Greetings Church Family!
In February 2020, my wife Jo and I, along with Todd and Kate Cogswell, were blessed to be able to travel to Israel on a Clergy Familiarization trip with Dr. John DeLancey. Dr. DeLancey is a retired Covenant Pastor who started Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours (BIMT). He served two Covenant churches for over 26 years prior to starting BIMT. He has also lead over 80 Israel tours as well as tours to surrounding biblical areas. John has also been a part of a number of archeological experiences in Israel and is extremely knowledgeable about multiple archaeological Tels throughout the region.
Part of the expectation for me as a pastor participating in the Clergy Familiarization Trip is that I would lead a future tour. I recall sitting in a hotel lobby in New York City the morning prior to flying to Tel Aviv watching the news story of a cruise ship somewhat stranded because of an outbreak of COVID 19. A few weeks after we returned to Indiana, this became real for us all as the world began to shut down, along with any hopes of returning to Israel in the near future. In fact, Dr. Delancey would not return to Israel until January 2022. We are excited that he has several tours scheduled including ours!
So, after a long wait, we are excited that we are now planning to return to Israel with Dr. Delancey in January 2024. You can find out more about this upcoming trip and RSVP for the informational lunch this coming Sunday October 9th here.
By far the question I have been asked the most since returning is “What was your favorite highlight of the trip?” To which I pause and stumble because I can’t narrow that question to one thing. I will share that one of the things I was most looking forward to and that did not disappoint was to be in the Galilean region surrounding the Sea of Galilee. There is usually considerable debate about where certain biblical things happened in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem. However, Galilee was Jesus’ back yard. It was the center of Jesus 3-year ministry, and there is no doubt that when we visited there, we were in areas in which so much of what we read in our gospels happened.
Kate, Jo, Todd, and I will each share some of our favorite highlights at an informational lunch this Sunday immediately following the worship service. We will also share details about the upcoming 2024 trip and make available brochures and applications for those interested. I hope you will join us at our informational lunch!
p.s. Our 2020 trip details and picture of our 2020 group can be found here: February 2020 Israel Tour (& Egypt) - Biblical Israel Tours.
I encourage you to check out Dr. Delancey and the BIMT here. He has several teaching videos that are very informative.