Come visit the Holy Land and
Never Read your Bible the Same!
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Pastor Kenny and Cathy Dodd on the Sea of Galilee
COVID VACCINE NO LONGER REQUIRED!
Free copies to all travelers! (1 per family)
Have you always wanted to see the Holy Land?
Would you like to walk where Jesus walked?
Do you have a thirst to learn more about the Bible?
February 26-March 9, 2024
Click boldface print for links!
To see the optional insurance policy, click Travel Insurance Info
Join CEBC Pastor Kenny and Cathy Dodd along with Eric Johnson for a trip that will forever change the way you read your Bible!
Trip limited to one bus!
Join us for so many sites that you have read about in the Bible, including:
Sea of Galilee boat ride
Baptisms in Jordan River
Behind-the-scenes tour of the Western Wall
Communion service at Garden Tomb
Drinking water out of Jacob’s well
And much more!
In addition, we will be joined by biblical archaeologist Joel Kramer for the final 3 days of our tour. He is the producer of the DVD Jericho Unearthed that will be given to each family that attends.
See videos from an almost identical trip by visiting 2022 Israel Trip Video Click here to get the PDF brochure for this trip
(Click on boldfaced words for videos)
DAY 1 – Monday, February 26, 2024: Flight from LAX
Today we will meet in Los Angeles for our flight to Tel Aviv via wide-body aircraft arriving the next day. Meals served on board.
DAY 2 – Tuesday, February 27, 2024: Flight to Tel Aviv
We transfer to our flight to Tel Aviv where we will be met by our guide Andre Shama, He will be with us for the time we are in the Holy Land. Board our bus and travel to the city of Netanya on the Mediterranean to our hotel where we check in for overnight.
HOTEL: Leonardo Plaza Netanya
DAY 3 – Wednesday, February 28, 2024: CAESAREA / Mt. CARMEL / MEGIDDO / NAZARETH / TIBERIAS
This morning we begin our day at Caesarea, a port on the Mediterranean Sea that was built by Herod the Great and dedicated to Augustus Caesar, the Roman emperor. Here you will have a chance to sit in the Roman theater, walk along the hippodrome, and check out a Crusader fort. You can also see where Herod’s palace once stood, as 2,000-year-old floor mosaics can still be seen on the shore. Paul was under arrest and certainly was here! This is considered one of Israel’s major archaeological sites, and the sea makes it one of the most beautiful places in the country. From here we travel up to Mt. Carmel to see the mountain where Elijah took on the priests of Baal, with a panoramic 360 degree view of the entire valley. Next we proceed to Megiddo to see the excavations that unearthed 20 different civilizations. It is better known as “Armageddon” according to the book of Revelation. We then take a step back in time at Nazareth Village, which has been constructed to look like a 1st century village just like Jesus would have known. You will have a chance to talk to a shepherd, carpenter, and others who will converse in their first century way. It is quite an experience! Finally, we make our way to our hotel on the Sea of Galilee for the first night of our three-night stay.
DAY 4 – Thursday, February 29, 2024: HAZOR / DAN / CAESAREA PHILIPPI / GOLAN HEIGHTS / MAGDALA / TIBERIAS
Today we go to the northern part of Israel (Galilee), driving through the Hula Valley to Hazor, where we will see ruins of the powerful Canaanite city destroyed by Joshua and rebuilt by King Jabin and then by Solomon as a chariot city to command upper Galilee. We continue to the northern limits to Dan where we combine a nature walk beside the Upper Jordan with views of the ancient ruins, topped by the Israelite high place that supported a golden calf (I Kings 12). Next we’ll take a short drive to Banias (Caesarea Philippi), dedicated to Pan the Greek god of pastures, flocks and shepherds, where Peter made his great profession of faith. Driving along the base of Mount Hermon, we ascend onto the Golan Plateau for a magnificent view of upper Israel and have lunch. On our way back, let’s stop by Magdala along the Sea of Galilee and visit Mary Magdalene’s hometown. There is a first century synagogue here, the first to be found in the Galilee region. Return to the hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight.
