Our First Day on Pilgrimage!

Hey, our darling Siestas! This is your happy but bleary-eyed Siesta Mama writing you from our first stop on pilgrimage. Melissa, the entire LPM staff (minus AJ and CJ), many of our volunteers (for whom this trip was thrown) and I made it to Tel Aviv about seven hours ago, loaded onto buses and headed a half hour’s distance to Joppa. (We are 100-strong) For those of you who are interested, this is the very place Jonah boarded a ship to flee from the will of God. It is also the place Peter raised Dorcas (Tabitha in Aramaic) from the dead. We do not know why she was named Dorcas. We hope it was not because her father was an infamous Dork of antiquity.

Perhaps many of you know by now that Curtis’s beloved maternal grandmother passed away suddenly the night before our flight so AJ did exactly what she should have done. She cancelled out on the trip and headed to Missouri with both children to stand by her man. We miss her so much and bear all the Joneses on our hearts as they mourn their loss and celebrate the absolute certainty that she is with Christ.

We will spend tonight here in Tel Aviv then load back onto the buses in the morning and head for Caesarea and Megiddo. Here are a few pictures Melissa has taken for us so far:

The beautiful coastal city of Joppa, our first stop on the trip.

The Mediterranean Sea

Our First Teaching Session overlooking the Sea:

(I got a little amused when I looked at this one. That’s Hawk standing up in the back. She’s keeping a good eye on her charge. That would be me.)

The Hebrew Text of Jonah which mentions Joppa as the town where Jonah boarded a ship for Tarshish in attempt to run from the Lord (1:3). (That’s Melissa’s Bible. Not mine.)

While we were in route, we came upon quite an intriguing sight. This is a gathering of Jews from one of the most orthodox sects in Israel. They are protesting a building development they believe to be upon an ancient gravesight.

And to make things more interesting , they were “helped” into a restricted area by some police.

Our sweeping view of Tel Aviv from the Hotel

We wish every single one of you Siestas were with us here! We’ll try to stay in pretty close touch. We love you!


209 Responses to “Our First Day on Pilgrimage!”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Gravatar.com. Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 101
    Kathy Cubley says:

    Love seeing the pictures!!! I would have loved being able to be in this group for so many reasons. My best friend is Julie Marler and she IS there! I’m praying for God’s grace on the entire trip. So sorry to hear about the loss for Curtis but I’m proud of Amanda’s wisdom…there will be more trips. Thinking of y’all! Send more pics!

  2. 102

    Yes, please, please give us as many pictures and words and you can while you are there. I would so love to be there with you!!

    Amanda, Curtis and the family, please feel our sympathy and prayers for you in this time.

    Holy hugs, Kat…

  3. 103
    Paige Szajnuk says:

    Hawk is my new super-hero.

  4. 104
    sherry says:

    Will pray for your safe travel and health on this wonderful trip. Know God will touch each of you in a special way. Amanda and Curtis are in my thoughts and prayers. So glad they weren’t already in the holy land trying to make arangements for emergency flights home while distressed about their loss.

  5. 105
    Joni says:

    Thank you for the pictures. It is “almost” like being there. May God grant you all a safe tour and journey back home.

  6. 106
    Joni says:

    I was sorry to read about Curtis’ grandmother. May the God of all comfort be with you all.

  7. 107
    Shannon says:

    Beth and Melissa thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us all! I am so happy to share the pilgramage through technology. What a blast!

    I am so very sorry Amanda and Curtis for the loss of your Grandma.

    I will be praying for all of you.

  8. 108

    Oh precious Amanda, I’m so sorry for the loss of Curtis’ grandmother–my deepest sympathy to you and the Jones family. I’m so sorry that you had to miss the trip–you must be heartbroken about it. I’ll be thinking about you.


  9. 109
    joyinthejourneys says:

    blessings on your trip! thanks for sharing πŸ™‚
    praying for you all Amanda~

  10. 110
    Missy says:

    So glad you all got there safely! The pics are beautiful! Thanks for including us. πŸ™‚ And prayers sent out for Amanda, Curtis, and his family.

