Remember to be watchful for the risen Lord who goes before you; and who might just be found in the people along the way! As the Gospel of Mark recalls the Resurrection of Jesus, the mysterious young man at the tomb tells the women: “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you….” (Mark 16.7). This is the promise of Easter….that the risen Lord is always there ahead of us! And perhaps this is the best way to approach our visit to the Holy Land! I’m sure your itinerary will include stops at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the synagogue in Capernaum, and probably an excursion to the Dead Sea and Herod’s fortress of Masada. Wonderful. These sites are definitely a must see and your trip to the Holy Land wouldn’t be complete without the opportunity to walk in these amazing places. There really is no better Christian Education experience than traveling in the Holy Land with your Bible by your side and experiencing the land itself as what many refer to as a ‘fifth Gospel.’ And I have no doubt that you will encounter Jesus in these places. But I want to call your attention to those ‘living stones’ that won’t be on your itinerary. These are the people who call this wonderful place home. I encourage you to see them as a part of your pilgrimage experience and to approach them with love and respect. We are, after all, guests in their land. The shop keeper in the old city who is selling spices that you can take home and add to your rice or an ancient oil lamp that connects you to the history of the places you visit. What is his/her name? How long have they lived there? Or the little boy who precociously is trying to get you to buy a wooden camel or scarf; even if you aren’t going to buy anything, perhaps a playful smile might be better than acting aloof. Would you like to take a picture of someone? Ask for their permission. And if they are there trying to make a living, an offer to give a small sum in exchange is often a common courtesy. If you have the opportunity, try to learn about the different worshipping communities, cultures, their customs, and beliefs. Take the time to see the vibrancy of not only the past stories, but the current narratives as well. Watch the local children run and play—how similar are they to your own kids? Perhaps, it is especially in the people where we see the spirit of the Risen Christ most clearly. Pastor Jeff Frohner, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, San Clemente, CA Alpha 2 Omega Travel, February 2020.
I wanted to thank you for a great trip, filled with fantastic memories.
You could not have provided us with anything better than what we received. You thought of everything. Our bus driver was on point! He would maneuver that bus in and out of places that were incredible. Our guide was VERY knowledgeable and definitely knew how to handle any and every situation that we encountered. He was very accommodating even walking me through town at night to find the pharmacy. It was interesting to me that the things I thought would be the most memorable and important didn’t turn out that way. Everyday Pr. Jeff would ask what our favorite thing was and it was everything. We could not pick out one thing. One of my favorite places was the Shepard’s Field Church. I had never even heard of it before we were there. I loved having communion on the Sea of Galilee in the boat. It was a great experience. I always felt safe. Thank you again, M’Liz Kelly, San Clemente, CA
It was a pleasure travelling with you and your team.
The guide’s knowledge of the area was amazing and the driver’s driving was also amazing. I can’t imagine driving anything in those little towns, let alone a bus. I enjoyed all the sights we went to especially Masada, Herodium, Mount Gerizim, Ceasarea, and of course, the Temple Mount. To be honest though, a lot of it is still a big blur until I start organizing my pictures with the itinerary. But I have to say, I enjoyed being out in the country the most, seeing the plush rolling hills on our way north to Tiberius. I loved Jericho and both places along the Jordon river. I have great scenic pictures from the various mountain tops, but my favorite photo is one that Roberta took on the Sea of Galilee. I think the only way to visit the Holy Land is the way you organized it. We could have never seen all these places in such a short time by ourselves. We didn’t have to worry about where to eat, drive etc., and everything was taken care of. I also enjoyed the camaraderie of our fellow parishioners, some who I’ve never met before. It was a treat to sit and talk to all of them during breakfast and dinner. We met a lot of new friends as a result of this trip. Thank you, Bob Ipema, San Clemente, CA
The trip to the Holy Land was a great experience.
