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In July/August, David C. Pack, Editor-in-Chief of The Real Truth magazine, voice of The World to Come program and Pastor General of The Restored Church of God, traveled to Israel and Jordan, accompanied by Real Truth writers and a film crew.
During the 11-day trip, Mr. Pack and the delegation met with government officials, toured historical and biblical sites, filmed a number of “on location” World to Come broadcasts, and were given a deeper understanding of the challenges the region faces today.
Although Mr. Pack visited Israel for three weeks in 1988, much has changed since that time. This visit provided another extraordinary journey through the Mid-East nation. (The interested reader may wish to read the account of the 1988 trip, which can be found in Volume Two of The Authorized Biography of David C. Pack.)
Senior leaders in The Restored Church of God had the opportunity to see an abundance of historic places, including some at which Jesus Christ was present during His earthly ministry. Sites visited included the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the ruins of Gomorrah, Masada National Park, the ancient port city of Jaffa, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb (where Jesus was buried and resurrected), Golgotha (where He was crucified), Megiddo, Carmel (where the prophet Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal), the Arab-controlled Temple Mount, the Western Wall, Capernaum (where Jesus grew up and attended synagogue), Caesarea Philippi (the site at which Christ said He would build His Church), Tel Aviv, the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna), and the Valley of Elah, where David slew Goliath. The group also visited the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Jordan River, and the Red Sea (Gulf of Aqaba) at Eilat, which features a view into Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The tour ended with a visit to Jordan to see the ancient city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring elaborate structures carved into red stone valley walls.
Many soon-to-be-fulfilled biblical prophecies will take place in Israel, and Mr. Pack took the opportunity to deliver seven “on location” World to Come segments at notable locations there. These broadcasts will be posted on rcg.org/worldtocome.
Another element of the trip was meeting with a number of Israeli national and municipal leaders who, when they learned that Mr. Pack would be in their country, expressed interest in meeting with him.
Mr. Pack’s VIP welcome in Jerusalem included a private tour of the Knesset arranged by his host, M.K. Dr. Einat Wilf, a member of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense, Education and House committees. The two then met for an in-depth discussion of conditions in the Middle East and surrounding regions.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Pack spoke with Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Naomi Tsur. She arranged for Mr. Pack to visit the City Council Chambers, where he was treated to a unique view of the Old City and Mount of Olives. The previous evening, Mr. Pack was hosted for dinner by Amb. Uri Bar-Ner, Israel’s former Ambassador to Turkey.
Mr. Pack also visited Ma’ale Adumim, a growing municipality seven kilometers (4.5 miles) east of Jerusalem, as the guest of the city’s mayor, Benny Kashriel. The city’s central location is geographically significant, linking the Jordan Valley and Judean Desert to the nation’s capital. Mayor Kashriel and Mr. Pack discussed many issues relating to the strategic security value of the city, and the mayor arranged a special tour for Mr. Pack with the City Spokesman Hizki Zisman as his guide.
The trip provided insight into many of the conflicts confronting the area now, and the issues the region will soon face.