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Great Awakenings! “Heartland to Holyland” tour of Israel

Many people dream of visiting the Holyland. Did you know it’s easier to visit Israel than you think? You can join believers from across Kansas, Missouri and beyond Nov. 2 – 14, 2024 with Great Awakenings Ministry.

Pastor Clint and Kathe Decker

You’ll be led by Dwight and Anita Widaman and Clint and Kathe Decker for an extraordinary 11-day tour of Israel. This Heartland to Holyland Tour, includes both Old and New Testament sites, breathtaking scenery, wonderful food and lodgings, insightful Bible teaching with pastor Decker and great fellowship. It’s what our tours are all about!

As a rabbi described it, Israel “is the earthly crossroads of all that has unfolded, determining the affairs of peoples and nations since time began.”

When you visit Israel you see and touch, smell and hear, and feel it as part of your soul. The Bible, once only read in black and white, now becomes full color with all its vibrant hues painting a truer picture of God’s Word than you have ever dreamed.

Anita and Dwight Widaman

Over the last 37 years, we have made dozens of journeys to the Holyland. Each time is new and refreshing. Each time provides exciting insights into the land, her people and current events but especially the Bible and our faith.

No one ever leaves Israel unfulfilled or disappointed. You return home having shed the fog of misperceptions, false media narratives and indifference. When you return home, you are different–Israel is now forever in your heart and always on your mind.

We want you to experience this with us. Come along! Let’s get started!


Day 1: From the Heartland to the Holyland: The journey begins

Depart Kansas City (or your airport if outside the region) for our U.S. international departure city for Israel. The overnight flight is 10 hours and 15 minutes. You are served dinner and breakfast. We have flights reserved out of Kansas City or can help you arrange a flight from your city. You’ll also receive our personalized “My Journey to the Holyland” study guide filled with information, photos and pages to jot down notes.

Day 2: Shalom and welcome. Anticipation and visions!

After landing at Ben-Gurion International in Tel Aviv, a tourist welcome specialist will guide you through immigration and luggage pickup  at the airport to be met tour representatives who will introduce you to our tour guide Malkah. As we board the modern, comfortable motorcoach, you’ll meet our driver and receive a backpack, supplies and personal audio headsets for use on the tour.

eurovision singing

Tel Aviv.

We’ll travel through Israel’s modern and high-tech city of Tel Aviv on our way to a hotel along the Mediterranean. There, you’ll have time to rest and walk along the beach before our first dinner. Get a good night’s sleep for the next day we step back into history!

Day 3: Caesarea and Mt. Carmel

We begin the day heading north along the Mediterranean to Caesarea – an important New Testament city.

We’ll explore the ruins of Herod’s oceanside palace, visit Paul’s prison, a Roman amphitheater and see amazing Roman aqueducts. After lunch we’ll drive up Mount Carmel, where the Prophet Elijah challenged the priests to call on fire from Baal to light a sacrifice. Then it’s on to our Galilean resort hotel to check in and enjoy dinner.

Day 3: Galilee Hills – Jesus’ Childhood

Nazareth Village living history experience is on the site of ancient Nazareth.

Sepphoris (Zippori) was once a bustling Jewish and Roman, then Byzantine city near Nazareth. This is where Joseph and Jesus most likely worked. We’ll see how wealthy Jews and Romans lived including the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee”. Next is Nazareth Village for a biblical inspired lunch and tour of this living history experience that includes a wine press from Jesus’ day. We drive up to Mount Precipice where an angry mob attempted to throw Jesus from a cliff. You’ll see a breathtaking view of the Jezreel Valley plus Mt. Tabor and other Biblical sites. Next is the Valley of Armageddon (Megiddo). It’s the setting for a future battle between the forces of good and evil as human history comes to a close. Dinner and relaxing at the hotel that is located in Magdala – home of Mary of Magdalene.