It was a trip of a lifetime for me. I learned a lot about the history, culture, religion, and the food was great. One thing I enjoyed seeing were all the fat happy cats around the area. I highly recommend this trip and have already told my friends and family about it. Carly Pridham, San Jose, CA
I enjoyed the trip tremendously.
I had no expectations. I enjoy traveling and when Carly asked if I would be her traveling companion, I was thrilled. I had not researched Israel, so other than we were going to the Holy Land, I had no background on all that that involved. It was inspiring that we actually visited and touched many of the Holy places of the Bible. Our guide and Pastor Jeff gave two perspectives of the places we visited. Both were very knowledgeable. It was awe inspiring. The trip was both inspirational and educational. The ruins were fantastic. It seems impossible that the level of the ancient architecture could have been achieved without modern machinery. We had many experiences such as floating in the Dead Sea, baptizing in the River Jordan, sailing on the Sea of Galilee, and experiencing beautiful sunsets. Shopping trips and visiting a brewery were added perks. The hotels, the bus, the food, and companionship were all great. I am so glad I went. Judy Servaites, Dayton OH
This trip was momentous and beyond words.
I think I’ve started and deleted this post about five or six separate times over the past couple of days. There were places that made my jaw drop and I was completely speechless. And trust me, getting a 25 year old girl to shut up is no small feat. Our flights were painful, as expected. We arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv exhausted, dehydrated, and stiff. Despite my body telling me to slow down, my mind was buzzing with anticipation, filling with dreams of ancient parables, the smells of cardamom and thyme, the taste of dates and hummus. We walked through a part of the airport where it says, “Welcome to Israel,” the pathway lined with limestone blocks as long as I am tall. It started to dawn on me where I was, and I fought the urge to spin around and dance through passport control (It was past midnight local time). It did not matter just how tired I was or how groggy my body was, I was absolutely thrilled. None of us slept too much that night. I woke up the next morning and took a shower. While brushing my hair, I looked out onto the beautiful patio that was below the room that Lois and I were sharing. The sun was out, the birds were chirping, and flying in beautiful pairs. I silently smiled to myself, my mind soaring through Jerusalem with the birds, until my stomach brought me back to reality. I grabbed my jacket and purse, dashed down the stairs to breakfast. The hotel we stayed at in Jerusalem was Kosher, which meant dairy at breakfast, but not at dinner, and Shabbat on Friday evenings. I grabbed coffee, cereal, and an orange and sat with the group. That first day we went to Mt. Scopus for a view of the city from above, next to the Mount of Olives. I was in absolute awe as our tour guide, Shadi, began explaining both the political and biblical history of what we saw. At one point, I took my ear bud out and just stared into the distance at this city that had shaped humanity. This seemingly small city with traditions, rituals, and structures so old and renowned that it could bring someone to their knees even two thousand years later. I won’t bore you with a day by day playback – everything is old, everything is breathtaking, everything is so wild I couldn’t possibly process all of it within a two-week span. We went into Bethlehem during our trip, which has been divided by a concrete wall built by the Israeli government. It is considered a Palestinian town. Tourists, especially Americans, can go in and out of the city through the check points as they please. Without being too political, I think that walls are sad, no matter the reason, no matter the place, and no matter the time period. They are a sign of division, whether good or bad. With that said, this specific wall has become a place for political graffiti, the boring concrete covered in colors, drawings, and words in multiple languages. This small town where my Savior was born is still so important. As we went between Israeli and Palestinian territories, one of the places we saw was Herodian, King Herod the Great’s grave site. Given his political and religious division during his reign, his tomb was sacked not long after he was buried. Even still, the effort and splendor of his reign still resonates. The grandeur, size, and architectural details are so cool. The view from the top is not bad either. Walking down the small mountain on which it was built, we saw a cat that followed us around, a shepherd with his flock, and working dogs. The historic parallel was wild – this great tomb that was completed in 4 BCE, when Herod died, and this young Palestinian shepherd dutifully watching his flock of sheep as they grazed the new pasture, fresh from the winter rains existing in this place, combining two worlds, one so distant and one ever so present. In Bethlehem we dined at a Palestinian restaurant, with the homemade