Scenic view of trees at camp

Stories from the 2019 Forge Israel Trip

by Chelsea Connor


Every March, the students in Pine Cove’s eight-month discipleship program (The Forge) take a study trip to Israel. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the year, and they always take a few non-Forge students with them too.

It’s much more than a sightseeing trip; each historic site is met with in-depth teaching. The Scriptures come to life as students walk the same paths where Moses, David, and Jesus walked.

They just returned home from this year’s trip, and blogged every day about their journey here. We loved following along with their trip, and we pulled some excerpts and some pictures for a summary of their journey.


“[Israel] seems to be the ideal land for a people to settle and flourish. The climate is good, the soil is sustainable, the topography is not difficult for travel. It speaks to the Lord’s perfect provision for his people. I think my faith grew just seeing example after example of how the environment in Israel was just perfect for meeting the Israelites’ need while cultivating their reliance on God.” -Shannon Jones


“For me this was a powerful image: The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years! Compared to me and the comfortable life that I live, they had a lot to complain about. The heat, the lack of vegetation, the wild animals, and the list could go on. But I get to enjoy a comfy bed every night, I always have food to eat, I can have water whenever I want, and yet I still grumble and complain. I crave the things God gives me rather than just craving God Himself. I want Him more than anything this world has to offer—that is the cry of my heart! He truly is better than anything.” -Kaitlyn Kaye

“This was the first time we had seen Living Water in our first three days. It was here, in front of a small natural pool fed by a waterfall that Jared taught us what Jesus really meant when he says ‘I am the water of life’. He is the only one who can truly cleanse us, who can truly satisfy us.” -Tyler Wilhelm

blog%2FPhoto_Mar_18_9_48_18_PM blog%2FPhoto_Mar_16_11_54_29_AM

“For our second site today we got to climb Mount Arbel. This mountain is the only mountain in this sector of land. While early this morning we had clear skies, it very quickly turned into a rainy and stormy day. We were hiking this mountain and it’s slippery, wet, and there was rain everywhere in sight. We got to the very top and the clouds had just moved enough so that you could see the entire region of Galilee. It was stunning.” -Taylor Priddy

“We visited Caesarea Philippi and hiked to a place where people would have worshipped the god Pan. The entrance of this temple would also have been referred to as “the gates of hell.” This is the place where Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus told him, “You are Peter and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:18. It was sobering to see the darkness of the pagan worship that would have been happening right in the place where we were sitting, but praise God that even the gates of hell will not prevail against the church at the confession of Jesus as the Son of the living God!” -Hannah Thacher


“As I watched the sunset and gazed at the Sea of Galilee, I was reminded of the sovereignty and power of God. I prayed through so many of my fears and was assured that I could trust in the Lord because He who had the power to command the waves, still has the power today to calm the storms in my life. I was reminded that during the storm, the disciples were afraid for their lives, but Jesus wasn’t. Jesus slept because He knew that He had dominion over everything. My Savior has dominion over everything. When I become afraid in the future, I hope that I will recall today. I hope that I will recall the Sea of Galilee and remember that I can trust King of kings and Lord of lords because He alone is worthy of my faith, and He alone can command what I cannot control.” -Xenia San Miguel

blog%2FPhoto_Mar_16_11_31_41_AM blog%2FPhoto_Mar_19_9_17_59_PM

“After exiting the tunnel, we were at the Pool of Siloam, which was a significant location not only because of its involvement in one of the major Jewish festivals, but also because it is where in John 9 Jesus sent a man born blind to wash mud off his eyes and be able to see! Here we reflected on how we, like the man, were born spiritually blind but have been blessed with sight from Christ and have also been sent into the world to share how He has given us the ability to see.” -Rachel Gibson


“Today was a very heavy, yet beautiful day as we were given the opportunity to walk through the passion week of Christ. Starting at the Mt. of Olives we learned of the fear Christ had at the beginning. It wasn’t death or pain He was afraid of but the full wrath of God. The wrath for every sin that ever has been and ever will be committed. The entirety of the wrath deserved by us but instead was graciously and joyfully taken by Him so that we might instead have His righteousness.” -Ian Hall


You can read the full blog posts from each day of the trip and see the full photo galleries here. Also, applications for the Forge class 2019-2020 are open! More information about the Forge can be found here.

Posted Mar 26, 2019

Chelsea Connor

Former Staff

Read More Posts

Click here to sign up for our Inside the Cove newsletter!