A TRIP OF A LIFETIME THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME: ISRAEL

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Garden of Gethsemane
Jordan River Baptism
Local Transportation lol
Roberta Roberts, Shoney Tour Group Coordinator and Lendell Roberts
Shopping in the Marketplace in Jerusalem
Tour Educator Giving Lecture at the Jezreel Valley
Tour Group at the Jordan River
Amnon telling a Biblical story on the spot it happened
Amnon sharing historical secrets in Ramle

1984 trip to Israel was life changing

Upcoming trip slated for May 9-18

By Roberta Roberts and Amnon Weigler

Little did we know as we boarded the TWA flight in 1984 just how life-changing our next few days were going to be. We were not prepared for how it would impact our lives in the coming years as my husband, Lendell, and I traveled with friends on a tour to Israel.

The trip was focused on our attendance at a conference in Jerusalem sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, as well as a tour of the Holy Land. The tour was great and the conference was interesting, but the best part of the whole journey was meeting the people.

The people of Israel were wonderful, all the way from our tour guide and driver, to the shop keepers, and especially the people that we just met as we walked through the streets in Tiberias, Bethlehem, and of course Jerusalem. Whether we were eating a falafel on the street, praying at the Western Wall, or crying our way through Yad Vashem (The Holocaust Museum) the people were so hospitable and thanked us for coming to their land.

The high point of that trip was when we were asked to join with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and many other Israeli groups for a parade. We put on our straw cowboy hats like proud Okies and walked through the streets of Jerusalem in the rain until we were drenched, but we had such a wonderful time that we hardly noticed. The crowds thanked us for coming and we danced in the streets together. Even the rain could not dampen our spirits. Tears of joy flowed from all who participated in this celebration and this is one day I will never, ever forget.

The wonderful part about the rain is what happened just before the parade started when everyone from the International Christian Embassy conference who was participating in the march gathered in the parking lot of the Convention Center. The Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, came to address us and encouraged us all to pray for rain for Israel since there was a very serious drought. Rain was desperately needed.

Amazingly, as we stood there and he continued to speak it started to sprinkle and never stopped. It just continued to rain throughout the entire parade. What an incredible moment, what an awesome day!

It didn’t take long for us to realize that our return to the states would bring a very strong feeling of homesickness for Israel. This was a big surprise, especially understanding that this was a trip of a lifetime, and we would probably never travel there again. Much to our surprise we were asked to serve as volunteers for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which led to many visits to a special place.

Eventually, I was asked to work with a tour company in Israel, Shony Travel, and began to do tours for churches, universities, and private groups. Shony Travel is an incredible company that specializes in tailor made tours to meet the needs of any group. Our first trip led to this wonderful opportunity, which has become a great joy in my life and really keeps me busy.

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