Israel Study Tour - Troy Thomas & Marshall Holtvluwer

Mar 18-28, 2019

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These ancient stones

Day 04!! Surprise! Another amazing day. I hope you aren't getting tired of hearing that. We are not surprised in the least bit that we have experienced an amazing day travelling around the countryside of Israel exploring Biblical locations where Godly men and women have walked.
We have had excellent weather every day we have been here. It has been very comfortable for us and today was no exception. We began the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Just writing that gives me a sense of awe. We saw many different sites today and there appears to be two basic types; the sites that attract a lot of attention are the ones that have a certain amount of..."sexiness" to them. These sites have beautiful crusader churches built on them and boast of having something or someone great on that specific spot. These receive a lot of tourist activity. And then there are the locations that are often simple and plain. They do not have the fancy church on them but when you are walking around there is a certain weight to them, a sense that you are walking in a place where history happened. We saw those two different types clearly today. Hundreds of people walking around taking pictures, reading signs, and buying trinkets. I am not going to mention any of these places out of respect for the history of EACH place. Please hear me, I am not degrading these sites at all. The feel of them is just different. When you walk around one of these tourist sites there is a distance created between you and the story that supposedly happened there.

But I will mention that we went to a location that was not visited by tour buses and hoards of people. Korazin. Does this place sound familiar to you? It should. It is one of three locations where Jesus did most of His ministry. It is also one the cities He cursed (Matt. 11:20-24). Marshall and Troy (GTI) are very intentional about including these often neglected sites. They contain a certain richness to the Biblical narrative revealing history and story at the same time. Korazin contains the ruins of a Jewish Insula, which is a series of connected buildings that housed a family. Mom and dad would build a house and then as children got married they would add on to it. These Insula would contain buildings for their trade and a synagogue for worship and fellowship. We got to walk through an ancient Insula that has been excavated this evening. It was amazing to see these ancient stones that housed a Jewish family who loved and worshipped the one true God Yahweh. What a privilege and honor. This site demonstrates the importance of community for ancient people.

Do you have a community to do life with?

Through the awkward moments and the beautiful ones, through the good, the bad, and the ugly...find and live in community.

As we live in community on this trip please pray us and those who lead us.



The synagogue at Chorazin is a typical “Galilean” style synagogue. These synagogues are characterized by 1) a basilical shape with three hallways separated by two rows of pillars; 2) three doorways and the central one is the largest; 3) benches around the interior walls; 4) a stylobate to support the weight of the arches.

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GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
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Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.

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