See a video on this day
DAY 5 –Friday, March 1, 2024: BAPTISMS / BET SHEAN / CAPERNAUM / INCLUDED ST. PETER’S FISH LUNCH / MOUNT OF BEATITUDES / BOAT RIDE / TIBERIAS
We begin this morning with baptisms in the Jordan River. Those participants who have never been baptized (or who do not remember their infant baptisms) will have a chance to give their testimony and be immersed the same way as Jesus by Pastor Kenny. Next we travel west to the ancient city of Bet She'an, a site where Saul’s body was hung from the city wall after he was killed. It is a wonderful archaeological site that gives us an idea of what an ancient city looked like, with a theater, baths, and a large “tell” which we can climb up. This site comprises more than a dozen civilizations and is an awesome place to explore! Next we continue to Capernaum where the home of Peter and the town’s synagogue can be seen. Let’s have lunch at a restaurant to partake of a St. Peter’s fish (or, if you wish, chicken) meal. After lunch, we visit the Mount of Beatitudes—a place where we can read from the Sermon on the Mount. You will have never heard these words as personally as you will today. Our final activity is taking a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee…how exciting! We will have a chance to hear Christian worship music, dance to Jewish songs, and celebrate our time in the Holy Land. We will also see a New Testament boat found two decades ago during a drought dating to the time of the apostles. We will spend the night at the Sea of Galilee for a third night and prepare for our drive south in the morning.
DAY 6 – Saturday, March 2, 2024: EIN GEDI / MASADA / CAMEL RIDE / DEAD SEA
We wake up early and start the day by taking an extended bus ride down to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on the earth (1300 feet below sea level). After a few hours of driving, we will stop by Ein Gedi and hike to the falls in this desert paradise. Next we travel to Masada and ascend by cable car (or, for the adventurous, to walk up the Snake Path) to the magnificent ruins of the fortress where, from AD 70-73, Jewish defenders made their historic stand in the Judean revolt against Rome. We will have a chance to explore as we walk through the storehouses, cisterns, and palace built by Herod the Great. We climb down Masada on the ramp and head over to a Bedouin camp to ride camels in the desert—how many of your friends have done that? Finally, let's go the Dead Sea where we have planned a special retreat at a resort hotel. This is a place where you can enter the waters of the Dead Sea for a swim and mud yourself. Or, if you’d like, utilize the basement spa area of the hotel—just sit back and let the bubbles relax you.
See a video on this day
Hotel: Leonardo Hotel Dead Sea
DAY 7 – Sunday, March 3, 2024: HERODIUM / BETHLEHEM / ISRAEL MUSEUM
Let’s start the story of Jesus right by heading back north to the Herodium, the palace set in a conical mountain that was built by Herod the Great and where his tomb was uncovered in 2007. Remember, it was Herod who was visited by the Wise Men. He did what he could to prevent the “King of Kings” from being born, including the “Massacre of the Innocents.” After seeing this man’s monument to himself, let’s go visit one of the possible sites for the Shepherds’ Fields—perhaps we could celebrate Christmas a bit early by singing “Silent Night” inside one of the caves and then visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem where Jesus was born, a direct fulfillment of Micah 5:2. We can also visit the quarters where Jerome translated the Latin Vulgate in the fourth century. (See chapter 7 of Where God Came Down.) Let’s take time out for lunch as well as shop at an olive wood store run by Christian believers. Our next stop is the city you have heard so much about, Jerusalem, the center place for so much that took place in the Bible. We will go to the Israel Museum and see some ancient artifacts, including pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as a model city of the ancient city of Jerusalem. We will also have a chance to see such important artifacts as the Pontius Pilate inscription, the Tel Dan stone (with proof of David), and the ossuary of Caiaphas.
