I’ve enjoyed leading study tours to the Holy Land for over 30 years, but I’ve always had a special interest in helping future Christian leaders make their first visit to the place where Jesus’s ministry happened. How powerful it can be for preachers to have their visual imaginations stirred by seeing the places where Jesus himself preached!
In recent years, I’ve become even more aware that Christian clergy need to have real confidence in the historical roots of our faith and in the credibility of the authentic Jesus of history. We are not following mere philosophical ideas, but something that was actually lived out in the first-century world. Jesus’s death is not just a theological concept, but a historical event he experienced in real time and space, in real agony and trust in God.
I’ve also been so encouraged by encountering many fellow Anglicans in East Africa who have a vibrant faith in the power of the Risen Jesus: it puts my own faith to shame! Out of this has been born in me a desire to help as many of these Spirit-filled clergy in Anglican provinces such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania (all influenced by the East African Revival) have the opportunity to see the places where the Jesus of real history once lived. This is where their Risen Jesus, whom they so love, walked and ministered!
So, I’ve made it a rule to have two East African clergy travel with me on every study tour I lead in the Holy Land. Over recent tours I’ve traveled with a total of six parish clergy (five from Kenya, one from Uganda), one college principal from Mombasa, one Ugandan bishop, and an ordained school head-teacher from South Sudan.
My goal for 2021:
In 2021, God willing, I hope to take eight clergy in Uganda on a Holy Land tour alongside a group of British seminarians.
These clergy members in Uganda are participants in the EFAC (the ‘Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion’), a fellowship founded by John Stott in 1961 to help provide high-quality theological resources for evangelical clergy around the world. Wouldn’t it be great to bring these key evangelical theologians and teachers together for 10 days of study and fellowship in the Holy Land? Imagine how this experience might impact the work of the gospel in East Africa.
Will you help us reach this goal?
The cost for each ‘travel scholarship’ for clergy is approximately $2,000 USD (covering land-tour, air travel, visas & insurance).
If this vision ‘lights your fire’, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to ‘The Friends of EFAC’ (c/o The Falls Church Anglican, 6565 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22042), ear-marked for the ‘East African Holy Land Fund.’
Thank you so much for giving this your prayerful consideration.
If you’re interested in making a trip to the Holy Land yourself, join The Rev. Dr. Peter Walker for a full day in the Galilee as he joins the annual tour of the Rev. Canon David Roseberry. Interested? Go to LeaderWorks.org/travel.
Peter Walker studied Classics and Early Church History at Cambridge University and has done extensive post-doctoral research on the Christian attitudes to Jerusalem. For many years he taught at Wycliffe Hall within the University of Oxford and was for five years Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity School for Ministry (near Pittsburgh, USA).
His books include Holy City, Holy Places? (Oxford: OUP, 1990), Jesus and the Holy City: New Testament Perspectives on Jerusalem (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996) and The Weekend that Changed the World: (London: Marshall Pickering, 1999). With LionHudson he has written: Jesus and His World (2003), The Lion Guide to the Bible (2010), The Story of the Holy Land (2013) and In the Steps of Saint Paul (2008).