11 days for $3065*
from Minneapolis (MSP)
or San Francisco (SFO)

Biblical Encounters
Study Tour to Israel

February 5–15, 2010
Hosted by Dr. Dale & Tara Pederson-McDonnell & Dr. Mark Hovestol

Includes airfare, great hotels, transfers and more!

Biblical Encounters Study Tour to Israel itinerary map We happily invite you to consider joining us on this wonderful journey. We'll experience with great pleasure many of the delights of the fascinating lands of Israel and Jordan. In addition, we'll encounter numerous ancient Biblical sites in ways that will make the Bible come alive like never before.

The educational and spiritual components of this tour will be exceptional. In addition to the insights from our licensed Israeli and Jordanian guides, we will personally be providing resources, teaching, and spiritual insights to make this an outstanding experience for all. As educators, we know that people learn the most when they are enjoying the experience, so you can rest assured that we are going to have a blast! And while the value of experiencing the Bible lands is considered priceless, when you examine all that is included in our tour, you'll easily see that the price you pay represents very high value for money, even in these days of a weak U.S dollar.

Please accept this as your personal invitation to be a part of this awesome experience. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dr. Dale & Tara Pederson-McDonnell
and Dr. Mark Hovestol

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Friday, Feb 5: Depart USA. Depart on our overnight flight to Israel. Aloft, we will have dinner, time to sleep, breakfast, and the opportunity to praise the Lord for His beautiful creation from the vantage point of 35,000 feet!

Jaffa Port  © Israel Ministry of Tourism
Jaffa Port   © Israel Ministry of Tourism
Day 2, Saturday, Feb 6: Tel Aviv, Israel. After arriving at Ben Gurion airport, we begin our Biblical journey in the ancient port city of Jaffa (Joppa), significant in several Old and New Testament accounts. Then, proceed to our hotel in Tel Aviv for time to relax and enjoy our first Israeli dinner. Sheraton Moriah Dinner provided.

Aqueduct at Caesarea, Israel
Aqueduct at Caesarea
Day 3, Sunday, Feb 7: Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Tel Megiddo, Nazareth, Tiberias. This is a huge day in our tour, beginning with a moving presentation at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. We then journey north along the Mediterranean coast to Caesarea, significant in numerous accounts in the book of Acts.

Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth
We then travel to Tel Megiddo, overlooking the Valley of Armageddon, and Mt. Carmel, the site of Elijah's confrontation with the prophets of Baal. As our day closes we drive through Nazareth and Tiberias, arriving at our Kibbutz hotel, Nof Ginosar, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, for dinner and overnight. There will be a brief time of reflection and worship after dinner. Nof Ginosar Breakfast & dinner provided.

Mt. of Beatitudes
Mt. of Beatitudes   © my-holyland.com
Day 4, Monday, Feb 8: Mt. Beatitudes, Mt. Hermon, Banias, Golan Heights, Capernaum, Galilee. Today we start the day early at the Mount of Beatitudes, the location of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Continue north to Mount Hermon and the fascinating ancient sites of Dan and Caesarea Philippi (Banias).

Capernaum, view over Sea of Galilee We return south through the Golan Heights, back to the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus caused the miraculous catch of fish and restored Peter as recorded in John 21. We visit the sites at the ruins of Capernaum, and then take a boat ride on Sea of Galilee back to Nof Ginosar, where we'll see an authentic Sea of Galilee first century fishing boat. End the day at the Jordan River where members of our group have the opportunity to be baptized. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Ruins at Jerash, Amman Day 5, Tuesday, Feb 9: Sheik Hussein Bridge, Jerash, Amman. Our day starts as we proceed to the Sheik Hussein Bridge for crossing into Jordan. Upon arrival on the Jordanian side of the border we will be met by our guide and drive to Jerash, one of the best preserved cities of the Roman Empire. Proceed to Amman for a panoramic city tour and then on to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Le Meridien Breakfast & dinner provided.

Mosaic at Madaba, Jordan Day 6, Wednesday, Feb 10: Mount Nebo, Madaba, Petra. We drive to Mt. Nebo, where Moses viewed the Promised Land, and then to Madaba, where the 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land is found.

Petra Monastery  © FreeStockPhotos.com
Petra Monastery © FreeStockPhotos.com
Finally we arrive at the Nabatean city of Petra, a secret and mystical city carved more than 2,000 years ago in pink sandstone. After touring the ancient city, including a portion on horseback, we proceed to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Taybet Zaman Village Hotel Breakfast & dinner provided.

Jerusalem   © Yehuda Guy
Day 7, Thursday, Feb 11: Allenby Bridge, Jerusalem. After an early breakfast, we board our bus and drive north to the historic Allenby Bridge. After crossing back into Israel, we drive to Jerusalem. Our first view of the Holy City is an amazing overlook. We ask blessings for the trip and for Jerusalem. Dan Panorama Hotel Breakfast & dinner provided.