DAY 8 – Monday, March 4, 2024: Mt. of OLIVES OVERVIEW / RABBI TUNNEL / WESTERN WALL / TEMPLE MOUNT / POOL OF BETHESDA / SOUTHERN STEPS
This morning we begin at the Mt. of Olives to overview the entire city of Jerusalem and compare this with the Holy Land model we observed the day before at the Israel Museum. Then we go down the Western Wall, the holiest place for Jews today. You'll have a chance to touch the wall and see the activity in this special place, We will have a special tour of the "Rabbi's" tunnel that takes us closest to the Holy of Holies. It is amazing to see how ancient technology worked. Next, we will go up to see Temple Mount, which is where the Dome of the Rock is located. This is the site where the Holy of Holies was located. (See chapter 2 in Where God Came Down.) From here, we will stop by the Pool of Bethesda (John 5) We will eat lunch in the Jewish Quarter and have a chance to see the Cardo, an ancient part of the street from Roman times (Byzantine) as well as part of the ancient wall built 2700 years ago by Hezekiah called the Broad Wall. We'll make our way to the Southern (Teaching) Steps—Jesus was certainly here, right outside the temple itself and end our eventful day.
Day 9 – Tuesday, March 5, 2024: GETHSEMANE / GARDEN TOMB / FREE TIME
We begin the day by heading to the Garden of Gethsemane. There are olive trees in this garden with root systems going back to the time of Jesus where we can have a devotional! This is where Jesus prayed before getting betrayed and arrested. We then head over to the Garden Tomb! A private communion service led by our pastors will be given at a possible site of the tomb. The words “He is not here. He is risen indeed” will have extra meaning for everyone as we return home the next day from this wonderful trip. After lunch, you will have the freedom to do what you want. One option would be to shop in the Old City. Another is to walk on the walls (ramparts) from the Christian Quarter to the Muslim Quarter (extra cost of $7 would apply), which Eric Johnson is happy to lead.
Joel Kramer will come tonight and give an introductory presentation after dinner at the hotel. You really don't want to miss this!
DAY 10: Wednesday, March 6, 2024: JACOB'S WELL / SHECHEM / SAMARIA / BETHEL / AI
Today Joel Kramer joins us for the last three days of our trip as we get to see some sites off the beaten path. First, we begin by traveling north to Nablus between Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal where Jesus had a conversation with the Samaritan woman (John 4) at the well built by the Patriarch Jacob. Drink a cup of cold water from this deep well! From here we take a 3-minute drive to Shechem, which is so important to Old Testament history. Next, we head over to Samaria for lunch and see the Israelite ruins of the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Finally, we return back south to see Bethel and Ai, more places with roots in our Old Testament. Trust me, these are sites other visitors to the Holy Land will never experience.
DAY 11 – Thursday, March 7, 2024: MAMRE / HEBRON / JERICHO / QUMRAN / JERUSALEM
(With Joel Kramer) We head out for a "Leap Day" of traveling as we go to Mamre, a cultic site where Abraham was. Next we move over to Hebron, which contains the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a very important place where the patriarchs and their wives were buried. Today a synagogue and mosque are located at this site. We head to Jericho for lunch before we tour the ancient city where there is evidence that the walls really did come tumbling down. Joel will give more details to what you watched in the included DVD Jericho Unearthed. Finally, we head to Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered in 1947. Ancient Jews called the Essenes copied several hundred manuscripts (later known as the Dead Sea Scrolls), including the earliest copies we have of the Old Testament. We can look around the village where these Jews lived 2,000 years ago. For those in shape and who are more adventurous, we will take a hike up the hill to Cave 1, the place where Bedouin shepherds first found the scrolls. (Warning: this trek is not for the timid! Bring good shoes and gloves to hold onto the sharp rocks. It is an awesome ending to our exciting day!)
