Recent Trips

Dr. Robert Stauffer
February 25 – March 6, 2020 and March 7-17, 2020 (yes, you read that correctly two trips)
Participants: 25 & 32

Our first of two groups from Pittsburgh left Newark headed to Israel on the afternoon of February 25th for their tour of the Holy Land. Nine nights experiencing the wonders of this special place. After a successful and life-changing trip we put the first group on a plane for home as we awaited the arrival of the second bunch of folks from Pittsburgh a few days later. Even with the challenges of Covid-19 beginning to advance across the landscape of our planet, we hit the ground running. With our last two days of touring with the bus cancelled, we were not deterred as our guide took us for a “walking” tour of Jerusalem those days, which gave us a whole different perspective and appreciation of the city He loves so much. A special thanks to Robert Stauffer our host pastor who did a masterful job sharing and teaching with both groups about our Jewish roots and God’s heart for The Land and people of Israel and the part the gentiles and the church play in His plan for the redemption of humanity. God was truly good to us and we all got home safe and sound, and on time. Sheltering-in-place now and waiting on our next great adventure in Israel.


Robert Whitlow – Private Tour
February 29 – March 11, 2020
Participants: 12

Robert’s first trip to Israel was in 1976, Kathy’s in 1979. As we travelled throughout the country from Beersheba to Dan both of us were amazed at how greatly the country has changed! The industry, agriculture, and population have all boomed, even since our last trip in 2015. The Sea of Galilee is full, the flowers in full bloom. Our group of twelve was wonderfully unified and our guide knowledgeable and interesting, with a wonderful passion for his nation and its people. As the trip progressed we were able to pray and proclaim at multiple sites throughout the land. It is such a privilege to do this in the place where so many of God’s promises were first revealed. God met with us and made it a trip of encounter and vision. Toward the end of our time, the Coronavirus was rising to the surface, but it had little impact on our journey, and we safely arrived home. We greatly appreciate the Obed Project for taking care of all the logistical aspects of the trip so we could focus on God’s purposes.


Zion Center for Worship and the Arts
May 17-29, 2019
Participants: 25

As if last year wasn’t full enough with ten days of ministry; how about tacking a full tour on the front end and do ministry the last three nights. Stir in to this wonderful adventure; 100-105 degrees the first seven days we were there; I must commend everyone who was on this trip for their resiliency and hearts to serve in less than ideal situations. This trip included multiple musicians and singers, as well as the ZCWA Dance Team. Along with the big-three; First Station, Golden Hills and Christ Church we added Mt. Tabor and Har Adar where we did significant prophetic dance and ministry to The Land and the people. If you looked at our itinerary it would show that our last three days were listed as “free days” with ministry each evening. With Teresa Gardner there is no such thing as a free day; maybe free of a bus or transportation. Dr. T took us on a walking tour every day; I must confess, it was worth the effort as we saw much of the Old City, up close and personal. As you can see; there are many ways to visit and tour the Land of Israel and experience the beauty of this special place.


Jeanne Corwin – Private Tour
May 21-30, 2019
Participants: 5

Yes, you read it correctly; Jeanne’s daughter and son-in-law joined her as they hosted their pastor and his wife on a whirlwind tour of the Holy Land. This trip was a little shorter than most, seven nights; but you would be amazed at how quickly you can zig-zag the country – seeing everything you need to with five people, a van and a Jewish driver (enough said). This trip was part homecoming for Jeanne who has been to Israel over 75 times and her daughter and son-in-law who lived there for over a decade; but for the pastor and his wife, it was their first taste of this amazing place.


Memorial Park EPC
Hosted by: Pastor Betsy Rumer
April 3 – 13, 2019 from Pittsburgh, PA
Participants: 26

Trip number two for 2019 and one more to go before we shut the book on the month of May. God has been so faithful to open the doors with several churches in the Pittsburgh area for us to partner with on our trips to Israel. Pastor Betsy Rumer and the fine folks from Memorial Park are part of our northern invasion. One of the things we like to do as we leave the desert is to build an altar of remembrance in Qumran; either leaving behind something, picking up something or both as we proceed north to the Galilee. It was amazing to watch the intentionality of my fellow travelers as they sought the Lord for the right rock to leave on the altar and opened their hearts as they shared what they were leaving behind. Another memory of this trip was at top of the Nazareth Pinnacle, overlooking the breath-taking view of the Valley of Armageddon; add to that, the yet fulfilled historical significance of the place – words fail us. Every trip has special places, memories and conversations with the One who made it all.


