Come and meet Christians whose ancestors have lived in the Holy Land since the time of Christ. On this 11-day trip, you will not only explore the sites you've read about in the Bible, but also meet the people who are ministering, living, and struggling in this part of the world today.
Check out some resources on the OSJ site and starting learning about the Middle East now.
- Visit the biblical sites to gain a greater understanding of the Bible and to grow in your faith.
- Learn about the situation of Christians living in Palestine—their joys and challenges.
- Stay two nights in the homes of Christian Palestinians to get to know them on a personal level.
- Gain a first-hand perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian political-historical situation.
- Become an advocate for peace and justice in the Middle East.
- Committed Christian.
- Ability to walk through various terrains and tolerate heat.
Please note that according to IRS and CRA regulations this trip is not eligible for tax-deductible receipts.
Cost estimates without Jordan extension (in USD)
$1,850: In-country costs include accommodations (double occupancy) for 9 nights, food, travel fees, honorariums, and tips. Personal expenses and drinks (except water) are not included.
$26: Medical/medical evacuation insurance
$1,800: Estimated cost of airfare. This is subject to change until purchase and depends on city of origin.
add an additional $660 for the Jordan extension of the trip
Deb Bobiak: This will be Deb's sixth tip to the Holy Land. Her first was with Calvin College in 1983. Since then, she has served as the Director of InverVasity Missions Fellowship as well as their Director of Palestinian Projects. Under that role, she would lead six week programs for exploring Holy Land sites, issues of religion and social justice, and the role of local and worldwide Christians in the peace process. She also worked closely with the staff of World Vision's Jerusalem office and the Behtlehem Bible College.
Bill Thornburg: As a missionary in Nigeria over a period of 17 years, Bill taught at Edgar H. Smith Memorial Bible College, participated in a church development program among the Dakka people, and worked in Muslim outreach and the discipleship of Muslim background believers in northern Nigeria. He and his family returned to the U.S. in 2002 where Bill currently serves as Group Coordinator for the Volunteer Ministries Department of Christian Reformed World Missions. Bill co-led a trip to Israel/Palestine in 2014 arranged by Hope Equals and Christian Peacemaker Teams. Bill and his wife have three children and three grandchildren.
The details of the itinerary are subject to change depending on the availability of speakers and services. These are just some of the sites and activities we’ll be involved in.
August 8: Travel to Tel Aviv, Israel.
August 9-11: Spend 3 nights at a hotel the northern Israeli city of Tiberius. We’ll visit Mount Carmel, enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, visit Nazareth where Jesus grew up, and spend time in reflection at the Mount of Beatitudes.
August 12-13: Spend 2 nights in the home of Palestinian Christians near Bethlehem. We’ll tour Qumran and learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls, float in the Dead Sea, and see many sites in Jericho. We’ll worship at the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, and visit the Church of the Nativity and the Herodian, an archeological site built by King Herod.
August 14-17: Spend 4 nights at a hotel in Bethlehem. We’ll visit Jerusalem and tour the Holocaust Museum as well as the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall and the Old City.
We’ll also engage in learning opportunities with Bethlehem Bible College, Sabeel (Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center), Disability Center in Beit Sahour, Tent of Nations (a farm owned and operated by a Christian Palestinian family since before the Ottoman Empire), an Israeli Settlement in Hebron, and more.
August 18: Depart from Tel Aviv.
Optional Jordan Extension:
August 18: Cross Allenby Bridge into Jordan. Visit Madaba, Mount Nebo and drive to Petra. Spend one night in Petra.
August 19-20: Tour the archeological site of Petra before returning to Amman and touring the city. Visit Jerash and a refugee camp. Spend two nights in Amman.
August 21: Depart from Amman.