Israel Pilgrimage Nov 18-Dec 1, 2019



Christians in the millions have traveled Israel since the early church times.  Their faith was encouraged and their biblical knowledge grew in a way that it can only do on site in the Holy Land-the Land of Jesus.

We are at the beginning of our November 2019 Israel Pilgrimage.  Dr. Jim Parker is leading the Bible studies and several of us will be doing devotionals each day and at many archaeological sites and national parks.  It will be 10 days of non-stop activity, moving about the Land of Israel and of course for me the worst part is the flight to Israel (about 14 hours elapsed flying time and often 10 or so hours waiting for connections.  The flight home to me isn’t nearly as difficult as the flight to Israel.  But that’s me.

My first trip to Israel was in early 1983.  I traveled with a two Assembly of God pastors.  I have never been the same. Over the years since, I have heard many Christians tell me that their trip to Israel also changed their life. It was a cataclysmic change for me.  I found myself thinking about Israel all the time.  As I read my Bible everything I read would affect me.

On the way home from this trip the Lord in His own way told me that He wanted me to take Seminary students, faculty, staff and friends to Israel.  It changed me.  It redirected some of the focus of my life and I have done everything I could to accomplish this task.  Israel will change you forever.

2. Your Bible will come alive. I had always been active in reading my Bible.  I was faithful in daily readings and in directed study before going to Israel.  In Israel, I began to study the Bible as a history book—an extremely accurate one backed by archeological finds. I read the Bible not just for spiritual meaning, but tracing the stories on maps and visiting the archeological remains of many of the cities. The Bible became so real that it literally stood up and took on a third dimension as an accurate, historical account from which we learn many spiritual lessons.

3. You will encounter God in a new way. God is not limited to any one location and therefore, we can pray from anywhere in the world and experience His presence in our lives. But taking a spiritual pilgrimage away from everyday life to seek the Lord with new fervor does much for who we are and how we think.  It is a time of extreme mental and physical challenge that literally builds up viewable tapes in our mind that come to fruition over the next years when we return home.  A trip to Israel is the perfect place to seek the Lord and seek to know Him better.  Walking where Jesus walked, hearing His words as you read your Bible, seeing the illustrations from everyday life that He used, and seeing him in a new environment-the actual place where all that we read happened often leads to special encounters and even healings that stay with the traveler when they return home.

4. There will be an encounter with the real Jesus. As much as we like to think that we read the Bible as it is intended, most of us are highly influenced by our surroundings and understand the Bible in our own cultural context. That is why for centuries, European art depicted Jesus with a fair complexion, blond hair and blue eyes. Studying the life and words of Jesus in Israel puts him in the correct cultural and religious context. He was the Jewish Messiah who said of Himself that He was sent to the lost sheep of Israel. His parables, teachings and lifestyle cannot be fully understood without the Hebraic context in which He ministered.

5. You will experience prophecy fulfilled.  In Israel we are surrounded by prophecy fulfilled and the faithfulness of God to His Word. We see that the Jewish people have been gathered from the North, the South, the East and the West; from every nation to which they had been dispersed; first by ship and then by planes; and assisted by the Gentiles; all just as the Bible foretold. God is fulfilling His promises made to the Jewish people, which means Christians can also trust Him. He is a faithful God and His Word is true!

6. You will see a modern miracle. The birth and existence of Israel is nothing short of a modern miracle. Out of the ashes of the Holocaust and the dust of the desert, in just over 65 years, they have created a thriving and prosperous country that is leading the world in innovation, technology, science, medicine, security, agriculture, and water conservation and production. This little country of some 8 million people is making the world a safer and better place. What a miracle!

7.Prayer becomes real.  You are praying to the Lord God and following Him and His Son Jesus.   Whatever story you’ve read or whatever place in Israel you thought about you can literally go there and pray.  Yes our Father and Jesus hear our prayers here at home but they also hear them in situ in Israel where that event you are thinking of happened.

After visiting Israel, understanding the security situation, sensing the spiritual tension and getting to know the people and God’s promises to them, one will be able to intercede for the peace of Jerusalem with greater effectiveness and experience the privilege of partnering with God in prayer for the people of Israel, and the region.  Your prayer horizons will be broadened.