Our Israel Adventure (private tour)
Hosted by: Tim Sellers
March 13-25, 2019
Participants: 12

It may not be cheaper by the dozen, but it sure makes for a great trip. Twelve friends and family arrived in Israel on March 14th, ready for an eleven-night stay in the land He calls the apple of His eye. The longer the trip, the more you get to see and do; Beit Shean, Nimrod’s Fortress, Bethlehem (and of course an Olive Wood shop) and a built-in “free day” on the last day of the trip. You can see that we can craft and tailor a trip to meet any of your needs and wants


First Baptist Church – Lincolnton, NC
Hosted by: Dr. Stanley Spence
February 20 – March 2, 2019 from Charlotte, NC
Participants: 28

I was going to call this a typical first-timers trip, but I can honestly say after twenty-eight trips; that every one of them are exciting and unique. To be with a group of people who have longed to visit the Holy Land and to view the land of the Patriarchs through their eyes and travel with them as they walk with Jesus is anything but “typical”. Over half of this group was not from the host church and the Lord quickly knitted our hearts together even before we arrived in Israel. As always one of the high lights was the baptism in the Jordan. Even with the water a little on the “cool side” it proved to be a spiritual encounter for all who plunged beneath the waves (actually there weren’t any waves, but it does sound poetic). Another fun thing was the archeological sifting we got to do with debris from the City of David; even found two ancient coins. Even with snow delays going and coming we made if safely home, back in the south on March 2nd.


Epiclesis: The Ancient-Future Faith Network
Hosted by: Pastor Chris Alford & Dr. Teresa Gardner
October 10 – 23 , 2018 from Sacramento, CA
Participants: 28

On October 10th, twenty-four of our West Coast friends boarded a plane in San Francisco for a non-stop flight to Tel Aviv. After picking up fellow travelers from North Carolina and Tennessee they began their journey of a lifetime headed south. Part of their desert excursion included a visit to a replica of the Tabernacle in Timna and a trip to Petra in Jordan. North to the Galilee and Golan, circling back to Jerusalem and ending with a wonderful farewell dinner in Abu Gosh before heading to the airport. Long flight home, but from all reports; everyone made it back.


Diane Withers Trip
May 30 – June 12, 2018 from Birmingham, AL ( …. and Canada)
Participants: 21

Fifteen people departed Birmingham while six others started from Canada; rendezvous, Tel Aviv (almost). Diane remarked that it was “an awesome trip that blended the two groups beautifully.” From Beersheva to the shores of the Dead Sea, to the Tabernacle in Timna Park, Masada and Ein Gedi; the trip began with our desert experience (and of course with a jeep ride). Headed north they visited Qumran and the baptismal site across from Jericho. Arriving in Tiberius they experienced all that the Galilee and the Golan has to offer (Diane sure knows how to fill up a trip). She also remarked “I had THE best falafel I’ve ever tasted in Akko.” As they left the Galilee they proceeded west; visiting  the Valley of Armageddon, Mt. Carmel, Caesarea Maritima and then up to Jerusalem. Their days in Jerusalem included the traditional fare for all pilgrims; including The Friends of Zion Museum, a tour of the Knesset and a drive by the US Embassy (thank you President Trump). We were able to make Diane’s “wish list and reality mesh” as we “let her peeps experience Israel, God’s personal real estate on earth. Israel – it just never gets old, does it.”


Zion Center for Worship and the Arts
May 9 – 20, 2018 from Charlotte, NC
Participants: 18

A “ministry” trip encompassing, ten nights in Jerusalem and thirteen days. Where most of our trips have a certain significant element of a typical tour, this trip was designed almost exclusively for ministry. Beginning with several days of practice for the dance team, the ministry began with a performance at First Station-an open air mall, then on to The Golden Hills Retirement Center, impromptu dancing at Mamilla Mall and Jaffa Gate and ending our time in Jerusalem at Christ Church for an evening of worship and dance. It didn’t stop there; day trips to the Galilee and the desert for prophetic dance and ministry. And to top it all off; we were there on May 14th, the day the US Embassy was officially moved to Jerusalem, “the undivided capital of Israel.”
What an awesome opportunity, to be in Israel when history is being made; Thank You Lord!