bread, hummus, tzatziki, cucumber and tomato salad, among other sides and dishes. We watched young dancers and later joined them; holding hands, clapping, and dancing with complete strangers in a joyful moment despite language barriers. One of the dancers and I clasped hands and spun around laughing even though she does not speak a lot of English and I do not speak Arabic, but in that moment it did not matter. We were just young girls laughing and dancing as if we had been friends for years; we hugged after her performance and we had understood each other without the need for words. During our trip we were celebrating two February birthdays and the restaurant brought out a cake and sang “Happy Birthday” much to the embarrassment and delight of the two people. One of the places I was looking forward to the most was Masada, considered to be one of the most heroic standings of the ancient Hebrews. Masada is on a kind of plateaued mountain, sort of like a mesa in New Mexico. The Romans had surrounded the mountain fortress in the middle of the desert and the Jews had to make a choice: commit suicide or become slaves. Given the persecution of the Jews today, I believe that they made a brave and valiant choice to die rather than become slaves to the Romans. The archaeological site is crazy as it is mostly untouched and they are still working on excavations. They have an older Rabbi there transcribing a Torah there. If you ask, he will write your name in Hebrew with a heart, including your spouse if you are married. I felt it was quite symbolic, the ancient Jews had taken their last stand and they probably thought that their legacy would be taken to their grave. However, their story is told with grace while a teacher within the Jewish religion silently writes their holy book and greets tourists from all over the world with a gentle smile. Traveling through the desert, we had to stop at one of the gas stations, buy snacks, and ride a camel. They are tall and wobbly in comparison to a horse, but stable and gentle at the same time. It was quite a view, overlooking the Judean desert, the Dead Sea, and rows of date palms near Jericho – a terrain that probably had not changed very much. Naturally we went floating in the Dead Sea. As someone who grew up by the ocean and sand, it was strange. It was mud and slime instead of sand, and the salt level is so high, you cannot stay in longer than twenty minutes. We floated nonetheless, and mom and I celebrated with a beer from the lowest [in elevation] bar in the world. The other two places I was looking forward to the most were close together and in the same morning: Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall. The Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock is the place where Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe that God saved Isaac from being sacrificed by Abraham, his father. The Muslims built Dome of the Rock in 691 CE. Not 1691 CE, 6-9-1. Architecturally and historically speaking the structure itself is stunning. It is symmetrical, with calligraphy from the Qur’an, beautiful blues, yellows, and greens, all topped with a dome covered in gold. The blues from the tiles nearly rivaled the blue tone of the sky itself. It has become a symbol for both Islam and the city of Jerusalem. The Western Wall (or the Wailing Wall) is not far from The Temple Mount. It the original part of the second Jewish temple that Herod had built, the first one built by King Solomon had been destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar II after his siege of Jerusalem. The second temple was THE temple for the Jews. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, but this wall and some of the main steps remain. This wall has become a place of quiet prayer and reflection for millions of people. Some place written prayers within the mortar and grout between the massive stones, some simply pray through spoken word. I approached it twice, the first time just my hands were against the cold stone as I tried to pray, but I could not seem to get my mind fully around what I was seeing. I felt like I had failed both God and myself. Wasn’t I supposed to feel something? Shouldn’t I feel different? I saw an opening and I quietly told my mom I was going to go back. I stood “toe to toe” with the original wall where millions of people and prayers had come forth. I took a deep breath, rolled up my sleeves, and placed my bare hands and forehead against the wall and closed my eyes. The stones have been worn smooth and soft from other people doing the same as I was. Next to me a young Jewish woman was singing a prayer in Hebrew just loud enough that someone next to her could hear. I finished my own prayer and as I listened to her, I felt the weight of something ancient within me, a connection to a people who had faced oppression and torment over thousands of years, a part of me understood this pain, I could feel it in my bones. The torture, banishment, and imprisonment of early Christians, of Christ Himself, hung heavy around me as I began to quietly sob, tears streaming down my cheeks, my hands unwilling to leave the stone to wipe them away. The young woman and I locked eyes when she had