Climbing Cave 1 in Qumran (with Joel Kramer)
DAY 12 – Friday, March 8, 2024: CITY OF DAVID / HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL / DAVID’S TOMB / PRAETORIUM / CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER / CHURCH OF THE APOSTLES
(With Joel Kramer) We begin today’s journey at the City of David, as we have a chance to see David's palace. We will then venture down below the ground to see Warren's Shaft, with the chance to hike through Hezekiah's Tunnel that goes back some 2700 years! The water goes up to your knees and is NOT scary...everyone needs to try this as we slosh through 1700 feet from one end to the other. At the end, you will see where the Siloam Inscription stone was once located. Near the exit of the tunnel is the Pool of Siloam, part of which has been excavated in the last couple of decades. Next, Joel will show us a possible site for the actual tomb of King David in a rock-cut tomb just up the street from the Pool of Siloam. We then head over to Jerusalem where we will visit the place where Pilate judged Jesus called the Praetorium, just outside Herod’s palace. Then we will take the less traditional (but more accurate than the Via Dolorosa) walk to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher—this is the place where Jesus was crucified and buried. (See chapter 8 of Where God Came Down.) Although there is plenty of tradition that goes beyond the biblical facts, Joel will help us cut through the incense so we can understand the historical significance of this site. We then head to the Church of the Apostles--which is not an organized church location--located on the rooftop near the more modern David's Tomb, marking the place where Pentecost took place. As you will see, it's a perfect place to end our trip as we experience the joy of the first disciples as the Holy Spirit came in full force.
DAY 13 – Saturday, March 9, 2024: JERUSALEM / HOME
For those on the regular portion of the trip, you will board buses and return to the Ben Gurion airport with unforgettable memories to cherish.
OPTIONAL EXTENSION--Limited to 40 travelers
EXTENSION DAY 1--Saturday, March 9, 2024: AZEKAH / GEZER / LACHISH
(With Joel Kramer) We get a final day with Joel Kramer. We begin by heading to the western part of Israel. We begin by going to Azekah, a place on a hill known during the Old Testament times. When we get to the top of this 10-minute hike, we will have an incredible view of the Valley of Elah, the place where David fought Goliath. Joel will show us where the Philistines stood off against the Israelites and where this famous battle took place. Once we get off the hill, we will drive past the creek where David found the stones...would you like to take one home? From here, we will visit Gezer, another Old Testament site. This is one where the road has worn out over the years and so we will need to hike up to the site where there is an ancient six-chambered gate dating from the time of Solomon (we saw these as well in Tel Meggido and Hazor). This is also a place where there was sacrificing of babies--it will wrench your gut to hear what went on here. Finally, we will make our way to Lachish, the last stronghold of the northern kingdom. King Sennacherib built a ramp (still seen today) and destroyed the last holdout Israelite city except Jerusalem. It took God's hand to protect King Hezekiah because wait until you see what the Assyrians conquered at the second most powerful city of the Israelites. We say goodbye to Joel for 4 wonderful days of memories that we created together.
EXTENSION DAY 2--Sunday, March 10, 2024: Church Service / Bethany / Wadi Qelt / Bethlehem Lunch (included) / Yad Vashem
This morning is Sunday and we head to the Orson Hyde Memorial Park directly above the Garden of Gethsemane on the hillside of the Mount of Olives. Pastor Kenny will give a Sunday sermonette with the city of Jerusalem behind him. With singing hymns and prayers, it will be a Sunday service you will never forget. From here, we take a bus ride to visit Bethany, the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. What's amazing is Bethany is directly over the hill, but it will take us half an hour to drive around the mountain to get there. We will have a chance to visit the church built in memorial of this important event from John 11 and walk down into the cave that has good pedigree for being the place where Lazarus was buried. We then return to the bus and go to Wadi Qelt, an incredible ravine with a Greek Orthodox monastery in the valley. This was the middle of the road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. (If you saw the second season of The Chosen in episode 6, they chose this as the place where Jesus healed a man with a shriveled hand at the local synagogue.) From here, we will go to nearby Bethlehem for lunch in another restaurant and a chance to enjoy good food with friends. This lunch will be included as part of the cost of the extension. Finally, we head back to Jerusalem and we visit the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem. This is a hard place to take in, and it's unlike any other Holocaust museum--more impactful than Dachau and the Washington, DC memorials. It will be a reminder of the evil humans can commit, especially without God.
EXTENSION DAY 3--Monday, March 11, 2024: Free time in morning / Gallicantu / Schindler's Grave / Free time in the afternoon
You will have options this morning.
Group 1: Sleep in and enjoy the hotel until 10:30 a.m. The bus will come get you at that time. It's a chance to relax and prepare for the flight home.
