Walking in the Holy Land...

There is a special feeling of anticipation before, during and after each life changing visit to Israel with LeSEA Tours. Where the Bible comes alive in your heart and God's presence is felt in each breath. Contact us to find out how YOU can come with our next group to Israel!

LeSEA Tours
61300 Ironwood Rd.
South Bend, IN 46614

1-800-685-3732


www.leseatours.com


Click HERE to request your free information packet!




Thursday, February 27, 2014

"I've heard that group tours can be well, kind of boring..." DOES THIS LOOK BORING TO YOU?

 
"What is it exactly that you do while you're in the Holy Land?  Ride a bus and listen to your guide point out biblical places through the window?"
 
Not on a LeSEA Israel Tour!
 
When traveling to the Holy Land with LeSEA you can expect to...
 
 
Make GREAT friends!
 
 
Ride on a boat on the Sea of Galilee!

 
And then ride a camel! 

 
Read and learn about the Sermon on the Mount while sitting on the hillside where Jesus spoke the words!

 
Eat!


 
Worship and Praise!
 
 
Get baptized in the Jordan River!
 
 
Get your hands and feet wet in the Sea of Galilee - the same waters that Jesus walked on!
 
 
Eat.  A lot!

 
And laugh even more!


 Plant a tree with your own hands and help the land of Israel flourish!
 
 
Take lots of pictures!
 
 
Read the Word of God at the very place where it happened!
 
 
Renew your wedding vows in Cana! 
 

 Keep laughing! 
 
 
Explore ancient ruins!
 
 
Visit a recreation of a first century village from the time of Jesus!
 (and pet a donkey!)

 
Smile.  A lot!



 Share the priceless moments of the Holy Land with the ones you love. 
  


And so much more....


Our next scheduled journey to the Holy Land is on June 9-16, 2014 and November 5-14, 2014.  Get more information today about how YOU can be a part of this life changing experience by visiting our website www.leseatours.com or call us at 1-800-685-3732.  

Come on.  You know you want to!

Kim
Israel Tour Director

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"This must be what heaven is like!"

I’ve heard this phrase more than once during this journey and not in the same place or on the same day or even by the same person.  So, it has stuck with me and I has left me contemplating the beauty of this pilgrimage and how it touches so many hearts.  REALLY touches hearts!  When someone compares their experience in the Holy Land to what they think that Heaven must be like – you know they are moved and touched above and beyond what they expected! 

Sometimes you feel the presence of God so powerfully it truly makes you wonder if this could really be a taste of heaven.

And often during our time here we can look around and see people from all over the world sharing the same experiences we are.  Here with the same purpose; to follow in the steps of Jesus and walk in the land of the Bible.  Many times we will pass by these other groups and even though we don’t speak the same language, we smile and look in each other’s eyes.  And for those few seconds there is an amazing unspoken communication between us that acknowledges us as brothers and sisters in Christ.  Bonded by the love of Jesus no matter where we call our home.   
This is the Holy Land.
The very place on earth that God chose for His home.
We are here, standing on Holy Ground and I know that our lives will not be the same.
More soon friends,

Kim

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Can't swim? No worries!

I’d be the first one to tell you, I’m no swimmer!  But here at the Dead Sea, the lowest place on the face of the earth, I can relax and float with no worries! J  The Dead Sea is so full of SALT that no matter who you are you will not sink in this water!  I remember like it was yesterday, Mr. Lelighter in the 6th grade teaching us about the Dead Sea.  I was fascinated by it.  My 6th grade imagination pictured a dark, spooky sea, maybe dirty with scary vegetation growing around it.  I wondered if people or things died there and that’s where it got its name.  Most of all, I remember thinking about how exotic and adventurous it would be to visit there someday.  Well, Mr. Lelighter I made it to the Dead Sea!  Today we ended the day at Kalia Beach.  My first adventure came when I accidently visited the men’s restroom.  While I was washing my hands, I wondered if it was customary to share facilities here.  Odd, but maybe???  No, I was in the wrong place! Oops!  No harm done except for my reddened face.  It was a good laugh for the rest of the group later when I found out that they saw me walking in there. 