    Love u!
    Sumter, SC

  11. 111
    Kelly Jo says:

    I’m loving this!!!! Dear Sweet Jesus please protect my siesta mama and her gang! Love you bunches πŸ™‚ Me, you and some siestas should take Amanda back

  12. 112
    Kim Vest says:

    What a sweet surprise! I did not expect to hear from anyone until your return. So excited to keep up with the pilgramage.

    So sorry for the Jones family and that Amanda is not with you. Of course she did the right thing, but man what a bummer.

    Please pray for us on Friday, we are having a baby. Her name is Elizabeth and soo many people tease me about naming my daughter after you. What’s wrong with that is what I say?

    Again I cannot wait to see more of your trip!
    Love to you all,
    Kim Vest

  13. 113
    Jennifer Choate says:

    I can’t imagine anyone else I would rather travel to the Holy Land with other than Beth Moore…wow what a tour guide…wish I was there….

  14. 114
    Sandi says:

    Amanda, You did the right thing. I can’t imagine having to cancel on a trip like this. My own grandmother is in ICU as I write this, not sure how she’ll pull through. I’ll be praying for you, Curtis and his family during this sad time. I rejoice with you that you will all see his beloved grandma again, when all is made right…

  15. 115
    Jen says:

    On behalf of those of us who have our very own mama’s on the trip, THANK YOU for posting pics. Knowing that my mom is there safe and sound and learning and experiencing something she’s always wanted to do has calmed the nerves of this one rigtht here πŸ™‚

  16. 116
    Fran says:

    Oh these pictures are just beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I’m praying over y’all every single day! Praying for the Jones’ too. Love you all!!!

  17. 117
    sweet anonymous says:

    I pray you all have a wonderfully blessed time !! I am so sorry to hear of CJ & AJ’s loss…Sending lots of prayer your way. Keep those pictures of your trip coming!! They are amazing! Love ya lots!

  18. 118
    diane burg says:

    As I look and read about your trip I am reliving every wonderful minute i was in israel 2 years ago…wait till you get to the Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem!!! being there is like nothing else. Can’t wait to go back.

  19. 119
    Michelle Pelletier says:

    That is SO generous of you, Mama Beth, to treat all your volunteers to this wonderful experience! It blesses me that you are blessing them this way. And wouldn’t I love to go on a Holy Land tour one day with you as our teacher! But I’m sure there would be A LOT of interest in that and there wouldn’t be room to handle all of us 10,000,000 siestas at once! But enjoy your visit, you, the LPM staff, and all the volunteers – you deserve it for your faithful service to us!

  20. 120

    Ok the Hawk is cracking me up 2! She is like your own personal secret service! lol

  21. 121
    kathleen says:

    My heart goes out to the Jones family at this bittersweet time. I’ll keep you in my thoughts & prayers.
    This is wonderful to see pictures & updates on this trip to the Holy Land. I will be checking for more nuggets of info over the next few days. Enjoy yourselves & I too wish I was with you!! I would also be barefoot on that special soil & wondering if my eyes were seeing what our dear Lord saw. Will this become a bible study for us? Ive heard the same comment once or twice before…can anyone advise!!??

  22. 122
    kathy Pink Bicycle Arkansas says:

    I’ve been out of touch the last few days. Over the weekend I was rushed to the hosptial with kidney stones and finally got out Monday! Believe it when they say it is the most excruciating pain you will ever experience!

    Your trip is making me “jealous”. What a wonderful place to study.

    To Amanda and Curtis and family, my sympathies and prayers.

  23. 123
    morgen lauber says:

    thank you for sharing, how beautiful it is!!!

  24. 124
    Kelly S. says:

    I’m so sorry for Curtice and Amanda. I’m sorry for your loss, and that Amanda didn’t get to go. I am sure it was not a hard decision to stay, but at the same time I know you were looking forward to going from your earlier blog post. I will pray for safe travel all around. To Missouri and back and for the LPM crew πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.

  25. 125
    Terre says:

    Oh, how I wish I was there also!

  26. 126
    Bridgette Jencks says:

    Can we do a Siesta Israel trip, PLEEEEEASE?????

  27. 127
    Tammy says:

    Thoughts and prayers for Amanda, Curtis and family…

    Thank you Beth and Melissa for the pictures and letting us join you through this blog!

