Over four dozen members of the Pella Christian school community recently returned from a 16-day trip to Israel. The trip was organized by well-known ministry leader Ray Vander Laan, who has been taking large groups on trips to Israel since 1992. Pella Christian High School Principal Darryl De Ruiter said the experience of the trip was remarkable.
“I think the things that we saw certainly met our expectations,” said De Ruiter, “but what we experienced and what we learned far exceeded what we had anticipated, so that was wonderful.”
The 54 people who made the trip hiked almost 100 miles over the course of the entire trip – sometimes in 110 degree heat. De Ruiter adds that the trip went far beyond the usual “sight-seeing” expedition.
“Ray Vander Laan wanted us to see things, he wanted us to touch things, smell things, and hear things; so as we learned, we were asked to – and we did – try to experience as much as we could in the land of Israel,” said De Ruiter. “That was such an important part of really learning.”
David De Jong, principal at Pella Christian Grade School, said the trip brought more of the readings of The Bible to life for him, and says the teachers that made the journey will be able to bring a first-person perspective of The Bible to their students.
“I could just picture our teachers having that passion when they’re teaching these Bible lessons in their classrooms,” said De Jong. “The kids will be able to see in their eyes how passionate these teachers are, so I am really excited for the improved, renewed passion for The Bible.”
Those who took the trip left on June 4th, and returned to Pella on June 19th with many pictures, stones and stories to remind them of the trip.
To learn more about the trip, you can listen to an interview with Darryl De Ruiter and David De Jong by clicking Radio Plus  and scrolling down to “Let’s Talk Pella”
(photos provided by David De Jong and Darryl De Ruiter)