finished singing and we both nodded, a mutual understanding of centuries full of tradition, full of pain and human greed, but also full of love and kindness all coming together within that single wall. If walls could talk, this one could fill a library. Our home base was Jerusalem for most of the trip, going through the desert, below sea level, into Jericho, seeing the Judean wilderness, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Mount of Olives and His Palm Sunday journey. I even took a selfie with a camel in the oldest city on the planet. I saw the country of Jordan from across the Jordan River. Like I said, it was wild. We continued north to Tiberias, near Capernaum along the Sea of Galilee. Exploring Capernaum was enlightening because it was considered Jesus’ hometown, where he would have hung out with his friends, where he would have prayed, been human. Just like at Herodian, we saw cats everywhere and Capernaum was no exception. My father coined the term “Capernacat.” ™ It was humbling to see the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, and to be in this place where Jesus had walked all at once. We began the conclusion of our trip in the same way you conclude a Lutheran church service, with Communion. We were on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, the sun peeking through the clouds in such a way that you just knew in your heart God was there. Pastor Jeff was preparing the table with Shadi, our tour guide, who is a Palestinian Christian from Nazareth. He had remained with us during our entire tour, giving us insight into life in Israel. We broke the bread and shared the wine. After, I watched the water from the bow looking upon the terrain that had not changed much since Christ had calmed the storm. This whole trip was life changing and there is so much more I wish I could share, but this post would soon become an entire book; maybe someday. I would gladly go back to Israel, I could have stayed longer and explored. If you ever get the opportunity to go, seize it. I can say without hesitation it is the most remarkable place I have ever been to in my lifetime. The combination of old and new is an exceptional reminder that history must never be forgotten, but in doing so, we as humanity must also remember to live. KC Kelly, Denten TX
This May, along with nine other eager pilgrims
I traveled to the Holy Land. This was my sixth pilgrimage to Israel. A natural, obvious question arose during our journey together as one of my fellow pilgrims asked why in my continuing travels, I kept returning to this part of the world. For me, the answer is simple and remains unchanged. From my first pilgrimage to Israel, I learned how to read the Bible in color rather than in black and white. Growing up in the Church, I was taught to read the scriptures from a single point of view. Not surprisingly, this interpretative lens tended to be monochrome - reflecting a decidedly Western point of view.
While in seminary studying to be a pastor, I was introduced not only to the possibility but the reality of various interpretive possibilities when it comes to reading and understanding the Bible. As much as this revelation sunk for me in concept, it only was when I journeyed to the land and people among whom the stories of the scriptures were weaved that I realized all the color I had been missing. Pilgrimaging to Israel puts oneself on the actual canvas upon which the history we read and the theology we are taught were shaped. There are hues and shades of meaning that can only be grasped by seeing, touching, and interacting with the culture and topography of Israel. It is one thing to read of the emergence of Israel and another thing to experience the land and people that the Lord God birthed and nurtured into a kingdom and then a remnant.
We can speak of following Christ but to visualize - to literally walk in the footsteps of Jesus and tread the ground upon which the Body of Christ, the Church, was breathed into being by the Holy Spirit - adds a crucial dimension to our continuing discipleship that cannot fully be put into words. The Jesus many of us know and the Church most of us perceive as the Body of Christ is far too limited by an American/European perspective. However, when you visit the Holy Land and briefly interact in a different culture with very different assumptions and norms, your internal picture of both Christ and the Church is both challenged and broadened. Why do I keep coming back to Israel? Because making the journey to Israel forces me to engage the biblical world and our shared faith not only with my intellect or my emotion but with my whole being. Returning again and again as a pilgrim renews my understanding of the proper orientation of my relationship to Jesus as a Christian. Before the layers of history and the coexistence of diverse ethnic and religious groups, I am reminded that I am called and commissioned to follow Christ not simply as an observer but as a participant in his life and witness in the world. Pr. Chris Tweitmann, Grace Lutheran Church, Huntington Beach,
We want to express our sincere joy of traveling the Holy Land with Pastor Chris and Linda of Alpha 2 Omega Travel.
