A typical day starts with a wake-up call at 6:00 AM, followed by a quick breakfast at 6:30. At 7 AM sharp, we meet together for a short devotional and then our day begins. We’ll travel by bus to the locations we will visit or hike from. Most days will involve some significant, sometimes strenuous, hiking – usually 5 to 10 miles/day, with lots up-hills and mountainsides, and at a fairly quick pace.
Although you may feel rushed at times, the goal is to use each minute of every day as effectively as possible. We want to see and learn as much as we can in the brief time we are in the Promised Land. We’ll stop every 30 minutes or so for teaching, questions, or group interaction before continuing on together. We’ll usually visit a couple locations in the morning and a couple more in the afternoon.
How much we do each day is to some extent determined by the condition, stamina, and speed of the group. Generally, we end up packing in far more per day than your standard tourist trips, in spite of the fact that we seem to do more hiking than driving! Lunch is typically not until about 1 or 2 PM, so feel free to bring along trail mix or other munchies to keep you going. (But don’t bring anything that will melt – it’s not unusual for the temperature to be well over 100°F.) Usually lunch is not very fancy – typically a sack lunch sitting on the ground at one of the locations we visit. And it won’t be a leisurely lunch, since the daylight hours are so valuable to us. But any shortcomings at lunch are usually made up for by the buffet dinners at the nice hotels we stay in.
Since we travel and learn as a group, we’ll learn first-hand about living in community, and what it means to function as a team together. It will be hot, and there is little shade, but as we hike the ancient paths, we give God an opportunity to speak to our hearts in a way that is hard to duplicate within the chaos of our lives back at home. We’ll try to get back to our hotel by about 8 PM, in time for a nice dinner, before we crash in our beds. It’s physically demanding, mentally stretching, and spiritually rewarding. Sound like fun?? It’s not just an adventure, it’s a spiritual journey! And don’t be surprised if it changes your life forever!