    Love all of you so much

  28. 128
    Sylvia says:

    Thank you for sharing this special trip with me one of your volunteers who was unable to be part of the 100 strong. Melissa’s photography skills and my Siesta Mama’s communication skills today bless me richly.

    My heart is sad for the loss that CJ, AJ and family are experiencing and yet the party that is being thrown in Glory as his grandmother arrived is a blessing to behold. In times like these there is nothing that satisfies like Jesus and being with family you love so dearly.

    I so appreciate the gorgeous photo of Joppa and the scene of Siesta Mama teaching overlooking the sea. Also, I am thinking of Jonah realizing there is more of him in me than I ever realized. Thank you Almighty LORD God for bringing me back to JESUS.

    I look forward to more pictures and post from you as you travel and pray God’s Mercy and Grace to experience HIM in such a unique way for all of my Siesta LPM Staff and volunteers and you seek more of God’s Holiness in your life from the HOLY LANDS.

    A Song I Must Sing…Grace and Peace…Sylvia


  29. 129
    Georgia Jan says:

    Amanda – What a precious young woman you are. Supporting your husband during the loss of his grandmother testifies of your committment to the priority of your family. The group will miss you, but your man would have missed you oh so much more.

    Thank you Beth and Melissa for the beautiful pictures and the updates. Melissa is quite the photographer – she has such a keen eye (she needs it to read that Hebrew Bible. Oh.my.word!)

    I can’t wait to hear more! I am so glad you were able to bless the volunteers by planning this trip.

    Did I mention that I have a new grandson? Hello, my name is Gran Jan and I have two new grandbabies, born 2 weeks apart, a girl and a boy. I am off the chain…

    Love to all,
    Gran Jan, aka “Georgia Jan”, aka “GJ”

  30. 130
    Church Lady says:

    I am praying for AJ & CJ and family.
    It looks as if you all are having a wonderful time. The weather looks wonderful as well. I hope that this is a restful trip for you and all your volunteers.

  31. 131
    lori coronado says:

    Oh Blessings to you all on that awesome trip! I am so grateful to have come across this blog. I am a very new siesta, and at 50 years old a new Creation in Christ as of almost 2 years ago! I too have traveled that well worn degrading and desolate path of Satan’s design that you were on Beth. But thank God for His love and His Son that no matter how far down that road we have gone, Jesus alone can pick us up and set us down on the path to Glory! I diligently working on being a secure woman, and really after a lifetime on that other road I don’t know many women of Faith. At my church every one is friendly however they all have relationships built over time, they have families, etc. I am rather shy about sharing my experience with them. Jesus is literally building me a completely new life. I never had children, I never had friends except people I used with or married and was abused by. So to start life all over with no friends or support other that my mother who was my abuser as a child. Thank you Jesus that there is forgivness and personal growth on both sides of that now loving relationship! I have learned and feasted on 5 of your studies so far and went to the live telacast in April and that is how I heard about this blog! I feel like I now have friends that I can share with and learn from and celebrate life with! You have kept me from being lonely and I have been empowered by your book ‘So Long Insecurity’ to get out there and volunteer to facilitate a Beth Moore Bible study at my church, I don;t know if they will let me yet, but I am willing. I also signed up to set up Communion a few times a year, and am trying to find the place God wants me to volunteer at in the community. Thank you Beth for your caring that has sustained me as I seek friends in the flesh! To be able to say hi Beth, thank you, and have a connection to you and all the other wonderful women in Christ is so awesome. Isn’t He awesome!! If we never get to meet on earth I can’t wait to have coffee with you and your daughters in Heaven! Blessings to you and keep on posting!

  32. 132
    Missy June says:

    Oh, I’m sure many of us wish we could go with you! Enjoy!

  33. 133
    Deidra says:

    Sweet Amanda and Curtis, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Grandmother. Praise the Lord that she knew Him. I’m also sorry that you were unable to take the trip with your family. I pray that the Lord will give you peace and encouragement during this time of grief.

  34. 134
    emilee hall says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these pictures with us! I really want to go there one day. I hope yall have an amazing time!

