Dear Kim and LeSEA Tours,
We want you to know how much we appreciate traveling to Israel with LeSEA Tours. Between the two of us, we have gone to the Holy Land with LeSEA 16 times, and we are now looking forward to our next trip. There are so many reasons why we love going to Israel. The greatest reason is the spiritual experience of being in the place where Jesus walked. We never tire of going to the holy sites and reading scripture of the events that took place there. It's such a wonderful experience to go to the Garden Tomb, the Upper Room, Garden of Gethsemane and the Western Wall. To take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and then go to the Jordan River and watch the baptism...that is always such an emotional experience. The Bible comes to life in a deeper and more meaningful way in anticipation each time; because we know the Lord always connects with us in a special way. It's awesome to see how He always shows up. He may give us a special word of encouragement, or maybe an answer to prayer...but it is always something wonderful. We never know what to expect, be He always shows up and we feel so blessed.
The two of us met in Israel on LeSEA tour in Feb. of 2000. The Lord took us half way around the world to meet each other and to become best friends. He knew we had so much in common, but especially our faith in God and our love for Israel. We have also made many other friendships during our LeSEA Tours to Israel. We still keep in close touch with these friends, some of which have become great prayer partners. These are special friendships that were developed because of the incredible experiences we shared together in Israel. God knit these friendships together and they are such a blessing. We also have some special Israeli friends that we have met. They make us feel so welcome every time we see them. There is an Orthodox Jewish family that we keep in touch with during the year through email. One time they invited us to their home for Shabbat dinner. That was a real cultural experience!
The Israeli tour guides and the people associated with LeSEA are so wonderful. They take care of every single detail. We never have to worry about anything because they do it all. They make everything go so smooth while packing so much for us to do into each day. Even after going this many times, we continue to learn new things about Israel. There is so much to learn and see and do. Israel is a wonderful adventure, and there is nothing else like it.
We would be remiss if we didn't mention the incredible shopping! We believe the Lord wants us to enjoy that too while we're there. We definitely take time for that also. We love to go to the Old City and shop in the Arab Market, then have lunch in the Old City (one of our favorite things to do). We also enjoy shopping on Ben Yehuda Street. It's fun to find great bargains for our loved ones back home.
Often times people ask us if we feel safe while in Israel. We always tell them, "yes"...we feel very safe, even to go out for a walk in the evening in Jerusalem. It's common to see women pushing baby carriages out walking in the evening. Israel is very safe, day or night, and we have never felt fear any time we've been there.
The only hard part of going to Israel is when we have to leave. But we are so grateful for having the opportunity to go. It is truly "A Trip of a Lifetime." As Christians, it has deepened our faith and our relationship with the Lord. We have a greater appreciation and understanding of the Word. For anyone who has it in their heart to go to Israel, we encourage them to go and to trust God to work out the details. We are amazed at how he has done this for us.
God bless you for all that you do, and thank you for providing the opportunity for us to go to Israel. It means so much to both of us.
Mary & Naidean