On our last day in Israel, around noon, we entered the Old City through the Jaffa gate. Turning left onto Patriarchate Street, we soon entered a small restaurant called Rossini’s. After climbing a small tight staircase, we entered a long, low ceilinged room where a table had been prepared for us. For our last lunch together, we were served an Italian meal…in Jerusalem. (But of course, Italian. Didn’t Rome occupy Israel for years…?) Our meal consisted of lentil soup, piping hot rolls, salad with bleu cheese, and ooey-gooey cheesy lasagna made with tender noodles.  Rice pudding was served for dessert.


At the end of this wonderful meal, Leslie asked us to share (in one sentence) what was most special to us from our time in Israel. What follows is some of what was shared that day, with a little more literary freedom.

It all came together for me on the Sea of Galilee: Jesus loving His disciples from the shore, Jesus performing amazing miracles in its villages around the lake, Jesus calming the elements on the water and because of the lake’s significance in His life it feeds today’s pilgrims and provides much of the country’s drinking water (or is it His Spirit of living water?)–Pat Roughton, California

What impact has our trip to Israel had on us?  Touring the beautiful country of Israel and visiting the places where our Lord Jesus taught, healed and performed miracles has made the Bible really come alive. When we read the Bible, both the New Testament and the Old, we will be able to visualize the places mentioned because we were there! We touched the stones in the Western Wall, we walked Jesus’ steps on the Via Dolorosa, we sat on the mount where Jesus sermonized on the Beatitudes and multiplied the loaves and the fishes, and we sailed on the Sea of Galilee! The journey, and the people who were our fellow travelers, will never be forgotten.–Mel & Elizabeth Elliott, California

My fondest memory of the trip was the day we went to the garden tomb.  I found the volunteer tour guide was a joy to listen to and fellowship with in an atmosphere of worship and reverence for our Lord, transmitted through a peaceful and winsome demeanor that welcomed every visitor.  So much of our trip was “touristy” and historical, so the Lord’s Supper and singing we shared in the garden was very meaningful to me.–Roy Stewart, New Mexico

“Richard and I had the best trip of our lives when we went to Israel with the Bramsons in April 2013. Everything was well organized from pre-trip information to our return. Leslie and Walter Bramson are generous, loving people who reflect a generous, loving God. Leslie gave out kindness, hugs and ‘bus trip organization’ so that no one ever worried about when to meet or where to go. Walter did the same and included fantastic bible studies at different locations to make the bible and Jesus come alive. Our tour guide, Yehuda was a hoot–a Jewish messianic rabbi who exhibited incredible knowledge and stories about the Holy Land; he also had a wonderful sense of humor that filled each day with laughter as well as praise…..wow-what a trip!!!!!!!!!!!! If you haven’t been to the Holy Land, this is the trip for you to consider in the future.”–Richard and Mary Bawden, California

I really enjoyed our Israel trip. To be able to be where Jesus was and to have a better concept of the places on the map gave us a better understanding.  We were blessed to be with the group and enjoyed Dr. Bramson’s teaching as well as Yehuda and Leslie. It was nice getting to know everyone. It feels like we are all family. We loved everything! When we were leaving Israel Yehuda kissed Stephanie on her cheek. Steph teared up and said, “I’m going to miss Yehuda.” By the way, Stephanie gave her report at school today on Israel. She said that her [public school] teacher let her put up all the baptism pictures and the placemat [illustrating] Jesus’ miracles. She told the class what baptism means. She also told the class about the yummy ice cream Walter bought for her.–Jennifer, mother of Jessica (16) and Stephanie (9)


For Joan Benson’s unique perspective of two trips to Israel 45 years apart, click here.


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