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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...



Connections: Roundtable
February 17, 2013


A Journey For Disciples



Participants of the Assemblies of God Center for Holy Lands Studies 2012 Discipleship Journey to Israel shared their reactions to the trip with
Pentecostal Evangel Editor Ken Horn, who accompanied the group. The Center’s director, Marc Turnage, led the group and provided in-depth teaching at the sites. He and licensed Israeli tour guide Ilan Aharoni shared guiding responsibilities.

evangel: What were your overall impressions of the Discipleship Journey?

ADONNA SMITH (Villa Rica, Ga.): I have had a lifelong desire to see Israel, and this fall the desire became a reality. I was not prepared for the depth of emotion or the great love for this land that the trip would stir within me.

ROB ROWSELL (Alpine, Calif.): There’s no way to tell people about this trip because it touches you from the inside out. My future education will be so much more real as I study the Word. Even more than that, it has made my whole spiritual experience more real.

PAM OLLER (pastor’s wife, Sonrise Assembly of God, Gilbert, Ariz.): This was not just a sightseeing excursion, but also a journey that affected the very heart and soul.

evangel: What were some highlights?

TOM BRANTNER (pastor, First Assembly of God, Huron, S.D.): The teaching that Marc Turnage unpacked at the synagogue at Chorazin about the Pharisees and the day Jesus read from the scrolls in the temple was probably the biggest highlight for me.

Taking a moment to read Psalm 42 at the headwaters of the Jordan after spending the few days in the dry southern areas made that passage literally come alive.

SMITH: Maybe the real treasure is more than walking where Jesus, the disciples, and patriarchs walked and experiencing the Bible in the actual land of promise. Could it be more than learning about our Savior and His Jewish roots and seeing the Word of God in a whole new light? Perhaps it is seeing a people group that has been scattered worldwide come back together in the nation God promised them and watch prophecy fulfilled before our eyes. It was a life-changing trip.

RAMÓN COLÓN-LATORRE (Pemberton, N.J.): I felt the touch of the Lord while there. I have decided, along with my wife, to attend the five-week training course there [offered in 2013 by the Center for Holy Lands Studies]. I look forward to it.

evangel: What was something you learned?

KEVIN PETERSEN (pastor, Clark [S.D.] Assembly of God): What stands out the most to me is the language and the culture, and understanding a better interpretation of the original writings — the Old Testament and the New Testament.

HOLLY SCHWARZ (Houston): As I’ve been reading the New Testament, it’s easy to picture where everything is now.

BRANTNER: It is amazing to me the transformation that has immediately taken place when I read, study and preach the Word. I’m seeing things as I read the Word that I had never seen before, and some things are so much clearer than ever before.

I expected this to be about “seeing where Jesus walked,” but it was so much more. The total picture of biblical culture and landscape and everything leading up to and including current, modern-day Israel was amazing.

OLLER: People are hungry to experience God. That becomes apparent when you see people kneeling to kiss the star where they believe Jesus was born or when you see the long lines of people waiting to see the tomb where it is said Jesus was buried. Many don’t realize that they can have Jesus with them in their everyday lives.

evangel: Your assessment of the teaching and guiding?

BRANTNER: Marc Turnage has a wealth of knowledge. He definitely lit a fire under me to study the Word like never before.

Having Ilan with us and interacting with him regularly was a great asset to understanding Jewish thought and culture. His leading us through the Holocaust museum was priceless!

OLLER: Marc’s teaching is appropriate for the most learned and even for those who may be hearing the lessons for the first time.

SCHWARZ: I feel like we had the best of the best with Marc and Ilan.

evangel: Would you recommend others go to Israel? Why?

NATHAN MONTGOMERY (Villa Rica, Ga.): When you come to this land it’s like the blindfold is taken off. You can use all five of your senses to help understand this world that God created, that He came to save. It totally illuminates the way you see things, and understanding the Bible in this way will change your life forever.

SMITH: It is a trip that, taken for the right reason and with great guides, will most assuredly change your life forever!

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