To Israel

The tour we had planned for November had to be canceled because of the war. Then I heard about FIRM Israel and their work in the Land. Ruby (15) and I decided to join their Hope and Healing Trip.

I booked tickets to Rome and then Rome to Tel Aviv to save money. Then I found the process called self transfer can be tricky, and the two hours we had in Rome was considered too short. I finally decided to stop worrying and take the chance, rather than buy direct tickets. I also wasn’t bashful about asking people to pray specifically for our Rome connection.

We left Newark on Monday evening.

Flying east shortens the night considerably.

We had a good flight to Rome. The process for entering Italy, then Israeli security, check-in, and security again all went smoothly. We had a good 30 minutes extra. Praise God!

The first glimpse of Israel, as we crossed the coast from the Mediterranean, was exciting.

We saw evidences of the war almost immediately. Signs pointing the way to shelter, and posters of hostages told me it was not the same Israel I had visited a few months ago.

We did the automatic passport thing to get a visa ticket, went through the line to speak to an officer, and then through the gates. We were in the Land!

We found out the direct flight from Newark to Tel Aviv had been canceled.

We found the Hope and Healing people in the meeting area in the exit hall.

I plan to post more about this trip, God willing. Part of my vision for our Israel tours has always been to bridge the schism between the Jewish people and Christians. During this time of trauma and difficulty there are opportunities to show the love of Jesus.

Shabbat Shalom!

By Andrew Zimmerman

Excited about travel in the Bible lands!