum
DAY 9 – Tuesday, June 4, 2019 – CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS / GETHSEMANE / GARDEN TOMB (COMMUNION) / FREE TIME
We begin our day at the Church of All Nations, memorializing what took place in the Garden of Gethsemane. Then we’ll drive over to the Garden Tomb and partake in communion together – it’s a service you will never forget. We have left time for you in the afternoon to do what you would like, including taking a hike around the Old City of Jerusalem and experiencing it all; walking on the ramparts, the walls surround Jerusalem (small extra charge); doing your final shopping; or ??? We return home tomorrow morning, so we’ll want to get back to the hotel in the evening for dinner and pack up for our trip home.
DAY 10 – Wednesday, June 5, 2019 – TEL AVIV/ USA
We transfer to the airport for an early flight back to Washington DC that day (we have our lost hours returned to us!) Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new meaning to our Bible reading and will enable us to better “own our own faith.” Truly this has been an unforgettable experience!
Price of the trip
The price of this trip is $4095.
$100 discount if the $500 deposit is paid by January 16, 2019, making this trip under $4,000! Click here to pay your deposit with Pilgrim Tours with your credit card.
Minimum 10 total travelers are needed.
No registration can be made after February 15, 2019
Final payment is due March 22, 2019– credit card is accepted.
May 28-29: Residence in Netanya
May 29-31: Golan Hotel in Tiberias
May 31-June 1: David Resort at the Dead Sea
June 1-5: Prima Palace in Jerusalem
What does the price of the trip include?
- RT international transportation from Washington, DC
- Full-time guide / bus / driver
- 3-star hotels
- All admission fees
- 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner buffet
- A St. Peter’s fish lunch
- If 15 or more sign up, there will be occasional email correspondence in the months before the trip by Eric Johnson, including teaching, travel tips, video links, etc.
- If 21 or more sign up, Eric Johnson will come on the trip
- And so much more!
- Not included is transportation to and from the airport, the insurance policy, most lunches, snacks, and souvenirs.
- Single room supplement: $665
Actual comments from previous travelers
“Whoever goes with Eric Johnson is happy and satisfied because he cares about his passengers”–Andre Shama, Tour Guide in Israel
“This trip has so much power to change you!”
“The thrill of walking where Jesus walked and seeing the hills that Jesus preached from…it changes the way you read the Bible. It’s definitely worth it!”
“My experience on this trip was unlike any other. I will never forget what I saw and felt as we took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee — I knew I was seeing the same things that Jesus Himself saw. This was the trip of a lifetime and it was worth every cent!”
“Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for such a life changing trip. I am so grateful for your time and planning for the last 10 days. This Easter has new meaning to me now that I have walked where Jesus walked, prayed where He prayed and saw where He was sacrificed. What a gift it is to visit the Holy Land and get to fellowship with such an amazing group of people.” K.B., traveler on the March 2018 trip
- Click here for a letter written on 3/6/2017 by a passenger on the 2017 trip.
- Check out our article 7 reasons why you ought to consider coming to the Holy Land
2018 Video Testimonies
- Russ and Karen Vande Vegte (February 2018)
- Pastor Kenny Dodd (February 2018)
- CHS Parent Cameron Owens (March 2018)
“There are no words to express the appreciation we have for this most outstanding trip-of-a-lifetime. Our hearts and minds are overflowing with new, deeper knowledge of the land and history of our precious Savior and Father. All glory to Him!!” –Jim and Shelley Anderson (February 2018) (click to see video)
“As I reflect back on our amazing trip and continue to try to adjust for the time zone change (smile), I just wanted to drop you a note and thank-you for the incredible journey you led. As people have been asking me about our time in Israel I am finding that it is so very difficult to put into words the dramatic impact that it had strengthening my faith and opening my understanding of God’s Word.”–Pat McCarty, former CUSSD superintendent (March 2018) (click to see video)
“Just want to say one more time how grateful I am for your leadership of such a life-changing trip. There is not a single person that didn’t have an incredible time, and many people’s faith grew significantly because of the experience. . . . You really did a great job at managing the details and all you did to make the trip smooth and enjoyable was noticed and appreciated.”–CVCS Superintendent Chris Rutz (March 2018) (click to see video)
Do we need passports, visas, and shots?
Passports, YES! Your passport should not expire before December 2019 or you will need to renew it. You can apply for a passport at your local post office. Do yourself a favor and obtain this before 2018! Sometimes passport deliveries are delayed and you don’t want to risk it. As far visas and shots, the answer is no to both!
Do we need the insurance policy?
I highly recommend it! This policy has several different coverages. First, it is a medical insurance policy. On two trips, I have had people trip and break or sprain their ankles. One lady who tripped on stairs in 2017 had a $1300 emergency room doctor’s bill, not including follow up care/ And then the insurance paid for 4 days the tourist was not able to come with the group, resulting in a refund of over $1,000! Second, it is good for a traveler having to cancel because of a medical issue, such as the traveler getting sick or hurt in the weeks preceding the departure date–doctor’s note required. Third, it covers in cases of the trip getting cancelled because of something like a political issue, a natural disaster, etc. Fourth, it cover something such as a lost or broken suitcase. My suitcase was broken by the airline in 2013 and I filed a claim. I received $200 for a suitcase that I purchased for $10 at a garage sale–I was paid for what the suitcase was worth. In six trips to the Holy Land, I’ve only had one suitcase lost (in 2009), and the company paid for a full replacement of the suitcase and the possessions. This is the best peace of mind you could have!
What about safety?
I have to be honest, I feel much more safe in Israel, even in the West Bank, than I do in big US cities. I am going on my 9th organized trip in March (since 2009), having taken 350+ people including Robin Clay, and nobody on my trips has ever felt threatened. In addition, I have organized 4 high school trips, including one with 57 students, parents and administrators in March 2018, and no problems at all. As far as I understand it, no American tourist has been killed or even seriously injured for decades by any terrorist activity while going on a pilgrimage to Israel. The entire time we are in Israel, safety will be our highest priority. If anything is ever happens in a particular area during our trip, we will avoid that place–the guide will be in constant communication with the authorities. Also you must understand that security is all around us, especially in sensitive areas such as Temple Mount and the Western Wall. And security is tighter in the Ben Gurion Airport than anywhere in the world. You will be safer than if you traveled to London, Paris, or Rome. Trust me, this trip is very safe and having taught at a Christian school for almost 2 decades (former Bible department head at Christian High School in El Cajon, CA), I feel confident taking high school students with a place that could revolutionize their spiritual walk with God. This really is an investment trip, better than any other I could recommend.
Come and walk in the footsteps of our Savior!
To sign up for the trip:
Downloadable reservation form PDF can be found here.
An online reservation form that can be found here