We all changed into our suits and headed to the beach!  Let me tell you, the Dead Sea is not spooky or dark or scary.  It’s “dead” because nothing, not one thing, can live in the water because it is so full of salt and other minerals.  The Dead Sea is beautiful; lined with crusted salt deposits that dry up along its shores combined with many layers of blue reflecting in the 365 days of sun that it receives.  The water itself has a slight oily texture to it and we carefully waded into the water just as we were told to – and when the water got to our knees we sat down and whoa!  We were floating without any effort at all!  It was really a fun time.  Some of us dug deep into the mud at the bottom and rubbed it all over ourselves and floated some more.  It was like we were at the spa! I didn't take more pictures because, 1) we were in our bathing suits and who wants that posted on the internet!  And 2) I didn't want to damage my camera with the salt water.  
When you hear someone tell you that a trip to Israel is life changing... they are not kidding!  Find out for yourself and come! 
 

"Masada will not fall again!"

We were told, “You MUST visit Masada!” over and over by so many people but who really knew what we were about to experience?  To truly comprehend the meaning of Masada one must visit here first hand. We left Jerusalem early and descended down to the lowest spot on earth with our ears popping all the way.  The landscape changed dramatically within 5 minutes of our ride and we left behind the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem and entered into the serene world of the desert.  Ami (our guide) told us about the Nomads or Bedouin’s who live in the desert as we passed their portable and makeshift housing.  An interesting way of life, someday I hope to visit a Bedouin village and to be offered only a ½ a cup of coffee! (A sign that you are welcome and that they want you to stay!)  We passed the Dead Sea to our left and huge rock cliffs like mountains on our right. (hey, I’m from Indiana….so they looked like mountains to me!) We arrived to Masada which looked like just another “mountain” in itself except that the top was flat. Then we packed into the cable car! Whoa!  I had to take a picture of us in the cable car because some of the looks on our faces were just priceless!  It was an impressive 1.30 minute ride to the top with amazing views all around us. 

 

Ami took us immediately to a nearby shaded area and told us that before we began we must understand the history of Masada.  His serious tone drew us in and we realized that this place was not just a cool archeological find.  This place has deep meaning; we could sense it and we were on the edge of our seats waiting to find out more.  I will not give you the history now because for one, I can’t do it justice.   As I said before, you can read about it but you can’t truly comprehend the importance of this place until you stand on top and experience it for yourself.  The vow that every soldier entering into the Israeli military says, “Masada will never fall again” while standing on the top of this mountain has really touched my heart.  The devotion, love and commitment that the Jewish people have for their country is more than admirable.  I find myself lost for words to describe the loyalty and determination that I find here and my love for Israel and her people grows and grows.







 

 
 
Whoa!  Some seriously interested faces right here... Ami is explaining how this room used to be a bath house! I think Pastor Marc is trying to figure out how to build this at home!
 

Second half of our day will come on the next post... Stay tuned!  And come to Israel!
Kim
 

Baptism in the Jordan River!

One of the most anticipated events during our time in Israel is the opportunity of getting baptized in the Jordan River.  This experience is so powerful and spiritual – and emotional for those watching as well.  Wearing white robes, we gather in a private area of the river where Pastor Marc asks us to check our hearts and reminds us what baptism is all about.  The water is refreshing on a hot June day and we laugh at how big the fish are that swim around us – but hey, this is the Jordan River!  We can handle a little river mud between our toes and a few curious fish; it’s all part of the experience!  Pastor Marc with help from Tony begin baptizing us – some of the married couples chose to be baptized at the same time.  People sang, some cried.  I know I had a lump in my throat.  It was truly a thrill and highlight of the trip.




Friday, June 14, 2013

Tuesday – Our first steps in the Holy Land!

What a beautiful June day to arrive in the Holy Land!  Our first stop was Caesarea! The group stretched their travel legs and walked among the ruins in awe.  The waves of the Mediterranean Sea crashing around what used to be the capital of the Roman Province really helped to wake everyone up from the flight.  They went on top of a roof of a monestary on Mt. Carmel and saw a spectacular view of the Valley of Armageddon.  Had their first falafel for lunch and stopped at Megiddo before coming to the hotel!  Whew!  Welcome to the Holy Land!

