Have we ever got an itinerary for them.
We plan to pack in as much as possible into every second of daylight, and perhaps after daylight, before they continue on to S. Africa Sunday afternoon.
Many groups arrive on afternoon flights jet-lagged and exhausted with just enough energy to hear a limited orientation on the bus, arrive at the hotel, eat dinner, and crash.
The boys will enjoy no such luxury. They will have much more fun.
We plan to head straight to two sites on the way home from the airport - nothing says welcome to the land of the Bible like hiking up an ancient Tel to survey the lands of David and Goliath within an hour of arrival.
I hope they sleep on the plane. I also hope they're wearing hiking boots when they get off.
We are so excited that they are coming for several reasons; among them:
- I love my brother-in law. At only 11 or 12 years old (can't remember) this perceptive and compassionate young man made me feel more special and welcome to his family than I could ever have deserved when I started dating his big brother - 7 years ago. For that reason, and countless since, he's one of my favorite people on earth.
- We get to explore. There are always new areas, sites, and hikes to discover and we have a few we've been looking forward to on the agenda for these next several days.
- We get to hike. In line with #2, we plan to utilize the strength of these zealous youths to travel several hiking travels between and up to sites that we need to measure, time, and rate difficulty wise for future groups. This land is one to be experienced, and we take the "walking in the footsteps of the patriarchs, Jesus, and disciples" thing quite literally. We are going to be sore, but happy.
- Geoff gets to teach. Though he loves library research nothing beats being on site. Geoff's passion for teaching in this land, bringing the history, archaeology, and culture of Biblical time-periods to life is more than a gift - I really believe it's his calling. That's why we've been willing to make some difficult sacrifices to follow GOD's leading in this. He loves teaching groups and the opportunity to share this land with his brother is icing on the cake. Anticipating several days of leading and teaching these guys has Geoff's eyes dancing with joy and I love that.
- We get to learn. These guys are in for quite a treat. There's nothing like watching people hear familiar Bible stories as if for the first time as they come to life before their eyes; standing in the very spots where they occurred. Talk about keeping it in context. Geoff is by far my favorite teacher, not just because I'm in love with him, but because of the fiery passion with which he teaches and the Holy way he lives it out in every aspect of his life. I'm excited to learn along with the guys. There's so much depth that he has studied that although I've heard Geoff teach at many of these sites multiple times, it's always different and I always learn something new.
- We get pictures. I love taking pictures and am excited to shoot at several sites we haven't photographed yet, or need better pictures of. As much as we love bringing people to this land we also treasure the opportunity to bring the land to them. Pictures of sites and experiences allow Geoff to share the land of the Bible with people through speaking engagements no matter where on earth he teaches.
It's going to be a great week. Stay tuned to travel with us.