In 1999 we had the trip of a lifetime. Bob's brother John, who was a Presbyterian pastor at that time, asked us if we would like to go on a tour to Israel.
He had led several of these tours over the years and thought we might like to join the tour, as he would be retiring soon and didn't know at that time if he would be leading any more tours.
It didn't take us but a few minutes to make up our minds and say a resounding "yes." I had always wanted to go to Israel and couldn't believe that we were actually going.
John was living in St. Paul, Minn., at that time, so we drove there and joined the tour. From the time we left the airport in St. Paul it would be 17 hours before we arrived in Amsterdam to change planes. Then we would make our final leg of the trip and arrive in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Our 27 passenger tour trip to Israel was so overwhelming that it's hard to find words to describe it.
When we first arrived in Tel Aviv at Ben Gurian Airport, our tour guide Walter was there to meet us with our bus and driver, Armon.
I must tell you a little bit about Walter. His full name is Walter Zanger, he was born in Brooklyn and decided to go home to Israel in the 1960s. He had been a Rabbi and then decided to attend school for one and a half years to become a tour guide. I think I learned more history and geography from him than I did in high school. His home is now in Jerusalem.
After we arrived we toured through the old city of Tel Aviv and from there went to Jaffa. Walter gave a lecture on the Book of Acts. That night we stayed in a hotel on the Mediterranean.
The next day on our way to Tiberius, we traveled up the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea and saw the Amphitheater, the Crusader City, the Byzantine Street, the aqueducts and Herod's Port. We traveled through Haifa on the Nes Ammin, a Kibbutz, and then to Tiberius.
As we traveled, I found it quite interesting that in Israel no billboard advertising is done except in municipal boundaries and never out on the highways.
Our first three days and nights were spent in Tiberius. Our hotel was overlooking the Sea of Galilee, a sight to behold. We were on the sixth floor with a balcony.
Early every morning we went out on the balcony to watch the sun come up and at night we watched the moon as it shone on the sea. It looked like glass because it was so calm. It was more beautiful than I ever imagined.
I would think to myself, this is the very same moon that comes up over Ironquill. But for some reason at home it didn't have the affect on me as it did in Israel.
To be continued-