The effort to combine so much in such a short span of time was great! The many places in which to experience our pilgrimage and connect with our faith were truly inspiring. Seeing (and tasting) the water of Jacob's Well, walking and praying the Via Dolorosa, reconfirming our baptisms in the Jordan River, standing atop Masada, and being on the lakeshore of the Sea of Galilee knowing here, Jesus forgave Peter for his betrayal. These were some very spiritual experiences. Our tour guide, Bassam, was thoroughly knowledgeable in all aspects of history and religions, making our trip such a great learning experience. The comfort and ease of travel each day rewarded us with true learning experiences. These were just a few of the life-time memories we will cherish from this wonderful pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We highly recommend making this journey. Gary and Nancy St. Clair, Huntington Beach, CA
My Holy Pilgrimage to Israel was definitely one of the most meaningful experiences of my lifetime.
My Holy Pilgrimage to Israel was definitely one of the most meaningful experiences of my lifetime. It was an incredible blessing, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to travel there as part of the May 2022 tour led by Linda Miller of Alpha 2 Omega Travel.
There are just too many favorite experiences to settle in one a top one of two! Walking in the footsteps of Jesus, tucking prayers into the Wailing Wall, dancing on the Sea of Galilee, renewing my baptism in the Jordan River, experiencing late in the day the song of the priests at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, floating in the Dead Sea, exploring the walls of Jerusalem, tasting water from Jacob’s Well, etc. It’s true that I now see the Bible in 3D as my faith has come alive in a vibrant way. I was able to step back into history and it was amazing. Our guide, Bassam, pointed out that Israel belongs to all of us. Such a profound statement. Yes, of course, this is true as Israel is the land central to my faith…the beginning and the end!
My husband Jeff and I are so thankful to Linda for her attention to detail, her generous and adventurous spirit, and for bringing us all together as family! Pamela Stephens, Huntington Beach, CA
I arrived in Israel last night.
I think it might be my 11th or 12th time. I’m not sure. Our team took a short (45 minutes) bus ride to Bethlehem for our first part of our stay in Israel. The first night is never a good night of sleep as my body is getting used to the 10-hour difference in time. I finally got up and went out on our balcony that overlooked the town of Bethlehem. One of the first things I noticed was the lights of all the houses that dotted the city at that time in the morning. It was quiet, very still. Nobody was moving about. It was peaceful. The second thing I noticed was the stars. It was the very same star patterned that is above my house at that time of the morning back home. It was very comforting.
I thought about the song, “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”…
Oh, little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary and gathered all above
While mortals sleep the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
We all like that image of Bethlehem, a sleepy, quiet village of about 2,000 people. Yet, in reality, since the birth of Jesus, the town is no longer silent event.
-Luke 2 talks about the noise of the angels rejoicing in heaven over the glorious birth of Jesus. The shepherds heard this.
-Matthew 2 talks about the crying of the moms whose babies had been massacred by Herod as he killed all the babies2 years and under in Bethlehem. Matthew 2:18 (NLT) — 18 “A cry was heard in Ramah— weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.”
-A church was built over the location of Jesus’ birth in 325. It was burnt down in 529 A.D.
-A new basilica was built in 565 A.D. and has seen many insurrections and changes over the years –
including the Crusader period.
Now the town is about 25,000 plus in population. It enjoys the tourist dollars that come from people all over the world who want to visit the sight of Jesus’ birth, but it is also a town (on the West Bank) of tension. It is a Muslim based community with some Palestinian Christians hosting a birthplace that is sacred to Christians all over the world. As a result, tension survives.