I’m sitting in a room in Henry Hall in New Orleans.  Our adventure begins in the morning when we drive to the new New Orleans airport and catch out plane to Israel.

Com go with us.  I will send stories, poems written on the journey and many many pictures over the next two weeks.  Please note if you are on my list and receive this and all of this is too much just let me know.  All of my daily reports and many pictures will be at and some will wind up at Feel free to check them both out.  Because of limited wifi I may not get the sites updated until I get back home in December 2019.

Clay Corvin


Henry Hall, New Orleans, LA



Monday -on the air to Tel Aviv

I’m looking at the tracking map as we depart JFK. Interesting. Our route goes right across France.

We were late getting off because the plane was too heavy and had to have wind or a longer runway. We took off from their longest runway. A little unnerving but we made it and are crossing the eastern tip of Mass.

The journey to Israel is challenging more and more as I age. This trip includes my finicky sciatic nerve problem and a great deal of hope and prayer for our travelers.

Six of our Bethel Community folks who are also Providence Learning students and Leavell College certificate students will be on this trip. I cannot overstate how wonderful this is. We have a chance to totally change a community that was defined by poverty and drugs and will be redefined by Jesus and they will walk where he walked. I think this is our third Group of Bethel members and that will make a total of 15 that have been. They are leaders in our community and will be able to speak and teach in our Church the Bible, Biblical history and now a first hand account of so many places in the Biblical text.

Praise the Lord.


It Happened

The world has an interesting take on spiritual things

The finite lost think they can define the infinite One-Jesus

Everyday evil twists the truth

These worldly wise ones extoll evils virtues

They claim no sin

They say they know right

The sham of untruth is so sad

They believe their lie

They worship themselves

Only Jesus brings the truth

Everything else is foolish

Only Jesus saves

The world is a highway to hell

We are called to account

There will be a reckoning

Jesus saves when we believe

His grace and mercy proclaims

Follow Him and live Like Him

Being His hands and feet

Proclaiming His life

Jesus sets us free

He fills us with God’s wisdom

Jesus is Lord and there is no other



A Few Thoughts on the Air

Peace is a radical thought these days.  All around is war.  Abuse. Evil rampant.  Murder. Desperate millions living in squalid conditions. And we few wealthy stand by while starvation decimated our fellow man.   

This brings to mind my friends Don and Karyn Wilton. Their daughter, Shelly (they lived next door to us when she was born) has been in South Sudan for 18 months. They haven’t seen Her in a year. They are with us on the plane going to spend two weeks with Shelly driving from Tel Aviv where they will meet down to Aqaba and then into Jordan. I remember her as such a precious young lady and now I suspect that she is still a precious young lady who is a warrior for God. The deprivation she has endured to help on the entrance to hell is unimaginable. Remember Shelly and pray for her.

We are flying over Zagreb and Sarajevo. What a heartache place. Shortly over Thessaloniki and then the western coast of Turkey. I don’t remember this flight path before.



All the days of our lives are heavy upon us

O Lord how can we stand?

We began before time began, before we were we were with You

Help us Lord, encourage us, feed us with Your wisdom

That our path might be straight, our lives some degree of joy

Peace, we seek peace, yet there is no peace in this life

Jesus walk with me, Jesus help me, Lord I feel like I’m drowning

But I know You are with me, I belong to you

Pain and anguish track my existence, to the point of overwhelming me

Your love holds me, Your love enables me to keep moving forward

Today is a new day, more pain, more of all those things I hate

Yet You use me to help, I am your hands, your feet, your Words

Jesus saves me, He saves me unto eternity

This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it

The Lord is my Shepherd, I will always belong to Him

Jesus will never leave me, though the mountains quake and the sea roar

Jesus loves me!

Clay Corvin




Wow losing 8 hours from New Orleans to now really changes the day. I am so excited as I see Israel approaching on the map. I love to watch the tracking map as we travel the 5,000 or so miles to Tel Aviv.

