A life-changing experience: How a visit to the Holy Land transformed Harry from student of the bible to a leader in the Travel Ministry
As a faithful student of the Bible and active Church member I had never considered a trip to Israel. That all changed when a visiting Pastor Theopholius Carroll, who would later become my mentor, announced to our congregation that he would be leading a trip there on his 40th tour. Instantly I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
I knew that it would enhance my understanding of the Bible by leaps and bounds. I knew that would help enlighten sermons and studies mentioning sites I would have visited. I knew that it would give me a clear picture of the geography the same as Jesus experienced. And obviously, I knew that it would connect me to the present-day cities, towns, people, and customs.
But what I couldn’t imagine was how well I would learn from Israel’s finest Tour Guide who was uncompromising in imparting wisdom on us. How much I would appreciate the devotions and lectures from Pastors on the tour that looked forward to sharing. How much a Bus Driver who navigates safely through the tightest spots to our destinations would impress me.
I couldn’t imagine that the cost of this adventure in my faith would be one of the greatest investments in my lifetime. And throughout the tour I couldn’t imagine how the fellowship enjoyed with other Christians on the tour would be one of greatest experiences in my life making new friends for a lifetime.
I couldn’t imagine that when they called this a “life changing experience” it would be for me an understatement. When I returned in 2005, I made a Holy Land Presentation to my church with 100 of our members in attendance. Pastor Carroll attended and was so impressed he asked me to lead the next year’s group of two buses and again the following year.
The Holy Sepulchre
Harry Welton serves as Journeys Unlimited Midwest Director of Sales, having worked with Journeys full time since 2008 in “what is the most spiritually rewarding career along with the greatest staff and management I could imagine”.
For more on Harry’s story: I grew up in a good Christian home but later in life, my faith took a major leap when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I’ve spent the last 38 years as a serious student of the Bible and have always been active in my churches.Early in life I flew helicopters in Vietnam in 1967/68. I later graduated from a Christian college in 1972 where I majored in business. Since that time, I’ve held numerous challenging management positions but again, nothing as rewarding as what I’m doing now.Since traveling to Israel and Egypt in 2005, I’ve given over 200 Holy Land Presentations and arranged tours for over 100 Christian groups. There is no greater joy for me than to see first time visitors experience walking in the footsteps of Jesus.Today God has blessed me with a wonderful wife with whom we have five children and 13 grandchildren. My family knows the love I feel in being at home with them but also working with a new tour group and the possibility that I might accompany them to the Holy Land.
You can reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the holy land, where every stone has a story to tell, we take a break on the road to Jerusalem and explore what daily life in the time of Christ was like:
The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela; St. Mary’s church where the Ark of the Covenant is believed to lie; the castles of Gondar; the monasteries of Bahir Dar; these few highlights barely scratch the surface of the immense hidden treasure trove waiting to be explore.
The area around the Sea of Galilee is rich in biblical sites. One site that no visitor should miss is Cana.
Though it may not be considered a wealthy nation by economic standards, Ethiopia is a land immensely rich culture and heritage. The country is old beyond imagination, home of “Lucy” the 3 million years old human ancestor, but it also offers modern conveniences for visitors.