Jesus came as a light to the whole world, no matter what nationality or religion you may be part of. Unless a person finally sees that light, the noise of this world, the tensions of this world will continue to surface and make a lot of noise. When we finally see the light that Jesus offers us, the tensions and striving will finally cease. It is then that we will have peace in our hearts the way that God intended for it to be in the beginning.
Pr. Bill Burnett, NewLife Chapel, Hesperia CA >
Growing up in a pastor’s home,
I never missed weekly worship or Sunday School. We had old Sunday School lessons and learned all about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Those stories are real and the people in them lived and breathed as surely and you and me. In my little mind, I had always kind of seen the Holy Land through the eyes of these lessons, books, and artistic renderings. Jericho, Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, and all of it was in my mind’s eye as simple paintings and two-dimensional maps.
Alpha 2 Omega Travel, and Linda in particular, put actual pictures, experiences, and the Biblical narrative to life. On our recent tour there were two places that stood out to me and my wife. The first moment was in the church next to the Garden of Gethsemane. The church was packed with people all taking pictures and doing their tourist thing. In the center of the church a Catholic Priest was leading Mass for about 50 pilgrims. During the din and the selfie sticks, the priest led the people with the words, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.” Of course, he was leading in the Nicene Creed and my wife and I started to confess the faith alongside of these pilgrims and with tears in our eyes finished, and then joined them for the Lord’s Prayer. Our tour had led us to see how big the Church of Jesus Christ truly is. America has a way of “congregationalizing” the faith, and my wife and I were reminded that the church of Jesus Christ is much larger than we thought.
The second moment for me was at Capernaum nearing the end of our trip. We saw where the miraculous of fish was, the feeding of the 5000, and that same day we were in Capernaum. The synagogue in Capernaum was excavated and it was very clear where it was, what it was all about, and exactly where Jesus was. Standing in the place where he cast out a demon and healed many [Luke 4:31-44] was moving. It made all the old stories real.
Artistic renderings are like cartoons. Now in my mind’s eye I have live video, pictures were taken in through my eyes and now those pictures are a part of me. The Biblical Narrative now is full color, with sounds and textures and an understanding of God’s people and, most exciting, the pathways of Jesus, to the cross, the tomb, the resurrection. It’s all real as can be.
Linda organized our tour in a marvelous way. We started with tons of energy and did the hardest parts, with the most walking, out the shoot. Our tour guide was a Christian, and led us remarkably from Abraham, to David, to Rome and Jesus. His expertise and kind demeanor provided huge amounts of data and more important, the linkages from place to place. After we did the hard part, Linda led us to Galilee and all arrangements were expertly put together and we had zero hiccups.
I’m so grateful to Alpha 2 Omega Travel, and especially to Linda who loved our people, led them gracefully, and prepared us all for a very warm and joyful Christmas.
Pr. Tim Klinkenberg, St. John’s Lutheran, Orange CA
Linda, the owner of Alpha 2 Omega Travel, provided us with one of the most professional and exceptional guides for our tour to Israel in October.
From the beginning of the tour to the end, Ibrahim’s care for us was appreciated very much. His historical, biblical, and cultural knowledge and insights taught us all so much. We learned from him, shared with him, and gained a deeper understanding of Israel that has enriched our faith. It was because of his caring attitude and teaching ability that we had such a wonderful tour. Thanks so much!
BG, Hesperia CA >
I like to start by saying what a wonderful experience the tour was from start to finish.
The tour guide was full of a ton of knowledge and was an awesome guy. It is most definitely a trip that you want to take and bring your family. One of my favorites was a worship session on the Sea of Galilee. Trip of a lifetime! A big thank you to Linda at Alpha 2 Omega Travel.
Frank Pergiovanni, NewLife Chapel, Hesperia CA
Thanks again for the great trip!
It was nice getting to know you a bit! We really enjoyed ourselves and will read our bibles with new insight, picturing the places written about!!
