Israel Trip

Israel: En route to Bethlehem with Rachel and Ruth

We headed south from Jerusalem on the hilly road to Bethlehem, stopping near the point where it is believed Jacob buried Rachel. Right on cue a small herd of sheep ascended a nearby hill, reminding us of the Bible’s only shepherdess, a woman whose name means “ewe”: Rachel.

Sheep on the Road to Bethlehem

Standing in what shade we could find, I taught from various passages—Genesis 29:16-20; 30:1; 30:22-24; 35:16-20—recreating the story of the young matriarch who demanded of her husband, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Both requests were answered in the years that followed, resulting in the births of Joseph and Benjamin, before Rachel’s untimely death by that very roadside.

Stopping by the Road to Bethlehem

Time for a happier story! We moved to a spot overlooking Bethlehem, where I had the blessing of teaching Ruth 2:1-12, which describes her meeting Boaz while gleaning in his barley field. As we listened and learned, we gazed upon those same fields and, in the distance, the mountains of Moab, Ruth’s homeland.

Looking over the Field of Boaz

First, Hedva provided some of the historical and geological context for us. Once again, we had the perfect spot for teaching, for listening, for sightseeing in our ever-amazing Israel!

Another Open-Air Classroom in Israel

And check out these wild, windswept trees that stretched across the hilltop. My camera wasn’t crooked…the trees were!

Windswept Trees on the Hills above Bethlehem

Some of our group went on to Bethlehem for a brief tour, while the rest took camel rides. No photo exists of me riding a camel because, beloved, there is no way I was going to let the owner break his back trying to hoist me onto that poor camel! But I was happy to serve as our official photographer. Wave to Jerusalem, sis!

A Brave Sister of the Mud Rides a Camel

Back to the Old City Market we went for a final round of shopping. I chose a pair of silver candlesticks, a hand-painted tambourine, a wooden mezuzah, a silver pendant, and ten scarves to share with Facebook followers. When darkness fell, we made our way through the Armenian Quarter for our farewell dinner at Boulghourji, another fabulous Mediterranean restaurant, before heading to the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv for our overnight flights home.

The Armenian Quarter at Night

In a lifetime of traveling, this was truly the most amazing journey I’ve ever taken. Now I’m on a mission to tell every believer, “Go, go, GO to Israel!” Why not begin with a visit to In the meantime, we’ve loved having you “travel” with us on our Women of the Bible Tour of the Holy Land!

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Israel: Experiencing “Shabbat Shalom” in Jerusalem

Our morning began with an unexpected rain shower and a brief but meaningful communion service at the Garden Tomb. This site, discovered and developed in the late nineteenth century, and managed by British volunteers, is on the north side of Jerusalem, just outside the Damascus Gate. Though historians can’t say …

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Israel: The Holy City: Three Faiths, One Jerusalem

Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem

We had to rise and shine even earlier than usual to catch our first glimpse of the Western Wall—or Wailing Wall—in the Old City of Jerusalem. Part of the ancient wall that once surrounded the Temple courtyard, it remains a holy place of pilgrimage and prayer for devout Jews. And …

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Israel: Following in the Footsteps of Jesus

Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives

Both anticipation and trepidation filled my heart as we climbed aboard our motor coach that morning. What would it be like to sit in the Garden of Gethsemane or to walk along the Via Dolorosa? Would it be so crowded with tourists, so cluttered with tacky souvenirs that any sense …

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