In a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Assemblies of God, the Center for Holy Lands Studies is offering a Pentecost-inspired tour of Israel next spring. Themed "In the Footsteps of Pentecost," this unique educational and spiritual experience will explore the geographical, historical, cultural and spiritual settings leading up to the Day of Pentecost, some 2,000 years ago.
The 11-day tour (March 27-April 7, 2014) will not only trace the heart of the Book of Acts, it will also serve to further reveal the power of the Holy Spirit and His call upon the lives of a few hundred people who gathered at an opera house in Hot Springs, Arkansas, 100 years ago - when the Assemblies of God was born.
"The 'In the Footsteps of Pentecost' trip is specifically designed around the centennial celebration," says Marc Turnage, director of AG Center for Holy Lands Studies and director of the event. "We will experience collective group moments throughout our journey through Israel that will not only be educational, but provide opportunities for great experiences with God."
Focusing on the life and ministry of Jesus, and culminating with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, the 'In the Footsteps of Pentecost' experience will include such unique experiences as a night-time service in boats on the Sea of Galilee, a bread-making lunch in Kefar Kedem and visiting some two dozen key additional locations, including Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, Nazareth, City of David, Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane and more.
The final service will be held on the site where the first Pentecost took place.
"The experience of connecting the first Pentecost 2,000 years ago to the Pentecost of Azusa Street and the birth of the Assemblies of God 100 years ago in light of the workings of the Holy Spirit today will be an incredibly moving, possibly even life-changing, experience," Turnage says.
The Center for Holy Lands Studies was created to help ministers, leaders, laypeople and students to not just tour the lands of the Bible, but to experience the lands, language and culture in such a way that it would bring deeper meaning and understanding to Scripture.
In addition to "In the Footsteps of Pentecost," Turnage says that the Center for Holy Lands Studies also offers additional journeys into the Holy Lands, each with specific purposes - from discipleship to pastoral and leadership training.
"One of the many trips we'll be taking in 2014 is the 'As One With Authority' trip," Turnage says. "This unique experience has been created for pastors and leaders to help them better interpret the Bible and better communicate what the Bible meant in a 21st century context. It will also reveal what true biblical leadership looks like."
Turnage explains that one key experience for the "As One With Authority" journey will be to experience the life of a shepherd.
"The depth of understanding of many Scriptures is greatly increased when you understand the role and life of a shepherd," Turnage explains. "For instance, shepherds never lead their sheep, because they do not follow. Instead a shepherd walks behind or alongside and drives his sheep. Even this one simple example, in light of the shepherding backgrounds of the biblical patriarchs and Christ's repeated use of the shepherd analogy, brings a new light to many Scripture passages and what it means to be a biblical leader."
For more information on "In the Steps of Pentecost," "As One With Authority" and other Holy Lands experiences being offered by the Center for Holy Lands Studies — including customizable trips for larger groups of ministers/leaders, churches, college or high school students — see its website.