Enrich your faith and biblical understanding as you visit key Old and New Testament sites on this pilgrimage tour that spans from Jordan to Israel/Palestine. In Jordan we’ll learn about the Israelites’ trek toward the Promised Land as we visit Mount Nebo, Moses’ Spring, Mount Hor, and the site along the Jordan River where God parted the waters and his people crossed over. In Israel/Palestine, we’ll learn about the life and times of Jesus in a replica of first-century Nazareth. We’ll sail on the Sea of Galilee, sing carols at Bethlehem, view Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and visit multiple sites in the Holy City itself. Knowledgeable and experienced tour leader Nelson Kraybill will guide your experience with rich insight emphasizing themes of peacemaking and healing. Audrey Voth Petkau will take care of tour logistics so you can relax and enter into a spiritually transforming journey.
Jordan, Palestine, Israel: A Journey of Hope
Thursday, September 12 Amman
Arrive in Amman, Jordan, settle in to your hotel, and gather to enjoy the first of many meals together. With a population of more than 2 million, Amman is the political and cultural centre of the country. It is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
Friday, September 13 Amman
Visit the ancient Citadel of Amman, and tour the Roman city of Jerash. Meet with MCC workers at the MCC Jordan office and learn about their work in the Near East.
Saturday, September 14 Petra
Ascend the heights of Mount Nebo, where Moses surveyed the Promised Land that he could not enter. See Herod the Great’s mountaintop fortress of Machaerus, likely where John the Baptist was killed. Follow the ancient Kings Highway south into the biblical land of Moab—home of Ruth from the Old Testament. Learn about the Israelites’ trek through this region on their way to the Promised Land as well as the story of Balaam and his donkey. Stop for the night in Petra (called Seir in the Bible).
Sunday, September 15 Dead Sea
Visit Moses’ spring, where tradition says he struck the rock with his staff and God caused water to gush out to satisfy the Israelites’ thirst. View Mount Hor, the traditional site of Aaron’s burial. Take in the grandeur of Petra, an ancient trade centre and burial grounds of the Nabataean people during New Testament times. See amazing temple-like tombs chiseled from rose-coloured sandstone at this world-famous site. Travel to the Dead Sea to remember the story of Lot at Sodom and the journey of Esau to be reconciled with Jacob.
Monday, September 16 Dead Sea
Enjoy the Jordan River valley, site of many pivotal biblical events. See where the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land and remember that God miraculously parted the waters for his people. View the traditional spot where Elijah was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. See where John the Baptist preached in the wilderness and where the heavens opened as Jesus was baptized. At Tel el-Hammam (an archeological mound) learn about this possible site of ancient Sodom. Later, take time to reflect on the day’s adventures as you float in the Dead Sea.
Tuesday, September 17 Tiberias
Crossing King Hussein Bridge into Israel/Palestine, continue north into Galilee. Journey up Mount Carmel, where Elijah met the prophets of Baal, and take in views of the splendid Jezreel Valley. Then visit Nazareth Village, a living history museum of a first-century hamlet. Learn more about the life and teachings of Jesus as we see what his childhood hometown might have looked like and go on a guided parable walk. Enter a replica of a first-century synagogue. Then see the Church of the Annunciation, and the village of Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding.
Wednesday, September 18 Tiberias
Journey to Caesarea, where Peter shared the gospel with the centurion Cornelius. See the aqueduct built by Herod. Scan the landscape of Jesus’ ministry from a boat on the Sea of Galilee and view the first-century fishing boat found at Nof Ginosar. Visit Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, and Church of the Loaves & Fishes. Enjoy a St. Peter’s fish lunch.
Thursday, September 19 Jerusalem
Stop at Harod Spring, where at God’s direction, Gideon chose soldiers by seeing how they drank water from the spring. Go to the foot of Mount Gilboa, where Saul fell in battle, and to ancient Jezreel—where King Ahab seized Naboth’s vineyard. After going through the Jordan Valley to ancient Jericho, ride a cable car up the Mount of Temptation. Along the steep road to Jerusalem through the desert, remember the unfortunate man who was robbed but then helped by the Good Samaritan in the famous parable. View the Wadi Qelt in the Judean Desert if time permits.
Friday, September 20 Jerusalem
Travel to Bethlehem for a look at the Church of the Nativity and Shepherds’ Field. Visit the Herodion (Herod the Great’s tomb). Then get a bird’s eye view of ancient Jerusalem with the extensive model at the Israel Museum, and see the Shrine of the Book. Visit the Pool of Siloam at the edge of the Old City of David, and step into medieval building with an Upper Room commemorating the Last Supper. Take part in communion in the Garden Tomb.
Saturday, September 21 Jerusalem
Head down to the desert for a visit to Masada, the magnificent site of Herod’s palaces and of the last stand of the Jews who rebelled against Rome (AD 66-73). Stop by the oasis at En Gedi where David hid from Saul in a cave. Learn from MCC workers in Jerusalem.
Sunday, September 22 Jerusalem
From the Mount of Olives—where Jesus often retreated—get a panoramic view of Jerusalem. Pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. Pause at the Western Wall in the Old City. Walk along the Via Dolorosa, and visit the Tower of David Museum to see the Kishle—the possible location of the Praetorium where Jesus faced Pilate. Enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Monday, September 23 Depart for Home
Depart Tel Aviv for North America. Travel home with rich new insights about your faith and the Bible.
For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.