  35. 135
    Dana says:

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures! I went to Israel in November 2008 and plan to go back November 2011! Seeing those pictures put me right back there and made me even more excited about going again! God bless you all – hope you have a wonderful and safe trip!

  36. 136

    Well, you could have swung by northern Idaho and picked me up! I would have gladly gone as a stowaway! Hehe!

  37. 137
    Sherry Whinery says:

    Thank you sooooo much for a little taste of Israel. Its as close to a personal tour that I will ever experience and love it. Praying for all of you and again thanking you soo much for the pictures/updates!

  38. 138
    Emmy says:

    I am SO excited we get to take this pilgrimage with you all through the blog! So fun! Can’t wait till next post!

    Oh Amanda! I am so sorry… Sorry about Curtis grandmother… And so sad for you that you can’t be with your LPM family! You have had a tough spring. I read this post last night and my heart just broke for you all : ( Praying for you now…


  39. 139
    Melanie says:

    It’s so strange but I can’t help but get so choked up over the idea of being able to walk in the very places mentioned in the Word. That’s so great and I know God is going to bless you all on this trip.

    I know too that God is going to be so very near you, Amanda & Curtis, and all the Joneses. I pray He envelopes you all with love, comfort, peace and a special touch and sense of His presence.

    Much love to all of you.

  40. 140
    Yolanda says:

    What an incredible journey that you all are participating in and what a joy to be able to share it with you from our homes. THANK YOU!

    Praying you all stay healthy, hungry to learn more, and safety returning to your homes. For Amanda & Curtis and their family as well.

    With love,

  41. 141
    Bobbie says:

    What an amazing trip–especially with someone who loves God as deeply as you do, Beth! Sitting under the trees next to the Mediterranean with all our Siestas would be a real blessing. A trip to the Holy Land is on the top of my bucket list! Enjoy this awesome time, be safe & know you’re in our prayers.

    Love and Blessings to Amanda, Curtis and the Jones Family

  42. 142

    I SOOOOOO wish I were there with you all! Praying for safe travels!

  43. 143
    Denise says:

    praying for you to experience God in the holy land …

  44. 144
    Lisa Burt says:

    Thanks for sharing, praying now for the Jones family and for those on this trip. May God bless you and keep you safe. Looking forward to more post.

  45. 145
    Tiffany says:

    This is amazing. I hope to one day travel to Israel with my man. Everyone I know who has visited has said the Bible comes alive. Breathtaking photos.

    Will keep Amanda and her family in our prayers!

  46. 146
    Anna says:

    you are the sweetest thing. WHat a terrific example of doing the right thing. And not the easy thing.

  47. 147
    Karen says:

    What an amazing trip (journey) you are on! I wish my Sister and I were with you. I will continue to view your updates! Our sympathy to Amanda and her Family.

    One of your millions of siestas

  48. 148
    Donna Money says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit the Holy Land. Thank you for sharing pictures with us. The Lord bless you and keep you safe while you’re away.

  49. 149
    David Harris says:

    Hi Melissa and Beth,

    It was great to meet you very briefly out at the Church of the Annunciation earlier today! (I trust you walked by the new excavation they have there?)

    Anyway, I wanted to send a quick message to you and say again it was a THRILL to meet you, Beth. I didn’t have the chance to say much, but I’m a seminary grad, a Jewish Christian, and an American Israeli, all rolled into one! And your ministry is an inspiration to me because I want to be a Bible teacher full time. (Along with the tours.)

    Melissa – I hope I can get a copy of that picture you snapped there in the parking lot of me and Beth. Also, congratulations on earning your ThM! (I know that’s an insane amount of work – good on you!)

    Many blessings,


  50. 150

    Enjoy every minute! May you all find that same Relentless God who showed up in that sea in the port city of Joppa as Jonah boarded a boat headed to Tarshish. Jonah 2:8 has always intrigued me. Jonah had detached from his calling, his First Love. Three days inside the belly of a whale woke him up and he attached to his Pursuing God. His prayer of repentance haunts me centuries later. Did Jonah really think he was going to make it out of that fish, crammed in with guts and gore? Yet, he prayed a prayer in 2:8 I think about a lot: May we not miss the grace of God for worthless stuff. There’s a message for me and you in that sea.

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: