In September 2017 Russ and Lonnie Haines joined a guided tour of Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Their first destination was Jordan, where they visited the capital, Amman, and then Jerash, the best-preserved Roman city in the Middle East. Next was Mount Nebo, where Moses saw the "Promised Land.” From there they went to Madaba, with its mosaic maps which had extraordinarily detailed directions to early Jerusalem. Finally, they walked the path through the canyon to Petra. On the Mediterranean coast they learned about the historical importance of Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Caesarea, Haifa, and Akko, and explored the Golan Heights and Kfar Haruv, one of the many Kibbutzim overlooking the Sea of Galilee. They then toured the town of Nazareth, the Church of Annunciation, the Church of the Visitation, and finally, Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity. Other days were spent retracing Jesus's life at sites such as Capernaum, the Sea of Galilee, Jacob's Well, Lazarus's Tomb, and Jerusalem. Their final excursion was spent visiting Jericho, Masada, and the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Russell Haines holds an M.A. in education administration from the University of Michigan and spent more than 30 years teaching in a variety of fields. Lonnie Haines received her B.S. degree in mathematics and science from the University of Detroit Mercy, and her M.S. in the teaching of science from the University of Michigan. She is an accomplished artist in watercolor and acrylic painting.