Young Women for America in Israel!
June 3-14, 2018
It’s true! You can be part of the very first Young Women for America trip to Israel! All you need to do is sign up below to reserve your space. Please do it now, as space is limited.
Visiting the Holy Land never leaves a person unchanged. It will transform the way you read the Bible. When you walk where Jesus walked, little things once unnoticed will begin to make sense. As one young lady put it, “It’s one thing to read about a stone in front of a tomb. It’s another matter to see a first century tomb and realize that what you’ve read for years suddenly makes sense.”
Stand on the ground where Jesus stood. Look out over the Sea of Galilee. See the land of Israel.
Questions? Click here for additional information.
What will we be doing? Click here for a sample itinerary.
Experiencing the Bible
Before going to Israel, reading the Bible was like looking at a series of black and white photos. I got an accurate picture of Christ’s life, deity, and ministry and the narrative is complete, though lacking some minor supporting details. After going to Israel, reading the Bible is like watching a movie adaptation of a book. I have sailed on the Sea of Galilee. I have walked from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Temple. I have seen synagogues He preached in. The picture will not be fully complete until I get to Heaven, but as I read the Bible I feel like I am experiencing God’s Word for the first time.
Now as I read my Bible I am constantly looking at maps and doing research. Did I travel on the road to Emmaus? Most likely. How long was the journey from Capernaum to Jerusalem? A five-days walk, but we drove it in 3 hours. The black and white photos I used to have in my mind all now have deep, beautiful histories that tie into what I saw. My Bible reading time is now about integrating the pieces of my experience in Israel with what I have read in the Bible my whole life. I will soon reread the story of the Gentile Pentecost in Acts 10, but this time I can picture Simon the Tanner’s house, where Peter looked out over the Mediterranean Sea as God showed him that the Gospel is for the whole world. The Bible has always been living and active, but it is now more alive in my life than ever. — By Virginia Bantz // Union University
A New Perspective
As perhaps the only Jewish person among the 200+ people who went on the June Israel trip, I just have to say something briefly to my Christian brothers and sisters. The trip was, from my Jewish lens, way beyond what I had expected.
Israel touches me very deeply. It causes me to choke up constantly, even for seemingly trivial things like just seeing a small Israeli child, or a young IDF soldier, or even the sight of the Israeli flag. I love that place deeply. But there were certain moments — like being at Yad Vashem or hearing that a 23-year-old policewoman had been fatally stabbed — where the pain at times seemed unbearable, and yet each time my Passages bus mates were not only sensitive to my sadness, but also profoundly touched themselves. I was not alone. We grieved together, hugging often and tearfully, and frankly it was the most graphic display of Judeo-Christian unity I have ever witnessed. This was the real thing. — By Mark Jacobs // African-American Leadership Group Leader
I was in Jesus’ Home
So much of the Bible makes more sense to me now, and I’m grateful for that. It’s one thing to read about a stone in front of a tomb. It’s another matter to see a first century tomb and realize that what you’ve read for years suddenly makes sense. I remember being on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. I sat on the edge of the boat, letting my legs hang over the edge in the hope of getting a tan and looking out over the water. As I looked at the mountains on every side and the water beneath me, the reality of where I was hit me for the first time. The water splashing beneath my feet as the boat pushed it aside was the water that Jesus walked on, the water that Jesus calmed with a phrase.
The shore I was admiring, a moment before for its beauty, was the shore where Jesus spent most of his life — where he fed the multitudes and preached and even hung out with his disciples cooking them breakfast. I was in Jesus’ home. And in that moment, I realized that I would never read the Bible the same way again.
I cannot help but picture that sea when I read about Jesus being on the shore or the sea. I can’t read about the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law without seeing the ruins of Peter’s house, surrounded by the ruins of two different churches. The Bible has a new significance, makes more sense, and feels more real than ever before, all because I saw where it happened. The long term impact that this trip will have on my faith is unimaginable, and therefore, I will always treasure my memories of Israel. — By Ellen Howard // Union University