Stauffer Trip … Hosted by: Dr. Robert Stauffer
March 9-19, 2018 from Pittsburgh, PA
Participants: 44

This was my twenty-fourth trip and may have been the best ever. To watch forty-three people come alive, constantly use the word “overwhelmed” and fall in love with the people and The Land of Israel; it really doesn’t get any better than this. Dr. Stauffer did a superb job teaching and driving home the point that we, the church, are grafted into a thriving Jewish root; did my heart good and I know it pleased the Lord too. Great weather, wonderful people new friendships forged and memories stored away for a lifetime. We did our fare share of touring, walking, shopping, eating, laughing and enjoying this beautiful piece of heaven here on earth. Since you can’t get enough of a good thing we are already working on the next “Stauffer Trip” to Israel in 2020.


Diane Wither’s Trip
May 31 – June 12, 2017 from Birmingham, AL
Participants: 25        Ten nights in Israel

From Diane; “A most congenial group with some exuberant first-timers.
… a superior visit.” Mitzpe Ramon crater, camel & jeep rides, Sde Boker, Elon Moreh, Shilo, Gideon’s Spring, the Temple Institute and EVERYTHING else that makes a trip so special dotted their itinerary. If you’re from the Birmingham area you really need to try to hook-up with Diane Wither’s on one of her trips to the Holy Land.

The Obed Project and Zion Center for Worship & the Arts
May 16-27, 2017 from Charlotte, NC
Participants: 27         Ten nights in Israel

What a special trip we had with the ZCWA Dance Ministry in May. One of our main focuses was to be in Jerusalem for the 50th Anniversary/Celebration of Jerusalem Day. On that day we ministered in dance at an open air mall, flash (mob) dancing at another mall outside the Old City and then ended the day at a Retirement Home with some of the very people who lived in Israel during the liberation of Jerusalem fifty years ago (what an experience, probably the high light of the trip; or at least one of them). We were also there during President Trump’s visit to Israel; made you proud to be an American. And for the first time we took a group to the Burma Road (check your history books). Great trip, wonderful folks – gearing up for 2018.

The Obed Project Trip … Hosted by: Percy & Sara Jo Burns
March 5-14, 2017 from Charlotte, NC
Participants: 37         Eight nights in Israel

Percy and Sara Jo gathered friends and family from Atlanta, Mississippi and Indiana to join the Group departing Charlotte the first of March. We did most of the usual “first-timer” sites as we journeyed the country; from the desert, to the Galilee and then up to Jerusalem. It was an excellent and successful trip enjoyed by all who ventured with us from the States. One of our great pleasures was the number of young people on this tour; ten of the thirty-seven were under thirty years of age (passing on the love of Israel to the next generation).


Diane Withers Trip
July 24 – August 3, 2016
Participants: 7

Yes, you read that correctly; this was a small group of seven (five from Birmingham and two from Australia).
Have heard from several who went on this trip and it seems everyone was greatly impacted and blessed.
Diane is a great teacher and brings a wealth of knowledge and insight on all the Trips she brings. The summer months can be a bit warm in Israel but it does give you a perspective and understanding of what the Israelites of the Old Testament experienced during their trek through the wilderness. I also makes you grateful for air conditioning.

Stauffer TripHosted by: Dr. Robert Stauffer
March 7 – 17, 2016
Participants: 33

This Group came from Pennsylvania, Kentucky and a good time was had by all. Many thanks to Robert Stauffer for putting together this Group which included ten pastors, one of which was from Sierra Leone. One of the many high lights was worshiping with a Messianic Congregation in Tiberius; how beautiful the Body of Christ.

Memorial Park ChurchHosted by: Dr. Dean Weaver
March 29 – April 8, 2016
Participants: 37

Boy did we bridge the generational gap with this trip, ages ranged from 26-92. Our host pastor Dr. Weaver from Allison Park, PA gathered his congregation and their friends and family and we  together enjoyed The Land of the Bible; all of it. Even here in early April we were able to begin our trip in the desert and several days later see much of the top of Mt. Hermon still draped in snow.

Zion Center for Worship & the Arts 
June 16 – 26, 2015
Participants: 16

ZCWA is a worship and dance ministry from Charlotte, we often partner with them to do trips which involve ministry and dance. Israel can sure get hot the end of June, it really gives you a great perspective on what the Children of Israel experienced wandering in the wilderness for forty years. We begin our trip at Abraham’s Well with two friends from Beer Sheva. Later on in the tour we went to Nimrod’s Fortress in the Golan for an interesting “adventure”. Once in Jerusalem at Yad Vashem we visited the Valley of Lost Communities which memorializes over 5,000 Jewish Communities that were completely lost/annihilated during WW II; truly there are not words to describe what you feel.

