Monthly Archives: July 2014

Hiking Israel

I’ve just returned from a ten day trip to Israel with some folks from GRTS. We traveled with a larger group from Crossroads Bible Church and their pastor, Rod Van Solkema, led the trip.

Dead Sea at Sunrise

Dead Sea at Sunrise

He wanted us to learn the land with our feet, which meant loads of hiking. It was an absolute blast and a thorough soul-refreshment in every way.

We hiked for several days in the desert, including climbing Mt. Timna, the snake path up to Masada, and the mountains above Qumran.

About to Climb the Snake Path at Masada

About to Climb the Snake Path at Masada

After the Climb up Masada

After the Climb up Masada

Climbing Mt. Timna (or, Making Our Way to Mordor)

Climbing Mt. Timna (or, Making Our Way to Mordor)

On Mt. Timna. That's a heart-stopping sheer drop just behind me...

On Mt. Timna. That’s a heart-stopping sheer drop just behind me…

Cave 8 at Qumran

Cave 8 at Qumran

High Above Qumran -- that's the visitor's center in the middle and some of the caves just beneath it

High Above Qumran — that’s the visitor’s center in the middle and some of the caves just beneath it

In the North, we scaled Mt. Arbel and Mt. Carmel, along with a number of other places.

Climbing Mt. Arbel, Overlooking the Sea of Galilee

Climbing Mt. Arbel, Overlooking the Sea of Galilee

Doing so much walking and hiking gave us an excellent grasp of the geography of the land — where everything sits in relation to other places. It also allowed me to eat as much hummus and warm pita as I wanted (and falafel and shwarma and shnitzel, among other things) and still lose a few pounds!

Discussing Mark 3:1-6 at the Synagogue in Capernaum

Discussing Mark 3:1-6 at the Synagogue in Capernaum

John Hilber and I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at 5:30 in the morning and had the place to ourselves fo

John Hilber and I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at 5:30 in the morning and had the place to ourselves for nearly an hour

My colleague, John Hilber, and I seriously enjoyed the time with our students, along with the Crossroads group with whom we traveled. And we’re thrilled about the outrageously wonderful opportunity for GRTS students to travel to Israel made possible by our partnership with GTI Tours.

The GRTS Crew

The GRTS Crew