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The Old City of Jerusalem.

Reveal: Israel Summer Experience Tour

Are you ready for 9 exciting days that will change your life? How about seeing some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and beaches while immersing yourself in a 3,500-year-old culture that forms the foundation of your faith? If so, join the REVEAL: Israel Summer Experience Tour July 1 through July 11, 2023.

Dwight Widaman, Hannah Widaman Potter, Emma Widaman Mawhirter, and Anita  Widaman on the beach in Tel Aviv in 2015.

The tour is organized and led by Dwight and Anita Widaman. The Widamans have 36 years of deep connection in Israel, having been there 18 times. Their expertise and sense of adventure will fuel this spectacular all-inclusive cultural, spiritual, historical and experience tour of the Holy Land.

You’ll be with other young adults on this exclusive adventure of faith as you meet new friends, eat great food, hear good music, create memories and fuel your faith. This tour is limited to just 20 individuals so reserve your seats soon and tell a friend! As of Feb. 20, Israel has dropped all vaccine requirements to enter.

Itinerary

 

After arriving on our overnight flight, we’ll head to the Mediterranean to enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful waters and sand just outside our beachside hotel.

Roman aqueducts at Caesarea.

Caesarea Maritima provides an opportunity to explore Roman ruins along the shore of the aqua blue Mediterranean. Climb an amphitheater that held gladiator fights, a hippodrome that featured chariot races and explore the ruins of a prison that held early Christians.

The hillside City of Haifa is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with lush vegetation and the famous Ba’hai Gardens cascading down a magnificent slope into the center of the city.

In the Golan Heights and Mt. Bental we’ll hike the northernmost reaches of Israel then float down the Jordan River to stay cool and have the unique experience to be baptized at the end.

Underground in the Crusader fortress.

The Hospitaller Fortress in Acre was built by the first Crusaders in the Holy Land. After being buried by sand for a thousand years we can scout its spooky passages and discover the good and bad legacy the Crusaders left in Israel.

Mt. Carmel is where one of the most extraordinary miracles of God occurred. The Prophet Elijah challenged the child-murdering pagan priests of Baal to call on their god to light a fire on the altar. The priests suffered an epic fail. Can you guess what happened next?

The Valley of Armageddon is the setting for a future battle between the forces of good and evil at the end of all history. We’ll get an expansive view of this massive valley that will hold all the armies.

Capernaum is where Jesus made his home base. More miracles (such as a paralyzed man lowered through the roof by his friends, and a Roman Centurion’s daughter brought back to life) were performed here than in any other city. We’ll see where Jesus debated the religious leaders of his time and see 2,000 year-old graffiti marking the house of the disciple Peter.

Boat ride and worship on the Sea of Galilee.

We all face storms in life. We set sail on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus calmed the waters and taught his followers how to overcome their own personal struggles.

In the little fishing village of Tabgha (Tabitha), there were no GrubHub or DoorDash deliveries when you got hungry. So Jesus multiplied the bread and fish to feed the crowds who came to hear his astonishing message in the “Sermon on the Mount.”

Church of the Primacy of St. Peter sits on the edge of the Galilee.

On an outcropping of volcanic rock at the water’s edge sits a small chapel of black stone called the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. Here, the resurrected Jesus restored his friend Peter’s confidence after Peter denied him 3 times. This is where Jesus calls us to forgive and care for one another. It’s a story of second chances!

Mount of Blessing is a hillside overlooking the blue waters of the Galilee. Through Jesus’ teachings on blessings we learn how to live our lives to the fullest.

We’ll hop in some Jeeps to go off-road on a breathtaking adventure into the Judean desert through steep gorges and stunning lookouts plus views of the wildlife.

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

Nazareth Village is the hometown of Jesus and you can still step down into the winepress where he and his friends stomped grapes as teenagers. Here, cosplay shows us daily life of people much like ourselves in their problems and aspirations.

The Mona Lisa of the Galilee at Sephorris.

It was the lifestyles of the rich and famous in Zippori, a Roman/Jewish city where Jesus and Joseph worked as stonemasons in the many mansions. Jesus incorporated his experiences from Zippori in teachings concerning the wealthy and powerful.

A stop for lunch at the Ani’am Artists Village provides a relaxing break as we walk amongst, and talk to local artisans.

Caesarea Philippi is the beginning of the Road to Damascus where Saul met Jesus. The encounter turned Saul’s life upside down for the better and he changed his name to Paul. The rest is history.

At Banias National Nature Preserve we’ll hike the lush trails crossing beautiful streams. Next, we walk up to the “Gates of Hell,” ruins of an ancient 6,000-year-old Canaanite city that pagan worshipers believed to be the entrance to the underworld.

Forget Rome! Hiking down from a hilltop where an Egyptian pharaoh built a temple we come to Beit She’an. We’ll walk through a magnificent Roman City filled with spas and temples, then stand on the stage of a 7,000 seat Roman amphitheater. Who wants to sing?

In the Judean wilderness of En Gedi we’ll hike canyons to take a dip in some cold waterfalls. This is where the young musician David (yes, the David of Goliath fame) hid from King Saul who wanted to murder him because David was so popular.

Masada was King Herod’s lofty mountaintop fortress overlooking the Dead Sea. After Rome destroyed Jerusalem, the surviving temple guards made a valiant two-year stand here against the might of the entire Roman army. One woman survived to tell the story of what happened.

Woman floating in the Dead Sea, En Bokek, Israel, Middle East

The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth with water so salty you can’t drown and rejuvenating properties of the black mud make this an all-natural spa experience.

