by Bill Boyle
SJR Travel recently returned from another wildly successful tour of the Holy Land. An adventurous group of 47 people (more than half are under age 30) spent two weeks exploring Israel and Jordan.
We climbed and hiked and swam while traveling the length and breadth of the Holy Land. Along the way, we spent a night on the Mediterranean Coast, three nights in the Galilee, six nights in Jerusalem, and two nights in Jordan.
It represents a dream come true for the Boyle family, as Lynda and I were joined by all five of our children.
Of course, the highlight of the trip is visiting biblical sites across the country, culminating in retracing the last week of the life of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.
In addition to experiencing many of the most sacred sites in human and religious history, the sights, sounds and smells of the present are equally intriguing.
We looked into Syria, met a Holocaust survivor, shot a video (check it out at our Facebook page), renewed friendships from near and far, and explored the wonders of Petra, one of the seven wonders of the world.
One of the highlights was traveling through areas of the West Bank that have been difficult to reach for the past 30 years, including Dothan, Samaria, Shiloh, and Jacobs Well.
The remarkably complex political situation is always of interest, as is the ability to experience the resilience and hospitality of the Palestineans and the strength and resolve of the Israelis.
We are planning another trip in June, 2017 and would love to have you join us.
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Of course, it is more than a little complicated to edit two issues of the San Juan Record from more than 7,000 miles away.
Once again, I am reminded of the wonderful skills and dedication of the San Juan Record staff. They kept everything together during the two weeks we were gone, and during the months it takes to prepare for such a trip. A special thanks to Andrea Montgomery, Jill Pearson and Merri Allyson Platt.
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While we didn’t have a single problem on the tour, a tour member died within a few days of our return.
Bryant Atkinson was just 32. He was a remarkably inspiring man who overcame a host of debilitating challenges. It was a privilege to know him.