This journey is an all-inclusive, biblically focused study in the land of Israel. Walking to experience the land, combined with focused and passionate biblical teaching results in lessons that will reverberate in your walk with God for years to come.

The next trip with teacher Rod VanSolkema happens June 20 - July 2, 2016

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As we walk the land of Israel and dive into His text, His word walks across the landscape of our hearts and transforms us from the inside out.  Listen to some of these stories of changed lives, changed perspectives, renewed life, awakened passions and restored marriages.




The heart of the Israel study tour is to explore the Biblical text in its original location and culture.  In Ezekiel 20:6, God says that in His eyes, the Promised Land, the land of Israel, is the most beautiful of all lands.  It is a land flowing with milk and honey.  As we explore the geographical locations that provide the setting for His epic plan of salvation we will walk the land of the patriarchs, explore the ruins of the cities of the monarchy, and witness firsthand the region of the work of our Messiah and savior, Christ the Lord.  The text of the Bible will come to life as we follow the ancient paths and learn to walk as Jesus walked.

As we strive to experience the text, we will not log hours on a tour bus waiting in lines to have momentary tourist sightings.  Instead, each day will begin early as we have a meal together, gather for devotions and set out for the day.  We will walk the text in extreme conditions.  We will have a full day of hiking, walking and intensive studying together with a light lunch break.  After 8-10 miles of hiking, each day will end with a communal meal and time for personal debriefing and reflection.  The pace of this experience is intense as we make the most of our time together in His land.

Although you will receive massive amounts of teaching and information on this study tour, it is our goal for you not only to be informed but to be transformed.  As we push into the land and the text, the ancient paths, stories and characters will literally come to life.  It is our prayer that your heart would be awakened in new and powerful ways to see His work in your life, that you would be renewed in your call to make disciples and that you would be encouraged and strengthened to walk as Jesus walked.

"But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the LORD your God cares for. The eyes of the LORD your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year."

 Deuteronomy 11:11,12 ESV




As you anticipate your upcoming adventure, it is extremely important that you prepare physically.  Each day of the trip is demanding and the more training you do, the more enjoyable and beneficial this trip will be.  While in Israel, you should plan on hiking 8-10 miles per day with some of those miles being uphill.  The more you train, the more you will be able to focus on the sights and the lessons that God may have for you.  We recommend that your training include stair-climbing (10 flights without losing your breath) and 3 miles of daily walking or running (incline if using a treadmill).  Other activities that will build muscle endurance (weight lifting or lunges) would also be helpful.  You will need a sturdy yet lightweight pair of hiking shoes or boots for this excursion (we do not recommend waterproof).  We suggest that you begin wearing them while training as soon as possible.  In the three months prior to our departure we will have opportunities to train as a group if you are in the Grand Rapids area.

This trip is an opportunity to go deep in your understanding of the text.  While on site, the daily learning opportunities are great.  In order to make the most of our time in Israel, it is necessary for us to do some reading ahead of time.  The more reading you can accomplish before the trip, the more you will be able to connect the geography, culture and the text once we are on site.  Upon registration, you will receive a mandatory reading list.

In coordination with GTI Tours, we are offering an Israel Intensive Biblical Study Tour June 20 – July 2, 2016. Please note that the cost of the trip listed through GTI is all-inclusive including airfare, lodging, 3 meals/day, tips and entrance fees. $100 discount for registering before December 1, 2014.

Register Here

Reading List

Packing List


Rod VanSolkema is Lead Pastor of Crossroads Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rod has an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and completed his seminary work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Before planting Crossroads Bible Church, Rod served as pastor at four other churches in the areas of senior high and young twenties ministry. His love for the land was catalyzed while studying under and being trained by Ray Vanderlaan. Subsequently, He and his family spent time in Israel while he attended Jerusalem University College. Rod has a real passion for people to learn the Biblical Story and to gain a vision for discipleship by walking the Story in the Land of the Bible.