Originally appeared here at The Daily Runner
by Natalia Mittelstadt on October 30th, 2017

 

The Passages trip to Israel is an experience that I will never forget and hope to make again someday. I returned home with a love and passion for the land of my faith that I had never experienced before. Not only was visiting the biblical sites breathtaking, but seeing modern day Israel firsthand was incredibly amazing and eye-opening; this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am grateful to have been a part of.

So what exactly happened on this trip? Well, in June, Regent University sent a bus load of students to Israel with an organization called Passages. Passages is “sponsored by the Philos Project and the Museum of the Bible Foundation, [it] offers Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the Holy Land.” The trip is 12 days long (including two travel days), mainly consisting of visiting ancient biblical sites and seeing modern Israel – experiencing its culture – in addition to talks from speakers of various backgrounds. This unique trip provides a balanced experience that allows one to step back into the past and see the Bible come to life while also explaining the history of the modern State of Israel and its current political conflict.

We had the opportunity to visit the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; get baptized in the Jordan River; overlook Syria from the Golan Heights while hearing gunfire in the distance from the civil war; tour Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust museum) and the Supreme Court of Israel; eat Shabbat dinner with a Jewish family; hear from a Palestinian on Israeli-Palestinian relations; and listen to a modern orthodox Jew about Jewish-Christian relations. These are just a few opportunities that we had the chance to encounter on our trip.

In all honesty, this article only covers the tip of the iceberg; we did, saw, and learned so much in that week-and-a-half that I would have to write a book about the whole experience in order to give a more accurate description of the trip, and even then I could not do it justice. The best way to learn about and experience Israel is to go there yourself – which I cannot recommend highly enough. But here is my attempt to relay a snippet of the experience to you, particularly what it meant to me, and what I learned about God and Israel through it.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

More about PASSAGES.