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Woodmen Friends…

Are you interested in hiking through the Holy Land and studying God’s word as we go? Join Joe Stowell, the Pastor of Church Life, on an Israel intensive study trip that is different from so many others tours to the Holy Land. Less time will be logged on a tour bus and instead, we will learn with our feet as we walk the geography, archeology, history and cultural settings of the Bible.

As a Woodmen community we will have the opportunity to explore the ruins of the civilizations that played significant roles in Biblical history and witness firsthand the regions of God's unfolding story. The text of the Bible will come to life as we follow ancient paths and learn to walk as Jesus walked.

A typical day will begin with an early breakfast together, lead into a full day of hiking (roughly 4-8 miles each day) with intensive study and discussion, and include a break for a light lunch. We will conclude each day with a group dinner and time for debriefing and personal reflection.

This Woodmen educational trip will utilize a rabbinical approach to walking and studying the text. Each day, you will follow the rabbi without knowing where you will be going or what is around the corner. Our lives today lead us to believe that we have control when, in reality, none of us knows what tomorrow may hold. It’s an incredible opportunity to learn what it means to trust and to follow. We encourage you to sit back, enjoy this adventure, and experience what it felt like to be a disciple walking in the footsteps of the Rabbi.


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Although we do not disclose specific sites to honor the rabbinical nature of this trip, you can be guaranteed to see desert treasures including Masada and Qumran, the region of the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and its biblical villages and the sites of Jerusalem.  We will cover the entire land as a community including exploring many sites and areas that are well off the beaten path.

Woodmen Valley is fortunate to have secured 15 spots on this life-changing trip led by Israel experts Rod and Libby VanSolkema. We are honored to be able to offer these spots for what is sure to be an amazing trip unlike any other Israel bus tour you may be picturing.  Joe Stowell  is excited to be a leader and ensure that the WVC people are doing awesome and are well cared for. However, very quickly we will all feel like one group and will be making significant relationships while hiking the land and studying the text.

Woodmen Valley is fortunate to have secured 15 spots on this life-changing trip led by Israel experts Rod and Libby VanSolkema. We are honored to be able to offer these spots for what is sure to be an amazing trip unlike any other Israel bus tour you may be picturing. Joe Stowell is excited to be a leader and ensure that the WVC people are doing awesome and are well cared for. However, very quickly we will all feel like one group and will be making significant relationships while hiking the land and studying the text.

Rod and Libby VanSolkema  have undergraduate degrees from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Rod completed his seminary work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Before planting Crossroads Bible Church in Gran Rapids, MI, Rod served as pastor at four other churches in the areas of senior high and young twenties ministry. Rod and Libby's love for studying the Bible in its cultural context and setting was catalyzed while studying under and being trained by Ray VanderLaan. Subsequently, Rod and Libby took their family to live in Israel while doing graduate work in geography, archeology, and history at Jerusalem University College. They are lifelong learners who continue to participate in graduate courses at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and Calvin Seminary. As a couple, they have a real passion for people to learn the Biblical Story and to gain a vision for discipleship by walking the Story in the settings of the Bible.

Rod and Libby VanSolkema have undergraduate degrees from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Rod completed his seminary work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Before planting Crossroads Bible Church in Gran Rapids, MI, Rod served as pastor at four other churches in the areas of senior high and young twenties ministry. Rod and Libby's love for studying the Bible in its cultural context and setting was catalyzed while studying under and being trained by Ray VanderLaan. Subsequently, Rod and Libby took their family to live in Israel while doing graduate work in geography, archeology, and history at Jerusalem University College. They are lifelong learners who continue to participate in graduate courses at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and Calvin Seminary. As a couple, they have a real passion for people to learn the Biblical Story and to gain a vision for discipleship by walking the Story in the settings of the Bible.


Trip Details:

Dates: June 19-July 1, 2020
Cost: $4,890 per person based on double occupancy.
*This is an all-inclusive tour so pricing includes all airfare, hotel, meals, entrance fees, guide/driver tips, study guides, Osprey backpack and other supplies.
*Please note: Pricing is based on airfare from Chicago. Woodman participants should arrange their own travel to Chicago. You can download itinerary here.

  • $100 discount if registered before December 27, 2019

  • Deposit required at registration: $500 per person

Trip has limited spacing and is booked on a first come, first serve basis.