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Our trip to Israel was one of the most powerful experiences that we have ever had.  Our trip was absolutely packed with activities.  Never has there been a group of people that have experienced more in such a short period of time.  We started our trip out in Ariel, situated in what the world calls the West Bank.  There we witnessed the miracle that is the return of the Jews to their homeland from all of the nations of the world in which they had been dispersed.  We met Jews that returned from Ethiopia, Peru, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and parts of Europe--literally the four corners of the earth.  We sat and listened to youth share about the difficulties of living in the West Bank.  Many on our team were moved to tears by their stories of tragic loss.  We had opportunity to be a part of fulfilling prophecy by planting tress on the hillsides of the promised land in Ariel.  We had the opportunity to visit Shiloh, the sight of the first tabernacle as well as Mount Carmel on our way to Nazareth.  We traveled to the Galilee region and there visited Tiberius, Capernaum and sailed upon the lake that our Lord stilled.  We visited the Mount of Beatitudes and walked the hillsides where Christ performed many of His miracles.  We traveled along the Northern border with Syria and Lebanon and learned of Israel's most recent history with its neighbors.  We were able to spend an afternoon at the Jordan River where I had the opportunity to baptize approximately 40 people.  This was such a special time for everyone involved.  We spent two days in the Sinai Desert, where we took a jeep ride, visited a Bedouin camp and climbed mount Masada for a sunrise view of the Dead Sea.  We traveled to Jerusalem and visited the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the garden of Gethsemane, the Garden tomb, and the Mount of Olives where it is believed that Christ will return.  We participated in an archaeological dig where one of our team members found a museum quality oil lamp over 3000 years old.  Words cannot express the experience of walking the Holy Land and learning about its history.  This was a very personal and monumental experience in our lives and Jessie and I are grateful for having had the opportunity.  Please pray for Israel.

"The greatest missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue. It needs no furlough and is never considered a foreigner."
- William Cameron Townsend
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