Day 4: In the Footsteps of Jesus – Miracles and Ministry

First we’ll visit Tabgha where Jesus called the disciples to follow him. Next is the Church of Primacy where Jesus told Peter “upon this rock I will build my church.” A short drive takes us to Mount of Beatitudes – the site of the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6. Another short drive takes us to Capernaum that in Jesus’ time was a flourishing border town that served as the home base for his ministry. Here you’ll see Peter’s house and the synagogue where Jesus preached. Next is Bethsaida – the Galilean fishing village that is the birthplace of Peter, Andrew and Philip. Jesus visited Bethsaida and performed several miracles here. Next is Kursi (Gadara) where Jesus cast demons into swine. Following this we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.  Enjoy dinner at the hotel and a last walk along the shores of the Galilee.

Boat ride and worship on the Sea of Galilee.

Day 5: Along the “Road to Damascus”

We will begin our day with Mt. Hermon in sight on the road to Damascus. Caesarea-Philippi was known for its worship of foreign gods and where Peter made his great confession of faith in Jesus as Son of God. Stepping back into the Old Testament we’ll visit Tel Dan to see Abraham’s Gate and Jeroboam’s Altar plus the ruins of a Canaanite city. We’ll have a picnic lunch at Banias, a source of the Jordan River. Then it’s on to Beit Shean – the magnificent ruins of a major Roman Decapolis City. We’ll also visit the ancient hill upon which King Saul’s head was displayed on a pole and see ruins of an Egyptian temple.

Best She’an is one of Israel’s most prized Roman cities. Today you can explore its many streets and ruins which are sure to impress! The Cardo, or “main street” would have been filled with thousands of people in Jesus’ day.

Day 6: The “Heartland” of Ancient Israel – Samaria

Today we travel to biblical Samaria. Our first stop is Joshua’s Altar, a magnificent site that takes you back 3400 year, just after the Israelites entered the Promised Land. We’ll see the spectacular view of Shechem, Mt. Gerizim (Mt. of Blessing) and Mt. Ebal (Mt. of Curses). You will be able to identify the sites where many biblical stories took place. From there we visit ancient Shiloh where the Tabernacle stood for 369 years, and what was once the center of Jewish life. You’ll see the actual stones and blocks that formed the outline of the Tabernacle and learn how we know this is the actual spot!  Next is Bethel, time and weather permitting, to visit the site of Jacob’s dream of the ladder. Free time in the evening after dinner.

Day 7: Life Springs Anew in the Dead Sea

Mount of Olives

We start our pilgrimage today with a drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives, from which Jesus prayed before His crucifixion and from where he ascended to Heaven at Pentecost. We will travel down the Hosanna Path that Jesus took back to Jerusalem after praying in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his trial. A unique stop is the Cave of Prophets believed to be the burial site of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Our next stop is the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mt. of Olives. Here you will be overwhelmed by the sheer importance of the moment. We enter into the Old City through the Lion’s Gate and follow the Via Dolorosa continuing to the actual Bethseda (Sheep’s Pool) where Jesus healed the paralyzed man. An important stop is the Western Wall where you can pray and place your own note in the crevices there with the thousands of others. We will continue to the Church of Holy Sepulcher, built by the mother of Constantine and recognized as the site of the crucifixion. We’ll then eat lunch at one of many cafes and eateries in the Christian Quarter and hae a leisurely afternoon.

We then drive back to the hotel to refresh and then take the bus to the Old City welcome in Shabbat with Jerusalem. We’ll visit the Western Wall – one of the last remaining walls of the Temple Mount on which stood the Jewish Temple. Enjoy the festivities and prayers before Shabbat as young Israeli’s sing and dance in preparation for their day of rest. Back at the hotel will enjoy a special Shabbat dinner and a peaceful evening of rejuvenation and reflection on all the wonderful things we’ve seen.

The Western Wall. Photo: Dwight Widaman.

Day 8: Following the Path of the Passion of the Christ

Today we visit the Tower of David Museum and the Kishle – the front entrance of Pontius Pilate’s palace that Jesus entered for his trial. Nearby we’ll see one of the few remaining portions of King Hezekiah’s defensive walls! An interesting stop is Mount Zion and The Last Supper Room directly above the Tomb of David. We’ll also visit King David’s Tomb and explore the the Alexander Nevsky Church, in which we’ll see the threshold of the old city wall across which Jesus carried his cross and the actual “Eye of the needle” made famous by the parable.  We’ll also visit the local Christian and Jewish markets where you can buy locally-made Nativity sets, spices and clothing.

