I remember as a kid watching the old Apollo Space Missions to the moon. In fact, our family actually personally knew Astronaut Jim Irvin (Apollo 17 I believe?). He was one who walked on the moon. Taking his first steps on to the moon’s surface, Jim quoted Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It was thrilling for me to have a “real-live” astronaut stay in your home a few times! Anyway, to see a launch of the rocket into orbit, still today, is a thrilling experience! A launching of an Apollo rocket/spaceship meant traveling to new heights and opportunities! It represented expanding to new horizons!
That’s how I am viewing the launching (and the expansion) of Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours! It is an exciting time of venturing to new heights and expanding horizons!
Biblical Israel Tours was created over 20 years ago. I have been leading Israel tours for a while now. But the “launch” of Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours has taken place and is now ready to take off, as God opens doors and provides. This means that the continuing “tour” ministry (e.g. leading tours to Israel and other lands of the Bible) will now also expand to a “teaching” ministry. I still hope to lead 8-10 trips each year. But it is also my hope that God opens the doors for speaking engagements for both churches and schools (e.g. home-school organizations, Christian schools, colleges and even seminaries).
While I have the privilege of “teaching” all the time while leading study trips to the land(s) of the Bible, the teaching of the “physical settings” of the Bible in churches and schools is what will be developed. The “physical settings” of the Bible include understanding the context of the Bible. Using biblical archaeology, historical geography, and the study of the culture of the Bible brings a new 3-D dimensional context to the reading of the Bible. Learning the Bible in context also brings a new excitement to the reading of the Word.
HERE is the new ministry brochure. I invite you to take a peak at the opportunities to both travel with us as well as delve into the physical settings of the Bible. It reflects the expansion of this ministry!
The two-fold purpose of Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours is the following (as taken from the ministry brochure:
- Offering highly biblical and in-depth study tours to Israel (and other lands of the Bible). Trips are designed for individuals, churches, schools, colleges, and seminaries. Each trip has an informational (knowledge a bout the world of the Bible) and formational (inspiring one’s walk of faith with Christ) orientation. Dr. DeLancey leads 6-10 tours/year, giving many options for people to join. Exclusive trips for churches, schools, and organizations can also be scheduled (imagine Tours & Travel handles each and every tour – www.ittworld.com).
- Multimedia “Physical Settings” seminars for both the church and classroom setting. Teaching involves the understanding of historical geography, biblical archaeology, and the culture of the Bible, bringing the Bible alive in new and exciting ways! Formats for teaching include church seminars, conferences, guest lecturing & preaching, and teaching modules for schools, colleges, and seminaries.
Ultimately, Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours is about the transformation of lives. When one travels to Israel or learns about the context of a passage, transformation takes place at various levels:
- Your understanding of Scripture is transformed. You’ll never read and interact with the Bible the same way. As mentioned about, you will gain a new excitement for God’s Word.
- Your heart will be transformed. This is the essence of discipleship. Growing in faith is not just about acquiring information. Of course this happens when you study God’s Word in the context of the physical settings of the Bible. For some, “information overload” takes place after Day 3 of my trips simply because there is so very much to see and learn! But more importantly, growing in faith is about formation. Your heart’s desire to follow Christ will take you to the next level (e.g. new “Apollo-like” heights) of your faith walk.
- Your life perspective will be transformed. Living life is often a matter of perspective. To know that the God of all the stories of the Bible is the same God who leads and guides us is a remarkable truth. There are so many life lessons to be learned and applied once you begin understanding the context of the narratives of the Bible.
Be sure to visit the browse around the web site (www.biblicalisraeltours.com) to learn about all the expanded opportunities to both travel to and learn about the land of the Bible!
Dr. John DeLancey
(I humble invite you to share this post through your social media account to as many as possible. Thanks for spreading the word on behalf of Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours)