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'Visiting a dear friend'

Family finds inspiration in Holy Land

Family finds inspiration in Holy Land

May 08, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO - Last year, Rosalyn and Bill Suffecool returned from their first journey to the Holy Land and Egypt determined to go back again.

It was such a rewarding and inspirational trip, they also wanted to share the experience with their two grown children, a goal they achieved in March.

"At first, our daughter, Sheila Nichols, didn't want to go, but she signed up as a surprise," Rosalyn said.

In an e-mail, Sheila Nichols said she was glad she was able to surprise her family and make the trip.

"It was amazing to me to actually see and walk the paths that were traveled by Jesus," she said.

And their son, Kevin Suffecool, was also hoping to make the trip so he could be baptized in the Jordan River as his father was a year ago.

Being in the Holy Land was like "visiting a dear friend for the first time," Kevin Suffecool said in an e-mail. "And it was made even more special being able to share it with my parents and sister."

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The Suffecools were part of a group of 73 who made the trip with Pastor Wendel Cover - a veteran of 49 trips to the Holy Land.

Bill Suffecool first learned of the Holy Land trip while playing golf with two ministers who know Cover and his vast experience leading tour groups.

"I was hesitant at first, but Bill always wanted to go," Rosalyn said. "Now I could go again every year because it is so inspirational and emotional."

Despite the long flight and a rigorous tour schedule, the Suffecools said there were few negatives about the trip.

"Pastor Cover knows all the ins and outs, thanks to his vast experience," Bill said. "We had great guides, great food, and everywhere we stayed was wonderful."

Rosalyn said Cover often augmented the information from the tour guides with his own extensive knowledge of the Bible.

"He would open his Bible and read a passage that was about where we were right then," she said.

The Suffecools rode camels, swam in the Dead Sea, visited Egypt and saw all the sights in Jerusalem. They went to Nazareth, took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, explored the cave where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and traveled to Bethlehem, Petra and Jericho, as well as many other locations.

Would they go again? In a heartbeat, the Suffecools said.

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