Carol Rammelsberg, Orange CA
Sending heartfelt thanks and gratitude for a spectacular Holy Land journey and tour,
It was a wow every single day. Thank you! Every day brought an experience that was in some respects even better than the day before. There was so much to see and do. A favorite was the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, raising the flag with the morning music playing, a prayer reading with the moment of silence, enjoying the sun shining, sea breeze, and each other’s company~ it all felt sacred, as did the 12 day tour, every step of the way. Again, many thanks and much love for an extraordinary opportunity and life experience, all expectations were exceeded.
Laurie and Steve Duncan, Newport Beach CA
Linda, it was a very outstanding tour.
You and your staff did a fantastic job. My favorite moment was to sail on he Sea of Galilee, and I read to the group the events of Mark 4:35-41 of how Jesus calmed the Sea.
Edward Salazar, NewLife Chapel, Hesperia CA
Thank you so much,
Linda, for everything and for an experience I will never forget. Amen.
Eric Olvera, NewLife Chapel, Hesperia CA
Thanks to Alpha 2 Omega Travel
We had a wonderful trip to Israel. All I could think about as we rode in our tour bus through traffic and the maze of streets in Jerusalem, while not being able to read many of the signs, was I’m glad we didn’t try to do this on our own! Thanks to Linda, all the trip details were taken care of well in advance of our arrivals- meals, hotels, and all the sites. Our trip was filled with the historical and religious significance of each site. Every day was full of site seeing, education, and time for reflection at all the holy sites. There was even time to get a feel for the cultures of the region. We realized that Israel was not only the center for Christianity and Judaism, but was also a center for Romans, Babylonians, and many ancient civilizations. We give Alpha 2 Omega Travel high marks for making our trip a life changing experience and one that will be full of many memories for a lifetime.
David and Alicia Bogardus, Orange CA
Alpha 2 Omega thoughtfully put together an itinerary mindful of crowds,
Where we seemed to always arrive earlier than other tours. Our most favorite place was on the Sea of Galilee listening to praise music knowing our Lord Jesus walked there. At the Temple Mount of Old Jerusalem, praying at the Western Wall, leaving my written prayers inside the wall was most memorable. We have learned so much from this tour and will never read the Bible the same without reflecting on what we saw.
Sheri Clemens, Orange CA
We felt that the experience exceeded our expectations.
Specifically, we enjoyed every stop of the tour because your planning was spot on. The sites were crowded, but we seemed to get in everywhere, earlier than any of the other tour buses. Especially at lunch, we always were one step ahead of the next bus. Very well planned. The high point for me was singing psalms on the Sea of Galilee, and Caesarea Philippi, where we know it was the turning point for Jesus, signifying that the His ministry was now headed to the cross. It made this more personal than most of my study of the Bible could have achieved. We were transported to that time and place. Thank you in Christ because you made us feel comfortable, cared and confident.
Mark Clemens, Orange CA
Linda, thanks so much for making our stay so memorable.
My most memorable experience was the Garden Tomb. It was such a humbling experience to possibly be in the same place as Christ. It felt like I was part of that most amazing miracle. God bless you and thanks again.
Larry and Beverly Bogardus, Murrieta, CA
I loved everything Linda planned for us!
I didn't know what to expect. I was surprised by the beauty of the Sea of Galilee and really enjoyed the boat ride, knowing Jesus had sailed those same waters. I loved the archeology and the beauty of ancient ruins and how clever people were even back 2000 years ago. Our guide was very knowledgeable. He gave us safety tips as well as great shopping opportunities. I felt safe because we were a large group. I highly encourage visiting the Holy Land..its beautiful and where our Lord walked this earth among us.
Carmen Gogosha, Irvine CA
I recently went to Israel on a 10-day tour through Israel with Linda from Alpha 2 Omega Travel, and I can't recommend Linda more highly.
Prior to leaving the U.S., Linda had our team prepared for everything we would need (travel arrangements, types of clothing to bring, bag sizes, etc.) to make our experience smooth and seamless. Once in Israel, the accommodations were excellent, the guide and bus driver were amazing, and Israel and all the sites were simply incredible. I have wanted to go to Israel for many years, and I am so pleased that I was able to travel with Linda and Alpha 2 Omega Travel. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
Gary Merriman, NewLife Chapel, Hesperia CA
If you’re thinking of touring Israel, do it!