Group 2: Led by Eric, those who would like to experience Jerusalem in the morning will take the bus at 8 a.m. to the Jaffa Gate. I encourage you to wander through the Christian quarter as vendors get their wares ready for sale and it is quite peaceful. Have a cup of coffee and pastry at a table where you can people watch. Maybe you'd like to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher without any crowds! It's your choice. For those who want to go on a hike after some time in the Old city, Eric would be happy to take you outside the city walls and make our way to the valley next to the City of David to visit some ancient tombs. Put on your hiking shoes!
Then, we will all meet at 11 a.m. at Gallicantu, the traditional place where Jesus was jailed. There is a road here connecting Jerusalem with the Mount of Olives--a really amazing place. We will have a chance to see the places where prisoners were kept that go back 2,000 years. Was it the place where Jesus was? We're not sure. After this, next door we will visit a cemetery where Oscar Schindler's grave is located. Perhaps you've seen the movie Schindler's List and remember the scene where the descendants of the Jews placed a stone on his memorial.
It's time for lunch, so we can head over to the Jewish Quarter for our final lunch. After this, there is free time. Some may like to take a walk on the rampart walls, which Eric is happy to lead, going from the Jaffa Gate to the Damascus Gate. We can then walk around the Muslim Quarter and gain a better feel for the Old City. We end the day at 4 p.m. so we can wash up, pack, and prepare ourselves for the next day's flight.
Tuesday, March 12, 2024:
It's time for our early morning flight to LAX. Knowing we have walked in the footsteps of Jesus and the early Christians on such a memorable tour will bring new reading to our Bible reading.
Itinerary subject to change while touring for the best interest of the group.
Cost of the Trip: $4495 (land only, all inclusive)
With flight from LAX or Chicago (see note below): Price TBD
3-day Extension: $995
$100 off the price for signing up for the trip (taken off final payment due in December 2023) when registered by August 31, 2022
NOTE: Those flying out of Chicago are required to go on the extension. If you decide NOT to go on the extension, you need to fly out of LAX.
The trip requires a $500 deposit and an online registration. $375 refundable if
you cancel the trip by October 2023.
What does the land-only trip cost include?
Full-time guide / bus / driver (Andre Shama and Azam, my favorite guide and bus driver)
Archaeologist Joel Kramer will join us for three full days of touring to sites many tourists will never see, with an additional bonus day on the extension.
All 4-star hotels
All admission fees
2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner buffets
A St. Peter’s fish lunch
Travel Diary of the Holy Land, specifically for your trip (designed and produced by Eric Johnson
Email correspondence throughout the months preceding the trip from Eric Johnson, including teaching, tips, video links, etc.
A 50-day Devotional Preparation Guide (given PDF)
And so much more!
Not included: Airfare, required COVID tests (if necessary), optional travel insurance policy, most lunches, transfer fee to airport (if land only), snacks/drinks, and souvenirs
Questions you may have
Who is organizing this trip?
Eric Johnson (bio below) is the organizer. Our professional travel agency working on all the details is Pilgrim Tours, based in Pennsylvania. Dan Bergey is our personal representative. Pastor Kenny Dodd and his wife Cathy are the leaders on the trip.
Is there unlimited room for sign ups?
We are limiting this trip to one bus and 50 travelers.
Who will be speaking?
Andre Shama will be our guide. Joel Kramer will be our guest guide for the final three days of the trip plus a bonus day. Devotionals will be given by Pastor Kenny and Eric Johnson as well as volunteers on the trip.
Which airport will we fly out of?
You will have a choice between Los Angeles International or Chicago's O'Hare (latter airport requires you to go on the extnesion). Information will be available in January 2023.
What if I am coming by myself? Could I get a roommate?
The cost of the trip is based on double occupancy. We have a number of single people considering this trip. You have 2 options:
You can request a single room, which will cost $1200 extra
You can tell us who your roommate (also signing up) will be
You can request a roommate. (We will do our best to pair you up with someone of the same sex who is close (as possible) to your age.