Western Wall Plaza
Western Wall Plaza   ©Willem Proos
Day 8, Friday, Feb 12: Old City, Jerusalem. Our morning will focus on sites in the old city of Jerusalem, including the southern temple steps in the archaeological park and the hidden rabbinic tunnels behind the Western Wall.

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem In the afternoon we'll visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the Shepherds' fields in nearby Beit Sahour. Here we'll visit a wonderful olive wood and gift store, operated by a co-op of Palestinian Christian families. Members of the tour who would like to, may be able to join our guide for a Shabbat service at his local synagogue and even join Israeli families from the synagogue for Shabbat dinner in their homes. Dinner will be served in our hotel as well. Breakfast & dinner provided.

View from Masada Day 9, Saturday, Feb 13: Masada, Dead Sea, Jerusalem. Our day begins on top of the fortress of Masada, where Jewish zealots made their last stand against Rome in A.D. 73. We continue along the shore of the Dead Sea to Ein Gedi, where those who wish may hike through a beautiful nature reserve to David's waterfall.

Olive trees, Garden of Gethsemane
Garden of Gethsemane
We then return to the holy city, Jerusalem, where we'll follow the path of Christ from the Mount of Olives to Gethsemane. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 10, Sunday, Feb 14: Jerusalem. Our morning will take us to the Holocaust Memorial Museum at Yad Vashem, the Israel Museum, and other sites in Jerusalem's new city.

9th Station of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa & Church of the Holy Sepulcher
9th Station of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa
We return to the old city Christian quarter for lunch, a walk through the Via Dolorosa, and a number of other significant Biblical Jerusalem sites. Tonight will be our last night in the Holy city. We will have our farewell dinner at the hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Zion Square, Jerusalem
Zion Square, Jerusalem   © IMOT
Day 11, Monday, Feb 15: Depart Israel. Very early morning transfer to Ben Gurion Airport to board our return flight, arriving to USA later this afternoon. Breakfast provided.

Astonishingly beautiful...spiritually rich. Having traveled the world, this by far is the best trip I have ever taken. There is nothing to compare to the magnificence of Israel, I came back a changed person.

Tish Emrich

This trip to Israel was the best thing that ever happened to me apart from my relationship with the Lord and being a mother.

Debbie McGowan

Our trip to Israel was the trip of a lifetime and we received much more in Spiritual blessings than any cost of the trip. Our group was wonderful and we have even more friends than when we started.

Don and Anneliese Miller

Study Tour to Israel Included Features

  • Flights from Minneapolis or San Francisco via scheduled Lufthansa (LH) flights
  • Accommodations in superior hotels with private bath
  • Lavish buffet breakfast and table d'hote dinner daily
  • Transfers with meeting, assistance, and porterage
  • Touring by modern, air-conditioned touring coaches, including all entrance fees to places visited in the itinerary
  • Professional, English-speaking tour director

Study Tour to Israel Prices from Minneapolis (MSP) or San Francisco (SFO)

Per person, double occupancy $3065
Single room supplement: add $620
U.S. departure taxes : $160
Tips: $110
Travel Insurance: $129 (optional)


Please download the reservation application and fax or mail it to us, together with your $300 per person deposit. Fax to: 215-572-9803. Mail to 500 Old York Road, Suite 200, Jenkintown, PA 19046.

Acrobat PDF fileReservation application PDF

For more information, please contact:

Biblical Encounters
PO Box 296
Hughson, CA 95326
Tel: 209.883.1728, 209.404.1106, or 209.404.9527
Fax: 209.883.1728
Email: tours@biblicalencounters.com

About your tour hosts, Dr. Dale & Tara Pederson-McDonnell

Dale & Tara Pederson-McDonnell at Ein Gedi Falls Dr. Pederson-McDonnell has been in pastoral ministry for 33 years. For ten years he also served on the faculty at Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji, Minnesota. He serves as pastor of First Baptist Church in Hughson, California and is founder and president of Biblical Encounters Foundation, a non-profit ministry designed to lead people into authentic encounters with the lands, the words, and the God of the Bible. In partnership with Friendly Planet Travel, he has led numerous study tours to the Bible lands over the past 20 years. His life and ministry partner, Tara, a telecommunications broker, is fully engaged with him in teaching, counseling, and pastoral ministries. Together they love to see the Bible come alive for people and look forward with great anticipation to this incredible Biblical encounter in the land of Israel.

About your tour host, Dr. Mark Hovestol

Dr. Hovestol has served as lead pastor of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Bemidji, Minnesota for the past 11 years. Previously he served for 18 years as Academic Dean and then President of Oak Hills Christian College, also in Bemidji. He is a warm and insightful Bible teacher and a veteran Bible lands tour leader, having co-hosted several study tours with Dr. Pederson-McDonnell in Israel and Greece.