On the 22nd December 2013, we were leading a tour to Israel for 12 days. With total number of 36 participants, we flew from Soekarno-Hatta airport in the middle of the night. We arrived in Abu Dhabi eight hours later. After 1.5-hour transit, we continued our flight for 2.5 hours to Amman, Jordan. In Amman, we were picked up by a bus, and we continued our journey with buses to the Promised Land, Israel.
The main purpose of this tour this time is to celebrate Christmas in the main grotto of the Shepherd’s Field on Christmas’ eve. Right on the 24th of December 2013, at 6 pm we arrived at our destination. Though the weather was cold, all of the participants followed the programs cheerfully. In this place, Good News was first shared by the angels, as written in Luke 2:10-11,
It was quite surprising when we found out that people from other nations were also joining our service. We started the service by singing Christmas songs. Then the children sang some songs and expressed their gratitude to their parents. How beautiful to be able to celebrate Christmas with the people that we love.
We continued the Christmas service by listening to Bing-Bing’s touchy testimony: how she served her husband who was fighting cancer until the last second of his life. Then we listened to the word of God. The theme of the sermon on this Christmas’ eve is “Don’t be Afraid.”
Right on the 25th of December 2013, on Christmas day, we visited The Nativity Church, the place where Jesus was born. Christmas celebration in Bethlehem was so crowded as children came out to do drum-band parade. We were so blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, Jesus’ birthplace.
We also met the Director and Facilitator of Tourism, Nancy Shedlaz, who was enthusiastic in welcoming our group. We continued our journey, going around to many places in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tiberias, Mount Hermon, Mount Hebron, to do baptism at the Jordan River, marriage vow renewal at Cana, Holy Communion at the Garden Tomb, etc. Then we departed to Petra on the 30th of December 2013 to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
On the last day of the year 2013, our group was in Dubai. We went up the highest building in the world: Burj Khalifah, continued with the Safari Dessert, then New Year Gala Dinner to celebrate the coming of the new year 2014.
On this trip, we made a few episodes of Good News from the Promised Land. Thank you to Bethany Holyland Tour, also Eternity Tour and Travel that have made this possible.
Here are the comments of some participants:
“I like this trip because I can visit the place where Jesus was born, and other sacred places. The most impressive for me are Tel Aviv and the Garden Tomb. Next time, I will come back again, God willing…” Sebastian Tjsie
“We think this journey is fantastic, we have visited Jericho to the highest building in the world. We thank God for this opportunity that He gave us to be able to see all those. This is beyond our expectation. We also see that the time is not enough to visit other places. Maybe next time, when we have a second chance, we will visit again. To follow the programs, we receive many new insights regarding the Bible.” Jeffry Rudianto & Ruslina Sinta Sabarina
“Overall, this trip is very satisfying. We receive tremendous blessing. We were brought closer to God, feeling His presence in the Promised Land. The most impressive is Bethesda pool, baptism at the Jordan River, and Dubai. The participants and crews were easy going, all our pictures turn out great because Ps. Daniel happens to be a great photographer. Our children were also having fun because the journey was not too heavy.” Krisrawitno Moesalim & Liana Setiawan
Praise the Lord! See you on the next trip to the Promised Land, together with Ps. Daniel Hendrata and Ps. Debby Catharina in Good News Program.
This post is also available in: Indonesian