Will there be a lot of walking?
Yes, there will be land to cover. If you go to Disneyland, you know that you will easily put in 5 miles the day you’re there. In Israel, it’s similar. To see the sites, the buses will drop us off and we will need to walk to get to the site(s). On the average day, we will cover between 3 to 6 miles, although not all at once. Generally we will get on and off the bus an average of 5-6 times each day. If you get tired, you are free to stay with the bus, as our driver stays with the bus when we are gone. Our day typically begins at 6 a.m. wake-up call, 6:30 breakfast, and 7:30 drive away from the hotel. We usually try to get back to the hotel by 5:30 p.m. Dinner is usually at 6:30 p.m.
Will there be education in the months before we go?
Yes, in the final four months, Eric Johnson will send weekly emails full of information to educate the passengers, provide video links, give announcements, etc. This will be his 16th trip since 2009 and he has a lot of experience getting people prepared–physically, mentally, and spiritually—to go on this trip of a lifetime.
Do we need passports and visas?
Passports, YES! Your passport (of your national country) is needed. For US passports, yours should not expired before September 2024 or you will need to renew it. You can apply for a passport at your local post office. Do yourself a favor and obtain this well in advance!
What about the COVID regulations?
No vaccination ore testing is required at this time. However, this is subject to change based on the world's situation.
What about safety?
I have to be honest, I feel much more safe in Israel, even in the West Bank, than I do in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Washington DC! Nobody on my trips has ever felt threatened at any site we have visited. As I understand it, no American tourist has been killed or even seriously injured for decades by any terrorist activity while going on a pilgrimage to Israel. The entire time we are in Israel, safety will be our highest priority. If anything is ever happens in a particular area during our trip, we will avoid that place–the guide will be in constant communication with the authorities. Also understand that governmental security is all around us, especially in sensitive areas such as Temple Mount and the Western Wall. And security is tighter in the Ben Gurion Airport than anywhere in the world. You will be as safe as possible and much safer than if they were in London, Paris, or Rome. So, in conclusion, I believe this is a very safe trip, or I would not have brought every member of my family! To see a video on the issue of safety, click here.
Videos from the 2022 Israel Tour (click)
Actual comments from previous travelers
"The trip I took to Israel with Eric Johnson was an amazing experience! It makes the Bible come alive when you can see where Jesus and his disciples walked. I recommend anybody who is thinking about going on an Israel trip to do so, It is an experience you will never forget."
--Stacey Hurlbutt (2022)
"It was the most amazing trip I have ever taken!! And I've traveled quite a bit!!"
“It’s true. You won’t read the Bible the same after one of Eric’s trips. Now when I read the Bible or watch a Bible story, not only can I proudly say that “I’ve been there!” but I can clearly grasp the the towns, distances and geographies. In addition, I now have an understanding of the archaeological evolution of the sites which has given me context as to the joys and fears of varying government entities over thousands of years.”
"Touring Israel with Eric Johnson, his hand selected guides and bus driver, was a life changing experience. Seeing, tasting, touching and learning via scripture was the best! Now when I study the Bible, words jump off the pages reminding me of this amazing land and God’s faithfulness. If you have the chance, GO!"
"Thank you so very much for your organizing, arranging, and carrying out our Israel trip! Your leadership, care, and sharing was tremendous! Our time in Israel was absolutely wonderful, such a learning experience, and spiritually uplifting! Our accommodations, the sites we visited, the food, devotions, and the camaraderie we built with other Christians was all wonderful! Now, we can read the Bible with a 1st hand knowledge and understanding. We also can PTL for this experience of a lifetime! Yes, it is a trip for all to take. Do not hesitate or miss this enlightening event."
"I would recommend to all who have studied the Bible that this trip is a ‘must see’ destination! After visiting archaeological sites of biblical referenced events that prove God’s mission for his Son Jesus on this earth, you will be inspired long after your visit to the Holy Land!"
“Whoever goes with Eric Johnson is happy and satisfied because he cares about his passengers”
–Andre Shama, Tour Guide in Israel
“This trip has so much power to change you!”
