Trinity Students Travel to the Holy Land
A group of Trinity students and staff rang in the new year on an airplane en route to Tel Aviv, Israel. Thirteen students from Trinity Christian College traveled with Rev. Ben Snoek, Campus Pastor and Adjunct Professor of Theology, and Erin Pacheco, Director of Campus Worship and Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology. The trip was hosted by Trinity’s Theology Department and led through Passages, a Christian organization that offers trips for college students to engage deeper with the lands of the Bible and the roots of Christian faith.
“I always dreamed of studying abroad in college, but due to academic and athletic responsibilities, I felt that being gone an entire semester would not work for me. When Pastor Ben casually mentioned the idea of a trip to Israel over winter break, I was immediately interested,” said Olivia Andre ’23
During the ten-day trip, students traveled through modern-day Israel and stopped at sites with biblical, historical, and political significance.
Some highlights of the trip include:
- Hiking a mountain in the deserts of Ein Gedi, where David fled from Saul
- Floating in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth
- Tracing Jesus’ ministry around the Sea of Galilee, including the Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum
- Following Jesus’ footsteps in Jerusalem during his final week, from the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane to Via Dolorosa to the Garden Tomb
- Wading through the pitch-black water tunnels that King Hezekiah carved during an Assyrian siege of Jerusalem
- Participating in Communion at the Garden Tomb, a possible site of Jesus’ death and resurrection
- Visiting holy sites commemorating important biblical events, including the Church of the Annunciation, the Church of the Nativity, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
- Celebrating and remembering baptisms at the Jordan River, the same waters in which Jesus was baptized
Miles Williams, ’23, recounted, “As I’m still processing all the amazing things we did in Israel, I can’t help but think how blessed I am to be able to experience the Holy Land! I was able to connect with God in a way that I never have before, and that was because I was able to better understand who He is through the places I visited and what impact He made throughout Israel. I was able to see the places Jesus ministered and where He performed miracles.”
In addition to engaging sites of biblical events and Christian significance, students learned about the geopolitics of the Israeli-Palestinian land conflict. Evening sessions were hosted by speakers presenting a range of positions on the Holy Land’s modern political and religious landscape.
Andre continued, “Walking in the footsteps of Jesus made the black and white words written in the Bible become color. In addition, the trip allowed me to experience new cultures, traditions, and religions, while simultaneously deepening my own faith and understanding of the roots of Christianity.”