You know when you haven’t been to Israel before, you really don’t know what to expect.  We all watch the news and formulate our own perceptions.  We create a vision in our mind of what it might be like in Israel.  This week I am watching the transformation of 41 perceptions change.  This is one of the best parts of my job.  I have yet to encounter anyone who has come to Israel and left disappointed.  Sadly, because of the media we have an apprehensive first opinion of the Holy Land before we get here. We don’t know what to expect really…I have been asked a multitude of questions that reflect the impressions that we receive from 24 hour news programs  - will be given gas masks when we arrive? Can we drink the water?  Will we have our own bathroom in the hotel or will we have to share? Is there internet?  Do I need shots?  Does anyone speak English?  First let me tell you all questions are good questions, I love questions!  Because it confirms to me that God has placed the desire to travel to Israel on your heart or you wouldn't be asking them!  Now let me tell you that no gas masks are needed in Israel, you can drink water right from the tap and the hotels are modern just like the U.S. so you will have a beautiful place to stay!  The internet is available just about everywhere and many of the busses that we use even have free WiFi on them now!  No shots are needed and about everyone you will run in to here speaks English – and our guide of course speaks great English!  So…I’ve been watching the perceptions change.  Lots of smiles and laughs and also some emotional moments that include damp eyes.  It touches me to witness so many people have their heart moved to such an extent.  I'm honored to be with these people who have come here for the first time and didn't know what to expect - yet came in FAITH anyway!  To watch them fall in love with this place just as I am...to now understand what it's really like to walk in the footsteps of Jesus... in this place, the very spot on earth that God chose for His home!

Here are some pictures of our Tiberias days!
 
First, the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee!  Jesus walked on these waters!!!
 








Pastor Marc Royer delivered a "wow" message on the water.


At the Primacy of Peter we played in the waters of the Galilee and found small stones to take home.


 
We are now in Jerusalem!  So stay tuned for my next update and think about when your first trip to the Holy Land will be!

Shalom Friends!
Kim

Saturday, February 16, 2013

An update with pictures! (Yay finally!)

Hi everyone!

Shabbat Shalom!  Today is Saturday and Shabbat.  The streets of Jerusalem are quiet and we were blessed to be able to visit a lot of places without a lot of crowds.  We sat in St. Anne's Church in the Old City and sang with it's beautiful accoustics, visited the Pools of Bethesda, the Upper Room and the House of Caiaphas where below his house held the cities "jail".  This is where it is believed that Jesus would have spent His last night.  It was an emotional time in "the pit" where we contemplated what Jesus's last night must have been like for Him.  Afterward we went into Bethlehem.  We had lunch and then visited the Church of the Nativity. 

It's been such an amazing journey so far.  Each day is filled with new experiences and when I ask Kate and Hope (my daughter and her friend) at the end of each day, "What was your favorite thing so far???"  They really don't answer me...because they list off a ton of places we've seen or things we have experienced.  I understand - it's practically impossible to narrow down your favorite places here because each day is special and unique in it's own way.

Here are some pictures (finally)!  Our internet connection in Jerusalem seems a bit faster so I can upload them.  Enjoy!


Nick and Jolene on a camel on the Mt. of Olives! 


The adventurers...Anna and Wanda coming out of the Jordan River from baptism.  Their reaction caused a lump in my throat.  It was so touching. 


Love was in the air on Valentines Day!  We just happened to be in Cana on Valentines Day and of course you know this is the place of Jesus's first miracle - changing water into wine at a wedding!  So...of course we married couples renewed our vows in a touching ceremony performed by Pastor David Sumrall.  Just beautiful.  Sigh. 


May sound odd at first...but planting a tree in Israel is one of the best things to do while you are here.  You get to get your hands in the dirt of the Holy Land, plant your own seedling and pray for it to grow into the new forest.  Our groups have planted thousands of trees over the years and the Holy Land is the better for it.  It's a lovely way to give back to the land. 


 Here we are in the Upper Room.


Just outside of St. Anne's Church.
 
Sawarma anyone? YUM!!!
 
 
In the pit... so emotional. 


I LOVE these maps and models that are all over Israel to help me understand and learn.  There is so much history - it can get overwhelming!  But with the help of these maps and of course our super great and brilliant guide, Ami Segal, the light bulb goes off and usually is followed by a "oh wow!" from me. :)   


Kate and Hope in Beit She'an bath house ruins.


Naidean... this one's for you!  Miss you!
 
 
 
That's all for now because my stomach is groaning for dinner.  I'm excited to see what's on the buffet tonight!  More tomorrow so stay tuned!
 
Shabbat Shalom!
Kim