Israel is not just another vacation or destination to check off the list. It is the most impactful place that a person can visit and it is only because I have been there that I say that. Prior to my first visit to Israel I was anxious and nervous because I didn’t know what to expect and was being questioned by many people as to whether or not I was in my right mind for going. I felt I might be making a mistake and thought maybe all the people questioning my sanity were right to do so. Now, after several trips to Israel, I know that it is me that understands something that is beyond comprehension to those that have not seen what I have seen and been where I have been. It has changed the way I read God’s Word forever, to have walked where they walked and seen what they saw has brought color to scripture that I couldn’t see before.
I would not go to Israel with any group other than Dan and Sharon Stolebarger. Their passion for the Lord, the Bible, the land and the people is contagious and endearing. Every site you visit will come with an in depth history lesson and current relevance to Israel by Jane, the most knowledgeable tour guide you could hope for, and the site’s biblical relevance and a bible teaching by Dan. It seems that everywhere you go you meet friends of Dan and Sharon and because you are with them you are treated as a friend as well.
As if being in Israel wasn’t enough on its own, Sharon organizes the entire trip so well that it really was a stress free trip. The accommodations were very comfortable even beyond what I would have booked for myself, the food was outstanding, the people were engaging and friendly and I always felt very safe and relaxed. Everything was planned so well that there was no confusion yet we got enough free time to explore, try different restaurants and go shopping.
I saw tour groups all over Israel that included multiple busloads of people and it seemed that the people were being shuffled about from place to place in a somewhat business-like manner. With Dan and Sharon the groups are kept smaller to maintain a more intimate feel and I have made friends that I hope will last a lifetime.