“Thanks for a prize-winning tour!”
–Duane Tubbs, La Mesa, CA (2019 trip)
“The thrill of walking where Jesus walked and seeing the hills that Jesus preached from…it changes the way you read the Bible. It’s definitely worth it!”
“My experience on this trip was unlike any other. I will never forget what I saw and felt as we took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee — I knew I was seeing the same things that Jesus Himself saw. This was the trip of a lifetime and it was worth every cent!”
“Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for such a life changing trip. I am so grateful for your time and planning for the last 10 days. This Easter has new meaning to me now that I have walked where Jesus walked, prayed where He prayed and saw where He was sacrificed. What a gift it is to visit the Holy Land and get to fellowship with such an amazing group of people.”
Click here for a letter written on 3/6/2017 by a passenger on the 2017 trip.
2018 Video Testimonies (click on names for the videos)
“There are no words to express the appreciation we have for this most outstanding trip-of-a-lifetime. Our hearts and minds are overflowing with new, deeper knowledge of the land and history of our precious Savior and Father. All glory to Him!!” –Shelly Anderson
“As I reflect back on our amazing trip and continue to try to adjust for the time zone change (smile), I just wanted to drop you a note and thank-you for the incredible journey you led. As people have been asking me about our time in Israel I am finding that it is so very difficult to put into words the dramatic impact that it had strengthening my faith and opening my understanding of God’s Word.”–Pat McCarty
“Just want to say one more time how grateful I am for your leadership of such a life-changing trip. There is not a single person that didn’t have an incredible time, and many people’s faith grew significantly because of the experience. . . . You really did a great job at managing the details and all you did to make the trip smooth and enjoyable was noticed and appreciated.”–Chris Rutz
About archaeologist Joel Kramer
Joel Kramer has led a life of adventure. (If you doubt this, just read his 2001 book Beyond Fear: A Harrowing Journey Across New Guinea through Rivers, Swamps, Jungle, and the Most Remote Mountains in the World). He is the author of a 2020 book Where God Came Down, available on Amazon.com. Joel has produced a number of feature-length and short-length videos on a number of topics, including Mormonism, polygamy, and archaeology. Joel served as a pastor at the Brigham City Main Street Church before moving to Israel about a decade ago and has studied archaeology in Israel while working hands-on with top-notch archaeologists, including Shimon Gibson. In late 2016, Joel and his family moved to Jordan but he has agree to guide us for three days, as he will take us to such sites as Jericho, Jacob’s Well, and Shiloh. He will make our trip very unique.
About trip organizer Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson taken 500 people, including more than two dozen pastors, to Israel and other biblical lands since 2009! This will be his 15th organized trip since 2009. Those who have come with him have had the chance to learn how the Bible speaks about real people and real places while describing historical events. Eric believes that everyone should come to the Holy Land and experience this incredible place for themselves in order to make the Bible come alive. Reading God’s Word will never be the same!
Eric is married to Terri (33 years) and has three daughters. After teaching Bible classes in Southern California for 17 years (as well as more than a decade teaching English as an adjunct professor at Grossmont Community College), he and his wife moved to Utah in order to become a full-time Evangelical Christian missionary to the Mormon people. He received his Master’s of Divinity degree in 1991 and has written several books, including Answering Mormons Questions (with Bill McKeever, Kregel, 2013), Mormonism 101 (with Bill McKeever, Baker Books, 2015), Mormonism 101 for Teens (MRM, 2016) and Sharing the Good News with Mormons (Harvest House, 2018, co-edited with Sean McDowell). His new book Introducing Christianity to Mormons will be published by Harvest House Publishers in September 2022.