Today is mostly flying, getting our van at the airport and driving to Neve ILan, C-Hotel, checking in, having dinner and crashing. We will have two days before the group arrives and will spend our time in Jerusalem and picking up our friend from Venice, Dr. Diana Cugola, who is instead of being our guide will be with us on our pilgrimage. Diana is our guide in Venice and has been our friend for many years. She will get to see Israel and get to know our friend and guide in Israel, Gilla.

Neve ILan is next door to Abu Ghosh which is where the ark stayed until David came and got it, it’s on the road to Emmaus or is Emmaus. I love staying at this working man’s hotel. The rooms are basic but very clean and the food is hearty and good. Years ago just a few of us came to explore the south and we stayed here for a week before we moved on. I remember in my minds eye how wonderful the trip, how good the food and how relaxing getting in late and sitting out by their patio was. In my mind it was probably much better than it may have been but great nonetheless.

I’m reading in Ezekiel today. O my it’s very hard hitting and convicting. I know that when the Bible speaks of our sin it raps me too often. I try not to be selfish and self-centered and desperately want to make the world a better place but daily certainly fall far short of what I should. But as I age I find that the Bible becomes more and more mostly what I’m reading. Yes leaders are readers and it doesn’t get any better than the Word of God.We are nearing Israeli airspace. The government requires that 30 minutes from Tel Aviv everyone must remain seated.

It has been really good visiting with The Wilton’s on this journey. Praying for their two weeks with Shelly and her safe return to the US in January. She is an amazing young lady.

I’m praying for each one of you. It is a privilege to share these adventures with you even if some of my writing isn’t very adventurous.

When we land we will walk to immigration and once we get our visa and clearance we will pick up our luggage and drive to Neve ILan about 30 minutes from the airport.

The next couple of hours will be very hectic.

This morning I’m reading Mark. I find I most often turn there to keep a perspective of Jesus’ ministry.  Mk 7 calls the religious to account: why do you honor me with your lips and dishonor me with your heart.  Father help me not to be a hypocrite.

We landed, walked thru immigration, got our visa, picked up luggage, took an hour to get our car (yikes-like buying a house) and Jeremy drove to Neve Ilan, C Hotel where we will spend three nights and pickup our group on Friday morning.  Tuesday night we all slept like a baby-wake up every hour for a few moments and then go back to sleep.


Wednesday – Neve Ilan

It was at times a bit of a restless night with the 8 hour time change.  But all of us did okay.  We were up nlt 6am and breakfast.  We left the hotel in Neve Ilan and drove to Jerusalem.  We parked in the Mamilla Mall garage and walked in thru the Jaffa Gate and around to Shaban’s.  Then across the Old City of Jerusalem by the Holy Sepulcher, the meat market, up the Cardo to the Jewish Quarter and a short visit with Moshe and Dov at the Shorashim Shop.

We met Gilla, and Phil and Deb Jeansonne for lunch at the Quarter Cafe overlooking the Mt. of Olives.  They have great food and a wonderful view.

We walked around the Old City of Jerusalem and about 2:30pm went back to the car and drove back to Neve Ilan.  Quiet, relaxing day.


NO LIMIT – Psalm 119:82

We seek comfort from the Father

Lord when will the pain subside?

How quickly will this test end?

Straining with eyes to see what the future holds

When will my comfort come?

I want to be with you Lord, but not today

Rather I would see my situation mended, amended

My hope rests in you, waiting and fainting no fun

Teaching lesson upon lesson, Lord when will I grow up?

When Lord will you comfort me?

You collect my tears in a bottle, You have heard my weeping, You stand with me

Otherwise I would have fallen away, the pain unbearable

Straining my eyes to see Your solution, I maintain my hope

Pride destroyed, peace maintained, my life for You

My resolve, my peace, rests in my hope in you Jesus, You are my hope

Your promises encourage and indeed give strength

Your Word nourishes me, it is the sword that fights my fight

As I kneel and pray, Your presence lifts me, helps me

Reminds me of how many promises speak to me

Jesus is Lord, I stand, He is my Lord, I smile, My Savior lives in me

No limit on God, we sign on for the duration

Eternity comes quickly, every life soon fails

Face to face we stand, before our loving Father

Jesus at His right hand, bringing us near

We stand before the Holy One, our life done, real life begins

CC 11/20/19









Share Online

About clay