Every year, the Forge students take a trip to Israel in the spring. Having spent the past six months studying the geography, the people, the history, and the significance of Israel in the scriptures, it’s the pinnacle of our learning experience to travel to the Holy Land. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!
In true Forge fashion, this experience was not your typical tourist trip to Israel. Like the Israelites, we started in the desert in the south. It was sobering to walk where they walked and imagine being in their “shoes.” We “learned with our feet,” trekking through the desert while studying Deuteronomy 8:4 where it says after forty years their “clothes did not wear out and [their] feet did not swell.” Can you imagine?
From there we traveled around the Dead Sea and into the Judean Wilderness. We got to see the contrast between the deadly waters that are deceivingly beautiful and the humble, fresh springs that bring forth life. As we made our way north, the vegetation started the change. Instead of rocky ground and scarce plants, the rolling hills yielded lush green crops. It was coming together—the landscape had changed, there was abundant growth, and we experienced the contrast between the wilderness and God’s Promised Land.
By the time we arrived in Jerusalem, we were ready. We had walked the land, had been taught the need the people had for a Savior, and had studied every point of reference that pointed to a coming Messiah. And we were finally standing where He stood!
On our last day, we arrived at the Southern Steps to the Temple Mount where Peter gave his first sermon after Pentecost. We had come full circle, both geographically and chronologically. In ten days, we covered humanity’s desperate need for a Savior, experienced the wilderness, visited Jesus’ birthplace, saw the place of His bodily death, and finally to the place where humanity was presented with the New Covenant of the Holy Spirit.
One student on the trip said it best: when you’ve had a best friend for years but then visit their hometown for the first time, you know them so much more intimately. Going to Israel is like that—knowing and loving Jesus for a long time, but finally visiting His hometown and learning Him in a more intimate way. Overall, we are super thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to continue to unpack all that we learned.
Posted Mar 31, 2022