Previous trips to Israel organized by Eric Johnson
1990 (passenger on a tour led by Dr. Ronald Youngblood, my professor at Bethel Seminary San Diego and a translator of the 1978 New International Version)
2009 (CHS): 47 students, teachers, parents, staff from Christian High School in El Cajon, CA in April
2011 38 students, teachers, parents, staff from three different Christian high schools in March
2012 (CHS): 43 students, teachers, parents, staff from CHS in March
2013 (Adult): 45 adult travelers, including several pastors in February
2015 (Adult): 18 adult travelers in February
2017 (Adult): 55 adult travelers in February, including five pastors (Feb-March 2017)
2018 (Adult): 27 adult travelers in February, including members from Clairemont Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Diego
2018 (CHS/CVCS) 57 students and parents from two different Christian schools in March
2019 (Covenant Retirement Communities): 41 adult travelers from the Western U.S. in February and March
2019 (Private group to Turkey, Greece, Italy): 15 adult travelers in March
2020 (Church group): 47 adult travelers from Southern California in February and March
2020 : 22 adult travelers mostly from Southern California and Utah in March
2022: 42 adult travelers mostly from Utah in February/March
2022: Trip planned for October for 49 people to the Footsteps of Paul trip (Turkey/Greece/Italy)
2023: Trip planned for February for people from two churches and a Christian ministry based in the Pacific Northwest
2023: Trip planned for February/March for CARM.org (Matt Slick), Striving for Eternity (Andrew Rappaport), and Bill McKeever (MRM.org)
Please, I encourage you to talk to anyone who has been on one of my previous trips and they will tell you, “Go!” You will never see more than on my trips. I guarantee it will be something you will never regret.
Instructions to sign up
Allow me to go step by step to help you sign up:
1. Reservation Method: I recommend you use a credit card, as your registration is not complete until your payment is registered. The deposit is $500 per person.
2. Select # of Passengers (1, 2) (If you are registering more than 3 (in the same room), mark just 2 or 3 this first time and come back to the link a second time for a second room.
3. Airfare Services. If you want to fly with the group from LAX, then say Yes to the first possibility.
Here are several things to keep in mind if you decide NOT to fly with the group out of LAX (and you're free to do that):
1) You must arrange your own flights and be sure you get to Ben Gurion airport on time when we leave on the morning of Day 3.
2) You must arrange your own ground transportation to our hotel in Netanya, about an hour away. That could be a private car or taxi. (You can arrange this later with the agency.)
3) If you wanted to ride our group bus to the hotel and later the hotel to the airport, the cost per person for the transfer fee is $75 per person. In other words, please realize that if you join us on the bus, your transfer fee either/both way(s) is not covered in the land-only price and you would be liable for up to $150 per person in extra charges. Just so you understand.
For those who fly with the group, you have no transfer fees as this is covered in your airfare price that will be announced next year.
NOTE: You can change your mind about flights later on.
4. Did you want insurance?
If you decide you want the Unforeseen Plan, you will have to pay for both that policy and the $500 deposit at the end of registration. (It will be more if you choose a single room.) This money is refundable if you cancel down the road, so don't worry about losing this money if you have to cancel. Just so you know, more will be due for your policy once we get the total for the flight. That extra amount for the insurance for your flight would be due at your final payment in December.
If you want the Horizon Plan (recommended) or no insurance at all, mark the right box. The Horizon Plan is due in December.
5. Provide your name and the name of your spouse (if applicable)
6. If you have a passport valid through September 4, 2024, please scan it and attach it. If you do not have a passport yet, that is fine...just do not attach anything or fill out any passport info.
8. Tour Badge: If you are "Matthew" but want to be called "Matt," then write this down and your badge will reflect your choice
9. Date of birth
12. Your passport info (even though you are sending a copy in)--if you don't have your passport, please skip.
13. Single room is $1200 extra. If you are single and request a roommate, you can indicate so here.
14. Emergency contact and phone
Then to be sure to pay the $500 deposit per person.
If you have any questions, please ask (firstname.lastname@example.org)
See a video on Israel by clicking HERE
Theater at Caesarea
Gate at Dan
Model, Old City of Jerusalem
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Our guide Andre Sharma
Eric Johnson with Dr. Ronald Youngblood, 1990 in Israel
Cave 4 of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Pastor Kenny performing baptisms 2020
Joel Kramer in front of Cave 1 in Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls)
Pastor Kenny and Eric in 2020
Sea of Galilee, Group photo 2020
2020 Group in front of the Western Wall