The next Metro Voice tour of the Biblical heartland of Israel will be April 29 through May 10, 2023. It is followed by a young adult tour planned for July 1-10, 2023.
Join Metro Voice publishers Dwight and Anita Widaman on this Heartland to Holy Land Tour to explore both Old and New Testament sites, breathtaking scenery, wonderful food and lodgings, insightful Bible teaching and great fellowship.
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.
The Widamans have, between the two of them, traveled to the Holy Land 19 times leading or being part of tours. Their last tour was March 19-30 of this year.
Day 1: Day 1: From the Heartland to the Holy Land: Old and New Friends Journey Together
Depart Kansas City (or your airport if outside the midwest) for Israel stopping first in the U.S. international departure city. The overnight flight from there is 10 hours and 20 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.
Day 2: Shalom and welcome. Anticipation and visions!
After landing at Ben-Gurion International in Tel Aviv in the afternoon, Anita and I will guide you through immigration at the airport to be met by Aaron Lipkin, owner of Lipkin Tours. Aaron will welcome us to Israel and introduce you to our tour guide Malkah. As we board the modern, comfortable motorcoach, you’ll meet our driver and receive a packet of supplies, a hat to keep you cool and personal headsets for use on the tour.
We’ll travel through Israel’s modern and high-tech city of Tel Aviv on our way to a hotel along the beautiful Sea of Galilee. 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 exploring the Mediterranean coast and 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. Other stops along the way include the Valley of Armageddon and several other Biblcial sites.
Day 3: Galilee Hills – Jesus’ Childhood
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. From the deck of a boat we’ll get a unique vantage point to see Kursi (Gadara) where Jesus cast demons into swine. The day ends at the Yardenit baptismal site on the banks of the Jordan River for reflection and an opportunity for baptism. Enjoy dinner at the hotel and a last walk along the shores of the Galilee.
Day 5: Along the “Road to Damascus”
We will begin our day visiting several sites in the New Testament including Magdala – the village of Mary Magdalene. Here we’ll see the actual synagogue where Jesus preached. 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. We end the day in the eternal city of Jerusalem and check in at the Dan Panorama. Dinner and free evening.
Day 6: The “Heartland” of Ancient Israel – Samaria
Today we travel biblical Samaria. Our first stop is 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! We’ll visit the Mt. Kabir overlook and 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. Free time in the evening after dinner.
Day 7: Life Springs Anew in the Dead Sea
We begin the day at the Dead Sea where you can float (and never drown) and be revived by the healing mineral water. Arriving back in Jerusalem we’ll visit the
famous Machane Yehuda Market to enjoy lunch and explore this bustling place that amazes everyone who experiences it! An interesting stop is Mount Zion and The Last Supper Room directly above the Tomb of David. We stop to see Bethlehem from an overlook. 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 dancing 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.
Day 8: Following the Path of the Passion of the Christ
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. Our next stop is the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mt. of Olives. Here you will be overwhelmed by the sheer emotion 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. Now you’ll have leisurely time to explore the Jewish and Christian quarters of the Old City with is vibrant shops, cafes and friendly and welcoming people. In the evening, after Shabbat ends, Jerusalem comes back to life and visitors and Israelis head out to eat and fellowship. You can walk a very short distance to Ben Yehuda Street for coffee; live street music, touristy shopping and more.
Day 9: Descending and Ascending in Jerusalem
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. 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
We begin the day in the beauty of the Garden Tomb and share the Lord’s Supper together. Another highlight for guests is Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial to learn about Jewish life and culture before World War II and honoring the six million who were murdered in the Holocaust. We will continue to the Israel Museum to see the amazing outdoor scale model of the Second Temple period of Jerusalem to see the original Dead Sea Scrolls and learn how they prove the Bible’s accuracy. Next we drive to the bustling city of Tel Aviv and visit 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 11: Shalom and goodbye! Overnight flight arriving in the US early in the morning.
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.
The land portion of the 11-day trip is just $2995. Roundtrip air from Kansas City is $1595 but could be less. Flights can also be arranged from your nearest airport.
Land price includes:
- 10 days in Israel with 9 full days of touring.
- All entrance fees to sites including churches, national museums, archaeological digs, special events and more!
- 9 nights (all lodging) in 4-star hotels
- 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)
- Last night farewell celebration dinner in Jaffa!
- Tips (tips are collected ahead of time and distributed on behalf of the group)
- Travel insurance
For solo travelers, there is a $900 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.
The itinerary is subject to change and re-ordering depending on site opening and closing times, and weather.
For more information call Dwight and Anita at 816-540-4522 or email dwight @ metrovoicenews.com.