Let’s get our Indiana Jones on at the Tzurim Valley National Park. We’ll sift through 5,000 years of sand and rocks to find priceless archaeological artifacts including bones, pottery, jewelry, ancient coins and more!

Above, and below ground, the City of David is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. We’ll see King David’s palace and more in this 3,100-year-old city, then head underground with our flashlights!

Hezekiah’s Tunnel is a flashlight-lit hike through an ancient knee-deep waterway built to protect the city’s water supply from invading Assyrians who had just conquered the Babylonian Empire!

“I once was blind but now I see” is a line from Amazing Grace. The Pool of Siloam is where Jesus gave site to a blind man.

Machane Yehuda is a vibrant and colorful outdoor market offering a dizzying array of fresh food, spices from around the world, restaurants, live music, and a look at how young Israeli’s shop and have fun after the sun goes down.

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The Western Wall Tunnel is the underground city of Jerusalem from Jesus’ day. Here we’ll explore the original streets and sidewalks of Jerusalem before its destruction in 70 AD and see how the Crusaders, then Muslims, then Crusaders built on the ruins.

Visiting the Western Wall before Shabbat we’ll see young Israelis celebrating the coming of the sabbath (Shabbat) with song and dance.

Shabbat is a special time of rest for all Israelis – religious and non-religious. We’ll enjoy a relaxing evening with a traditional Shabbat dinner and experience how rest can transform us.

Psalm 132 says “the Lord has chosen Jerusalem and will dwell there forever.” In ancient days it was a wonder to see with light pouring from Solomon’s Temple stretching up to the clouds. Think Minas Tirith! So, on a bright and cloudless morning we drive up to the Mount of Olives for an overview of the Holy City.

We walk the downward path Jesus took to his crucifixion stopping to see where Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his friends to stay awake while he prayed. They took a nap! We’ll walk among the garden’s still-living olive trees.

The Pool of Bethsaida was said to have healing properties. For one crippled man, he couldn’t drag himself to the water when it stirred though he tried each day. That’s when Jesus showed up and changed his life forever.

In the Old City we’ll follow the Via Dolorosa, the “Path of Suffering” that Jesus was forced to carry his cross towards his crucifixion.

 

We’ll stop at important historical markers and beneath a cool Russian church, discover the truth of the “Eye of the Needle” Bible story about riches.

We join the faithful from around the world exploring the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This amazing structure was built in the 4th Century by the mom of Emperor Constantine after he Christianized the pagan Roman Empire. Historians believe it to be the place of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. You can reach your hand down into the hole where the cross was inserted. Ask us about “the ladder.”

We’ll also participate see the contrasts of Jerusalem that makes it so interesting. From nighttime street music to great coffee, there’s so much to do.

The Garden Tomb is an alternative site for the burial of Jesus. It’s quiet and reflective outdoor atmosphere stands in contrast to the dimly lit and incense-filled Holy Sepulchre. Which is the right location?

After escaping slavery in Egypt, the Hebrews wandered the desert until they entered the Promised Land. We can still see the massive outlines of the Holy Tabernacle they constructed at Shiloh. The Tabernacle is where the Bible says God resided among His people.

Like all countries, Israel is striving to bring peace to its citizens that share different faiths, races and histories. We’ll meet the young Israelis who are helping to make it happen.

What are the mysterious footprints (as big as a football field) across Israel? Described as the “footprints of God” we’ll walk inside the Argaman footprint and discover its spine-tingling meaning.

From atop Mount Kabir, we’ll stand under an ancient oak tree and view the mountains and valleys Abraham saw when God promised the land to his descendants.

At Yad Vashem, the world’s memorial and museum to the Holocaust, we’ll honor the 7 million murdered in the Holocaust and learn how the world let it happen.

At Friends of Zion, visitors interactively meet Biblical figures, academics, business people, world leaders and others who through their faith created an everlasting bond between the Jewish and Christian people.

Israel is known as the world’s “start-up nation.” A visit to the Taglit Technology Center gives us hands-on experience with new inventions in space, agriculture, environment, health, transportation, VR and more that are improving the lives of billions.

Jaffa is filled with Biblical history, quaint alleys that host art galleries, good food and shopping. We’ll linger here, and enjoy dinner along the beach.

So, what do you think? We would love to have you join us with your friends, siblings, cousins, or any other young adult ready for an adventure.

Here’s the 411

All-Inclusive Land price: $2198 to $2398 (based on 20 guests)

Roundtrip from Kansas City: Prices will become available in August. 

  • 9 days on the ground in Israel
  • All entrance fees to sites including national parks, archaeological digs, special activities and events, and more!
  • 8 nights (all lodging)
  • All breakfasts (full buffets)
  • All dinners with full buffet and drinks. Includes both Israeli and American food choices like prime rib, plus Asian, Indian and more.
  • All tips for hotels, the included meals, driver, tour guide
  • Air-conditioned premium travel coach with wi-fi
  • Licensed tour guide
  • Licensed coach driver (licensed through the Israeli government)

Not Included:

  • Lunches while we are touring, exploring. Typically run $6 to $10 per person.
  • Trip insurance
  • Additional charge for single rooms. If you prefer, we can connect you with a roommate.

To register go to Heartland to Holy Land

The Israel Summer Experience Tour needs 20 guests to participate for the trip to occur. Tell your friends to come along!

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

Dates: Depart Kansas City Saturday, July 1

Trip was planned to include 4th of July holiday so you’ll need one less day off work.

Arrive back in Kansas City July 11.

Travelers entering Israel DO NOT need to be vaccinated to enter the country.

 

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