January 20, 2016
Now that we’ve returned from our study tour you’ll hopefully be able to talk to one of us in person about what we saw, heard, learned, and experienced!
Below is a wrap up video that serves as a nice summary of the trip and a reminder of all that we did.
January 14, 2016
I woke up this morning and wondered how I would spend my last day in the Holy Land. Our professors gave us the freedom to explore whatever we wanted. Yet even as I was dropped off in the Old City of Jerusalem, I still didn’t know what I wanted to see.
This week has been a beautiful combination of deep reflection and profound illumination. I’ve seen the face of Christ on the quiet waters in the Sea of Galilee; I’ve pondered the temptation of Christ as I gazed upon the wilderness he wandered. Following in his footsteps has been deep and profound. Therefore, I knew the last day would be the capstone to my trip in the land, but what would that day include?
January 13, 2016
Luke 2:11 “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Walking out of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the supposed place of Jesus’ birth, we were met by death: a progression of black-cloaked mourners carrying a coffin for a funeral service. As the last of the procession passed us, we climbed aboard our bus to visit Bethlehem Bible College. Upon our arrival, we were informed that the funeral we had seen was that of 21-year-old Srour Ahmad Abu Srour, a Palestinian refugee killed by Israeli police yesterday.
January 12, 2016
Today was the day that I had looked forward to the most, among all the days that I would be spending here in the Holy Land. It was because today we were to ‘taste and see’ the sites that are most meaningful in the history of Christianity. I had hoped that as I follow the footsteps of Jesus in his suffering, death and resurrection, somehow I would understand more about Christianity and the experience would make a profound change in my life.
January 11, 2016
Today we entered Jerusalem like first-century Jews on pilgrimage to the Temple. After spending the night on a hilltop outside of town (in the luxurious Dan hotel) we descended into the old city. Pilgrims would come up from the valleys and wash in a pool, such as the Pool of Siloam, which we visited. Then they would change money to pay the temple tax and buy an animal for sacrifice. Walking up through the City of David, they would see the temple complex upon the hill. The stairs and gates on the south temple hill would lead up into the temple outer courts. We wandered among the ritual baths and temple steps for a while, imagining what pilgrims experienced two thousand years ago.
January 10, 2016
Day 6 began in a rather unexpected manner. Just as we were taking off for our first destination a student feel ill. But after a brief trip back to their room, a heartfelt group prayer, and a bottle of Gatorade—all was well. God has been soooooo good on trip. He has carried us through every hiccup. Great is his faithfulness.
Soon we arrived in Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth. It was quite a metropolis. Many of us were surprised to learn that the city’s population is split 70% Muslim and 30% Christians. It was Sunday so we had an opportunity to worship with a portion of that thirty percent. We worshipped at the Baptist Church of Nazareth. The service was wonderfully tailored to all these new English-speaking visitors. The sermon was on Hebrews 10 and it reminded us to put our hope in God alone.
January 9, 2016
Shabbat Shalom! Happy Sabbath from the Sea of Galilee! After yesterday’s life-renewing rain, today has again been sunny and gorgeous here in northern Israel. From sundown yesterday to sundown today, it was Sabbath for observant Jews. Most Israelis appeared to have the day off, so in our travels we saw families spending time together outside, as many of us do on Sunday afternoons.
January 8, 2016
Light flashed through the room for a moment then darkness descended again. Grant, my roommate, had accidentally hit the light switch in his sleep. This brief blast of light was a harbinger of things to come. When we woke we discovered that a thunder storm was hovering over the waters of Galilee and its surrounding hills. After breakfast and a short drive we found ourselves at Capernaum, one of three towns were Jesus performed many of his miracles and where Peter resided. We strained to hear Victor’s presentation over the torrent of rain cascading down onto our flimsy tent covering. As we wandered around a fouth century synagogue, built on the runs of the origional first century one, it was easy to imagine the stir that Jesus must have caused when he performed miracles, opened scripture to them, and later proclaimed judgement on them because of their unbelief.
January 6, 2016
We had another wonderful day in Israel, and thank you again for all of your prayers. Our current hotel is overlooking the Dead Sea. It was beautiful seeing the sun rise and all of the colors of the sky as we looked at the Dead Sea this morning. We had a filling breakfast and left the hotel at 8:00.
Our first stop was a look out point over the Dead Sea, giving us an even bigger view. At this look out point Steven and Emily gave a presentation on the Dead Sea.
January 5, 2016
What happened today? We went to Ein Gedi, the wilderness where David hid in a cave when Saul pursued him ( 1 Sam 23:29,24:1). We were not shown the exact location of David’s cave. No one knows. But how providential and somewhat humorous that out of the many caves in Ein Gedii, Saul should choose to use the bathroom In David’s hiding spot.
November 25, 2015
Our trip to Israel will be here before you know it!
Once we’re on the ground in Israel, we’ll post periodic updates and photos. Check back often or get update notifications using the subscribe options on this page.
We’ll be sharing our travel experiences online with you, our friends and family, to not only bring you along on the journey with us, but to also solicit your ongoing prayer and support. Most of us on this trip have been preparing mentally and spiritually for what will be a life-changing experience in the land. We’re also preparing physically as we train our bodies to handle all the time we’ll spend on our feet walking. So please pray that we would be diligent in our preparations and we would all be ready to learn what God has to teach us!