Let's connect

Trapped in a War Zone

Our trip to Israel began as most do - we landed in Tel Aviv, were transported to a great hotel in Netanya, and began to settle into the routine of visiting sites and enjoying the culture.

From Netanya, we began to journey North toward the Sea of Galilee, stopping to visit a few different biblical sites. We saw the ruins of Herod’s Palace in Caesarea by the Sea. We drove up to Mount Carmel, saw where Elijah called fire down from Heaven, and looked at the marvelous expanse of the valley of Meggido. In the distance, we could see Nazareth, where Jesus spent his boyhood years. The next day, we toured Nazareth and saw Mt Presipus, where the townspeople tried to throw Jesus off the cliff on which the city was built.

We traveled to the far North, where we visited Tel Dan. From there, our guide pointed out the fences that signified the border with Lebanon. We could have thrown a rock into Lebanon. Little did we know that troops would be gathered in that very area within a matter of hours.

Then, we reached the point of our tour when we sailed on the Sea of Galilee. The water was smooth, and the ship's captain honored us by raising the American flag and playing the National Anthem. They even taught a bunch of Baptists how to dance!
I had a few moments to teach on the boat, and we talked about the time that, on that same body of water, the disciples were caught in a great storm. It was such a powerful and violent storm that the disciples were gripped with fear. Jesus, on the other hand, was sleeping in the bow of the boat. They awoke Jesus and asked Him to help, “Lord,” they said, “we are perishing in this storm.” Jesus rebuked the storm, and it settled down perfectly calm like an obedient child.

Then, the text tells us that those same disciples were once again gripped with fear because they realized something much more powerful than the storm was in the boat with them—Jesus Christ - the very creative force of the Universe. We ended by saying - no matter what storm we go through, Jesus is always bigger than the storm.

Little did we know the storm we were about to face
As we left the boat, I had every expectation that we would visit a museum near the dock where we could view the remains of a boat from the first century. But I noticed the guide was leading us back to the bus. I asked him why we weren’t visiting the museum. He pulled me aside and explained that the museum had closed due to some sort of conflict in the Gaza Region.

At that point, we were unsure what we were dealing with. Was this a skirmish that would die down in a day or two? Or was it something more significant? We informed the group of everything we did know, and it was then that I posted the first video.

We wanted those of you who woke up a few hours later to know that we were safe. Little did we know that it would be seen literally across the Nation and around the world.

Over, 23K views on TikTok
Over, 9K on Twitter
Over, 7K on Facebook

The next morning, it was evident that war was imminent. Flights had begun to cancel out of Tel Aviv. We had to make a decision whether to hunker down in the North, near the Lebanon border or to travel toward Jerusalem in the South, which was closer to the epicenter of the battle.
I believed that until we could arrange flights, we would be safer in Jerusalem simply because of the proximity to the US Embassy. So, we decided to travel to Jerusalem.

Little compares to the glory of entering into the city of Jerusalem for the first time. We drove to the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Temple Mount. There, we could imagine that we were standing on the very Mount to which Christ will one day return. But this time was different. As I looked to the horizon in the West, I saw the smoke rising over Gaza.

As we drove through the city to our hotel, we came up to an intersection and noticed police lights and several cars pulled over. I could hear our driver say, “Oh no…” We were oblivious to what was happening. We saw ladies getting out of their vehicles, kneeling down, and covering their heads. As our guide opened the bus door, we heard the sirens indicating an imminent missile attack.

The missiles fired by Hamas are relatively cheap. They are mass-produced, but they are not intelligent. They are lobbed toward a target in hopes that a couple of them hit their mark.

Israel’s Iron Dome defense, on the other hand, utilizes the most advanced smart rocket technology. The Iron Dome system projects where enemy rockets will land and then intercepts only those likely to hit a human target. Think of it this way - a Hamas rocket is $100, and an Israeli rocket is $1,000. So, they are going to let some of the enemy rockets get through intentionally.

That night at our hotel, we took stock of what we were experiencing. We continued to post videos, but we did so ONLY after we had left a location. News outlets began to contact us. ABC NEWS, Inside Edition, CNN, Fox, Our local stations, reporters from many different papers. The last thing I wanted to do was work out the tech required to conduct these interviews. But I knew the coverage they could provide would give us leverage with the airlines, tour company, and everyone involved to get our people home.

Our own Congressman, Aaron Bean began to get his team engaged in helping us. Senator Rubio’s office reached out. Russ Goodman, a state senator from GA was on our trip. So, he was calling all of his assets. Gov. Kemp’s office reached out and offered to help. Things were beginning to move in our favor.

Our travel company found accommodations in Jordan and believed they would be able to secure our flights from there. So, we agreed to move into Jordanian territory. As we made the journey toward the Jordanian border, we got word that the first border crossing had closed, and they weren’t allowing anyone in. The second one we tried was open.

Thousands of people had the same idea we did, and the border crossing was insane. We waited over 4 hours to cross, but finally, we could enter.
As the sun set, we were driving through small Jordanian towns. People began to fill the streets and seemed curious about these large buses full of Americans. To be honest, that was the most concerned I was at any point on our trip. It would have been very easy for them to stop our bus and cause trouble. [SHOW VIDEO 7]

We discovered that this was their custom. In the hot desert sun, they couldn’t socialize much during the day, so everyone came outside at night.

For the next few days, we stayed in a beautiful resort that our travel company arranged. We visited Petra, Mt. Nebo. We saw where Moses struck the rock and produced water for the people. Thankfully, flights began to open up, and we began the long trek home.

Zach Terry

No Comments