written reports and three exams we came to the final day of the course at Jerusalem University Collage. As we gathered together for the last time we looked back at the incredible time we had here in Israel. A stuff member of the institute in his talked made and interesting point when he said that one cannot study the Sacred Scriptures sitting in a nice and cozy room with air-conditioning in summer or a heater in winter. He went on saying that we have been privileged to have an experience of the Bible as something more than a big book. We smelt the Bible with its different fragrances depending on the region. The dry Hill Country of Judah with Jerusalem as its main city smells differently to the fertile fields of Galilee. We felt the Bible in the tiredness of our legs and blisters on our feet from walking rocky paths. We were marked by sunburnt from constant exposure to the Sun. We thirsted for water in our hikes through the desert. We have seen how much variety of scenery this Land has to offer. From now on reading the Bible we can place the events in the geography of the country. What I take from the course apart from the familiarity with the history and geography of Israel is that as studying the Bible in the context of the Land where it was born one shouldn’t expect an easy time as living the Bible in the context of my life I shouldn’t expect an easy time either. The Holy Land isn’t a romantic resort. It is a tough place where faith is tried in order to grow stronger. It does grow stronger indeed as there is God journeying with those who take up the challenge like the generations of the inhabitants of the Holy Land did.
I am very grateful for this opportunity to study with our Protestant Brothers and Sisters. I was most impressed with how much they invest to learn about the Scriptures. The young people who came here are still at Uni and they had to work hard to save up for this course. Some of them made big sacrifices in order to come to Israel even if they knew that it wasn't to be a relaxing holiday break but a busy academic activity with lots of physical exercises.