And do it with Alpha 2 Omega Travel. Linda’s knowledge of the area is priceless, and her staff are so knowledgeable and excellent at what they do. Thanks to them we were always one step ahead of all the other tours which made for a better experience with less crowds. Not only did they get us to all the great spots and shared so much history with us, but they coached us the daily ins and outs of touring Israel (when we could use our credit card safely, what we needed to wear, what to expect, how to deal with street vendors, and much more). I felt completely safe the entire time. They also managed to fit so much into every day. The number of places we went, and things we saw was phenomenal. One of my most memorable experiences is when we went to the spot where it is believed that Jesus taught his Disciples the Lord’s Prayer, and our pastor led our group in the Lord’s Prayer. I was literally brought to tears. The other moment was when we were on a boat on the Sea of Galilee and the driver turned off the engine and we listened to the water lapping against the boat and thought of Jesus having the same experience. It was powerful.
Jenn Bradtke, St. John’s Lutheran, Orange CA
Thank you, Linda, the owner of Alpha 2 Omega Travel, for such a fantastic tour.
Our guide was not only fun, but extremely qualified and provided an outstanding tour. The knowledge that Ibrahim shared with us was phenomenal. We will never read about Israel or read our Bibles in the same way again. We gained so much insight! Anything that we needed, he took care of for us. We never had to worry about anything. We were able to see so many places and learn so much. Hesperia CA
Sending you a huge thank you for all the work and planning that went into our most amazing Israel trip.
John and I have always wanted to travel to Israel, but honestly were afraid of the political turmoil and daunted by the task of trying to organize what to see and how to get there. Your tour was so well designed. The pace of the tour was challenging, but the itinerary was manageable. Everything was considered for us including admission to the many sites, dining, and accommodations. That was a huge advantage and even the beds and showers were fantastic! We were overwhelmed by the avalanche of history, culture, and biblical information we experienced firsthand. The guide added so much to our understanding of the culture and history by giving comprehensive overviews and then patiently repeating details until we could understand. Biblical sites familiar to us came to life and other events like Masada were unfamiliar to us and totally astounding. We even floated in the Dead Sea! We appreciated learning about both the secular and religious history. To walk through Jerusalem, meditate on the Sea of Galilee, and stand on the ground where Jesus was born was indescribable. Since returning, we have spent hours and hours reviewing our photos and continuing to learn. The adventure will be with us for a lifetime, and we will continue to be blessed by having seen the Holy Land and applying our impressions into our Bible study and worship.
Irene and John Frazier, Santa Ana CA
We just returned from a trip to Israel that touched our lives and will remain in our hearts.
We walked where our Lord walked, we experienced where Jesus preached and taught, where He spent the last week of His life on earth and where He died and was resurrected. The memories of our visit are memorialized in the hundreds of pictures we brought home. Thank you!!!
Barry and Joan Willett, Orange CA
again for all your expertise on our well-coordinated trip! Thank you Alpha 2 Omega Travel for the trip of a lifetime! Rachel, State College PA
I have made two trips to the Holy Land
both with Alpha 2 Omega Travel. I thoroughly enjoyed both trips and would encourage anyone wanting to travel to the Holy Land to use Alpha 2 Omega Travel. Linda Miller handles the logistics extremely well and hires very knowledgeable and personable local guides. Is it safe? Yes, it is. Also, Linda works with the pastor leading the trip to customize the itinerary to provide added interest. Linda, Dana Point CA
for the incredible trip of a lifetime. Brian and Toby, Marion IA
Alpha 2 Omega Travel P.O. Box 402128, Hesperia, CA 92340 US Phone: (760) 985-3540 Website: www.alpha2omegatravel.org
You'll Never Be the Same4:27
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