A visit to the Old City isn’t complete with out checking out the “Shuk”–the ancient market that still mesmerizes visitors today. Anita, Hannah and Emma spent time looking for the perfect dress or lounging pants.

Day 9: Descending and Ascending in Jerusalem

Ruins of the City of David.

We will begin the day at the City of David to see King David’s palace ruins. Then to the Southern Steps of the Ancient Temple. Here you can climb the actual steps that Jesus used to enter the Temple. Were the moneychangers nearby? We will then visit the Western Wall, which is just around the corner, and explorethe Western Wall Tunnel Tour. We will then stroll through and enjoy the Jewish Quarter of the Old City with its bustling shops, tourist stores and historical sites. Next is the Wohl Museum, also known as the Herodian Quarters. The site includes 6 houses overlooking the Temple Mount. The homes are from the wealthiest residents and the priestly class of Jesus’ day. The geometrically patterned mosaic floors, frescoes, and costly glassware and ceramics provide a glimpse into citizen’s life in the days of Herod and Jesus. We enjoy dinner at the hotel and free time.

Day 10: Links in the Chain of History Bring it Together

Emma gazes up at just a few of the faces of the millions lost in the Holocaust. The museum is perhaps the most somber, and important, place to visit in the Holy land.


We’ll look at the original Dead Sea Scrolls on display.


Day 11: The tomb is empty! We have new life

Today we visit the Friends of Zion Museum to learn how modern Israel came to be. From our Founding Fathers to Corrie ten Boom, to Lincon to Truman so many had an impact in our ability to be here today. Next is the Israel Museum to see the amazing outdoor scale model of the Second Temple period of Jerusalem then we view the original Dead Sea Scrolls and learn how they prove the Bible’s accuracy. Our final stop in Jerusalem must be the Garden Tomb where Jesus was laid to rest and from where he was resurrected. We’ll share the Lord’s Supper in the quiet gardens as we listen to a special message.

In the afternoon, we drive to Jaffa where Jonah set sail and where Peter had the vision that the Gospel was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. It’s an appropriate ending to our journey. We’ll enjoy a farewell dinner (included) as we laugh, eat and celebrate all we experienced. Then it’s a short drive to the airport for our evening departure.

Day 12: Shalom and goodbye! Overnight flight arriving in the US early in the morning.

Jaffa, where Jonah set sail. Our last night in the ancient city.

Cost and what’s included

Considering a spiritual and educational journey to this amazing place evokes serious reflection and thought. There are costs to consider, time to commit, and soul-searching to be done. But this is the Holy Land where God walked in the form of the man – Jesus.

All of these surely work together for the good, for the reward of such travel is a deep stirring of the soul – something that is difficult to measure in mere human terms.

It is possible and we want to help make it a reality for our friends, family and readers of Metro Voice.

A late-night dinner on the veranda of the King David Hotel, which holds a central position in the history of the modern-day founding of the Jewish nation.

Land price is $3247 and includes:

  • 11 days in Israel
  • 10 nights (all lodging) in exquisite 4-star hotels on the shore of the Galilee and overlooking Jerusalem
  • All entrance fees to sites including churches, national museums and archaeological digs special events and more!
  • Transfers from airport to hotel
  • Air-conditioned premium travel coach with wi-fi
  • Licensed tour guide
  • Licensed coach driver (licensed through the Israeli government)
  • All breakfasts
  • All dinners (with both Israeli and American food choices and drinks)
  • Custom, personalized Tour Bible Study Guide
  • Special lunch at Nazareth Village
  • Last night farewell celebration dinner

Not Included:

  • Tips for hotel, driver and tour guide (collected upon arrival in Israel)
  • Lunches (all except 1)
  • Flights (Fares are not available until 11 months prior to travel. Fares run $1295 to $1595)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses

For solo travelers, there is an additional charge for a single room or you can choose to share a room if another solo traveler participates. Families up to three can share a room.

For more information call Dwight and Anita at 816-524-4522 or email heartlandtoholyland@gmail.com

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