Learning and lingering. Site-study and spiritual disciplines. Map work and meditation. Combining their unique gifts and callings, Jennifer and Sharon will be your guides as we Journey with Jesus through the land and places of his birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension. Jennifer will teach the geographical-historical context and background at each site with the aim of connecting it to the Gospel stories in engaging, refreshing and convicting ways. Sharon will lead us through spiritual disciplines providing opportunities for you to encounter God and travel deeper into his heart in the land where he dwelt among us. This itinerary is designed to allow time for both the study of Scripture and spiritual formation. We hope you will join us!
We’ve built into our study tours everything you need for an enjoyable and educational trip. We want you to be fully focused on the lessons and experiences you’ll encounter, and not be distracted by local tipping practices, transportation arrangements, or meal planning.
We believe that as a Study Tour participant you’re not a mere tourist—you’re an investment! This is evident from the moment you book your trip, through to the time you return home to share what you’ve learned with your friends and family.
Our seasoned guides and ministry partners do so much more than handle the details and keep things on schedule. Our local guides have personal experience and intimate knowledge of the places and events you’ll examine, and our ministry partner’s teachers have a shepherd’s heart and a passion for God’s word.
The guides have been so personable and so knowledgeable and so friendly. There's just never a bad day for these guys. They make you very comfortable throughout the trip.— Steve
We got to walk the land and it made our bibles come alive, and my son being 17, he needed it to come alive. It solidified his foundation in his faith.— Joey
GTI has done such a great job of taking care of everything... allowing us to feel at home and really focus on the things we needed to from the very beginning.— Jordan
Jennifer Jackson Greer (M.Div. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) has enjoyed learning and teaching the Story of the Bible in a variety of contexts in the Middle East for nearly two decades. She is an Adjunct Instructor of Bible at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary where she and her husband Jonathan teach courses in biblical interpretation and background studies. Together they lead an annual study tour to the lands of the Bible as well as a GTI Signature Tour https://gtitours.org/trip/signature-egypt. They are currently working on a book entitled How to Read the Bible In Its Ancient Context: A Guide for Exploring the Worlds of the Old and New Testament. In addition to her trip leading, teaching, and writing, Jennifer has served in church leadership and is mother to three amazing children. She looks forward to every opportunity to teach the Bible and finds no better classroom than the lands where the Story all began.
Sharon Garlough Brown is an author and retreat speaker who travels internationally to lead events. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Sharon has served on the pastoral staff of congregations in Scotland, Oklahoma, England, and most recently in West Michigan, where she co-pastored Redeemer Covenant Church with her husband, Jack. Her spiritual formation novels in the bestselling Sensible Shoes Series follow the journey of characters who are learning to rest in the love of God. Her latest novel, Shades of Light, explores issues of mental health and spiritual formation. Remember Me, a novella about meditating on the cross, releases in January of 2020. For more information about her ministry, visit https://www.sharongarloughbrown.com.
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Welcome to Israel! After we arrive in Tel Aviv and are greeted by our Israeli guide, we will collect our luggage and board our motor coach. We will be taken to the West Lagoon Resort on the shores of the Mediterranean for a much-needed night’s sleep before setting off on our journey in the morning.
After a brief orientation meeting, we will visit Caesarea Maritima on the shores of the Mediterranean. This Greco-Roman city was built by Herod the Great and served as the Roman capital of Judea. We will then drive across the country to the Church of the Annunciation in the once Jewish village of Nazareth. This church commemorates the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would bear the Son of God. Afterwards, we will drive to Mount Precipice overlooking the lush Jezreel Valley and remember Jesus’ rejection in his hometown. Our final stop will be Mount Arbel with our first stunning view of the Sea of Galilee where we will pause for reflection. We will then make our way to Ein Gev Kibbutz along the shores of the Sea of Galilee where we will enjoy dinner and a well-earned sleep.
An early morning boat ride on the Sea of Galilee will pry us out of bed! As we sail across the lake that Jesus quieted, we will sit and be still too. We will disembark at Ginosar and visit an ancient 1st century boat. Then, we will make our way to Capernaum, Jesus’ hometown, and enjoy the outdoor chapel on the lakeshore as we ask “who is Jesus?”. We will visit the Mount of Beatitudes where according to tradition Jesus gave his famous sermon. From here we descend to Tabgha, the traditional place of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and fourth resurrection appearance. Our day will end in Magdala, hometown of Mary Magdalene, and the site of a 1st century synagogue. Just as we began our day in silent reflection, we again will enjoy time in the many chapel spaces where beautiful mosaics highlight Jesus’ ministry on the Galilee before returning to Ein Gev.
Today, we begin at the site of Kursi in the Gentile region of the Decapolis where tradition remembers the miracle of the swine as we continue to ask “who is Jesus?”. From here we will travel to the heights of the Golan and visit Ancient Katzrin Village and Synagogue, a living history museum, where we will experience life as an ancient person. We will continue north to the Old Testament site of Tel Dan, where an important inscription mentioning “the house of David” was found as well as an Israelite temple for Yahweh. We will end our day at Caesarea Philippi where Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” reflecting ourselves on that essential question. We will make our way down to the Sea of Galilee where we will enjoy our last night in the Galilee.
Our morning drive will take us along the banks of the Jordan River as we head south into the Judean wilderness as we consider Jesus’ temptation and baptism. We will visit the site of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and talk about the people’s longing for a Messiah to rescue them. From here, we will visit the site of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul and meander through the paths and waterfalls that bring water to a dry and thirsty land. Our day concludes as we check into our hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea where we can enjoy a float either in the spa, sea or both.
The morning begins watching the sun rise over the Jordanian mountains before we travel from the wilderness to Herodium, the palace and burial place of King Herod the Great. From here we will visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem where tradition honors the birth of Jesus. The Shepherds Field will allow time to sit in a cave on the outskirts of Bethlehem and ponder, as Mary did, the realities of Jesus’ coming. Our afternoon will be spent at the Israel Museum where we can tour the archaeological finds from the Biblical period. We will also see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book and the Model of Jerusalem, offering an overview of the city at the time of Jesus. As we conclude our day, we will drive up to Jerusalem, the Holy City, and settle into our hotel.
An early morning greets us as we make our way into the Old City enjoying the sights, smells and tastes of this ancient city. Our first stop will be the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock. We will then visit the Western Wall, the foundation wall of the Temple platform, and offer our prayers and petitions to God as many before us have done. We will make our way to the Southern Steps of the temple and ascend as ancient worshippers did into the presence of God. From here we descend to the City of David and walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel that was built to bring water into the city. The day will conclude at the Pool of Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man. After a long day of walking the aged paths, we will return to our hotel for a meal and rest.
On our last day, we will retrace the final week of Jesus’ life. We will walk the path of the Triumphal Entry descending the Mount of Olives and stop at Dominus Flavit, where tradition says Jesus too stopped to weep over Jerusalem. Off the beaten path in an olive tree grove overlooking the Old City, we will reflect on the Passover and sacrifice of Jesus. Descending further to the Garden of Gethsemane we will consider Jesus’ agonizing prayer and his arrest. Once in the Old City, we will visit Saint Anne’s Church and the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the lame man. We will walk the traditional Via Dolorosa way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where our Lord and Savior was crucified, buried and raised from the dead! Leaving the Old City, we will conclude at the Garden Tomb. Here we will consider and meditate on the life and ministry of Jesus, his resurrection and ascension, and his call on our own lives and communities as the people of God and disciples of our King Jesus. With our hearts and heads full, we will go to the hotel for a farewell meal to fill our stomachs, recount our amazing journey, then pack for the flight home tomorrow after a brief sleep.