Brother Pat Andrews, pastor of First Baptist Church of Barnsdall, and his colleague Monty Hale, missions director for the Washington-Osage Baptist Association, are organizing a 10-day trip to Israel and Jordan in March 2019.
The trip, which would be the 15th Holy Land visit for Andrews since the 1990s, is intended as an opportunity for participants to enhance their awareness of the land of the Bible.
“It’s an inspirational tour. It helps them know and study their Bible better,” Andrews said. The 10 days of the tour are to include three days and two nights in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee, and five days and four nights in Jerusalem. There is also to be a side trip to Petra, in Jordan, which consists of the ruins of the capital of the ancient kingdom of Nabatea.
The cost of the trip will be $3,498, inclusive of everthing but lunches, according to a brochure. Andrews said that, considering the length of the visit and the detailed sightseeing opportunities, the trip could easily have cost more than $4,000 per person. He characterized the $3,498 price as “almost unheard of.”
Andrews and Hale are trying to raise a tour party of 30 people, and as of a May 11 interview with the Journal-Capital about 14 people had decided to make the trip, Andrews said. Some of the tour party members will come from Pensacola, Fla., and two or three will be from South Carolina, he said.
The Oklahoma contingent will be scheduled to depart from the Tulsa International Airport and join the rest of the group in Newark, N.J. before flying to Tel Aviv, Andrews said.
For more trip-planning particulars, call Andrews at (251) 294-1381, or Hale at (803) 348-6796.
Among the projected inspirational highlights of the trip will be a worship service on the water during a boat outing on the Sea of Galilee, and a communion service at the “Garden Tomb,” a rock-cut tomb that many believe to be the site of Jesus’ burial.
Andrews, 71, who relocated here about five years ago after retiring in Alabama, explains that visiting the Mount of Beatitudes in northern Israel, where Jesus is believed to have delivered the Sermon on the Mount, has enriched his preaching about that famous oration by giving him a visual and aural perspective for it.
Visiting the site helped him understand how Jesus could have taught thousands of people at one time, all of whom could have heard him, Andrews said.
“It’s a whole lot different than reading,” he said. “That has really helped in my teaching and preaching.”
Having led numerous groups on trips to Israel, he said that one of his primary impressions of each trip now is the reaction of other tour group members to what they are seeing.
“The major thing that I come away with is the inspiration and the emotional response of people we take there,” he said.