Israel Study Tour with Calvin Theological Seminary

January 3-15, 2016

Led by Amanda Benckhuysen
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Trip Blog Posts

Study Tour Wrap Up

posted on Wednesday January 20 2016 at 8:01 pm UTC

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. Leave us a comment below or head over and...

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At the foot of the cross

posted on Friday January 15 2016 at 12:52 am UTC

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...

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The Prince of Peace

posted on Thursday January 14 2016 at 12:16 am UTC

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...

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It is well with my soul

posted on Wednesday January 13 2016 at 1:51 am UTC

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,...

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The Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock

posted on Monday January 11 2016 at 10:29 pm UTC

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....

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On top of Mount Carmel, Elijah did pray

posted on Sunday January 10 2016 at 9:50 pm UTC

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....

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Lord of Creation and Lord of my Life

posted on Sunday January 10 2016 at 12:21 am UTC

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...

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This picture and place stuck a chord in my heart

posted on Saturday January 09 2016 at 1:58 am UTC

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...

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Qumran, Jericho, Beit She’an

posted on Friday January 08 2016 at 2:13 am UTC

We began our day by journeying to the site of the Qumran, where a monastic community copied and preserved many of the Biblical texts. The scrolls were discovered after nearly 2000 years, having been maintained in clay jars and carefully hidden in the nearby mountain caves (to one of these several of...

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Exploring God’s creation

posted on Wednesday January 06 2016 at 11:58 pm UTC

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...

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Looking for a touch from God

posted on Wednesday January 06 2016 at 12:40 am UTC

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...

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We're Here!

posted on Tuesday January 05 2016 at 12:29 am UTC

26 Hours of travel in bus rides and flights... we are happy we are here! Praise God with us for smooth travel. Security, 12 hour flight, layover, delays, Israeli Customs, bus rides all went well for our group of almost 40. Prayers were literally answered for at least one person in our group who seemed...

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A Long Flight Ahead!

posted on Saturday January 02 2016 at 8:16 pm UTC

After many months of anticipation, our study tour is upon us! We'll be departing Sunday evening on our two-leg journey to Israel. If you want to follow along with our flights, check out the links below. Chicago O’Hare to Istanbul Istanbul to Tel Aviv ...

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Preparing for Israel

posted on Wednesday November 25 2015 at 10:20 pm UTC

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,...

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