Whitlow Tour – Hosted by: Robert Whitlow
March 15 – 27, 2014
Participants: 12

Robert Whitlow; local attorney, best-selling author and all-around good guy; assembled eleven of his close friends and crossed the Pond for the trip of a life-time. While in the Galilee area they visited Degania where the kibbutz movement started and stopped by  Rosh Hanikara for a breath-taking view of the Mediterranean coast in the north of the country. A little unsuspected surprise was the added bonus of an extra couple of nights in Tel Aviv (isn’t the Lord good!)

St. Giles/Obed Trip
March 16 – 26, 2014
Participants: 21

Most of this Group was from the immediate Charlotte area but we had six additional folks from a church in Waxhaw and other s from as far away as Michigan and Idaho. We landed in Israel on Purim and went directly to Abraham’s Well in Beer Sheva where we began our journey with a “salt covenant”. Again, Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Museum) makes  indelible memories; the visits to the Death Camps exhibit and the Children’s Memorial left lasting impressions. Safely home we already began to think about our next Trip as part of our heart now resides in Israel.

Stauffer TripHosted by: Dr. Robert Stauffer
May 21 – June 3, 2014
Participants: 30

Once again setting foot on this piece of real estate that is so special to the Lord and many of us. Can you believe it; we not only walked where Jesus walked; but we also traveled in the steps of Abraham, David, the patriarchs, apostles, and multitudes of those who have gone before, wow! One of the best memories of this trip was the story of two sisters who joined us from Louisville, KY who have been saving money since childhood to one day go to Israel; to see their dream fulfilled; priceless.

Obed /West Monroe Baptist Church
February 25 – March 6, 2013
Participants: 14

From the stark beauty of the desert, to the icy plunge beneath the waters of the Jordan, to the wonder of the Old City teeming with life, to the spectacle of the empty tomb …. the memories are abundant. I know everyone on the trip has favorite places, remembered laughs and stories.
Aren’t we glad for journals and pictures.

Daystar Church - Birmingham, AL
Hosted by: Diane Withers
May 27 – June 7, 2013
Participants: 29

Hi-lights from their trip included the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, Gerizim where they had a “dandy” view of Shechem and the farewell dinner near a Biblical Garden where they were given a personal tour. Diane informed us that; “this was a most wonderful and enjoyable trip! Truly a pilgrimage for most, and I can safely say that each one had, at least, one major encounter with the Lord along the way!”

Zion Center for Worship and the Arts
June 14 – 24, 2013
Participants: 24

What a joy to dance our way across Israel with this Group, one of our best trips ever. And even here at the end of June the weather could not have been more perfect. The desert is always one of my favorite places and an added treat on this trip was seeing an acacia tree at Ein Gedi  filled with hundreds and hundreds of butterflies; a feast for the eyes. Truly something new on every trip.


Obed “High Places” Tour

March 12-21, 2012
Participants: 20
Having fun in IsraelA group from Charlotte, NC boarded a plane and headed to Israel the middle of March for a fun-time of touring and also ministering to The Land. Having received a word from the Lord to go to the “high places” and speak and prophesy to The Land and her people we began our little adventure with joyful hearts and full of faith. It was good to be back and I can assure you the frigid waters of the Jordan made our baptismal experience a memorable one. We are always thrilled to see the many ways the Lord leads as when we get there.

Heritage UMC Trip
June 11-21, 2012
Participants: 19
Pastor Chuck King from Ft. Smith, AR hosted a group from Arkansas and Oklahoma who spent eight nights this summer touring with worship being a primary focus of this trip. Where we (Jeanne and John) weren’t personally able to join this group except for one day at the Dead Sea; the excellent Israeli guide and bus driver helped make this a trip of a life-time for those who went.

Robert Stauffer Trip
June 13-23, 2012
Participants: 29
Dr. Stauffer put together a group from Pittsburg, Louisville, Charlotte, Nashville and even one from China (an American teaching there); seven of which were under thirty. This demographic is a real target group for us because our heart is to get the future leaders to Israel to give them a first hand opportunity to touch The Land and meet the people that are so precious to Him. This trip covered nine wonderful nights, hot days and late night card games.

As always we can say for our trips:
He was good! He was Faithful!