Before my grandfather passed away, he gifted me his 1971 Canon FTb film camera. I did not know anything about film and had never attempted photography before. He came to know the Lord in his final weeks, so when he passed I was left with the joy and peace that he was in Heaven and a film camera I did not know how to use. It sat on my shelf untouched for years until I began preparing for my trip to Israel. I had a deep desire to capture Israel on film with this camera that meant so much to my grandfather and now me. This film camera did not leave my neck for ten days as I did my best to capture beautiful moments, places, and people to have forever.
This is a photo I took of the door leading into the Garden Tomb. This is one of my favorite photos because of how impactful this spot was for me. Our sweet tour guide said something I will never forget here, “What matters is not what is in the tomb, but what is not.” The joy that He is risen! To see this site and proclaim the Good News was a dream come true.
Disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. This was a favorite photo of mine because of how fondly I look back on this moment. As I walked around the garden, I wept at the beautiful site of the students spread out praying, journaling, and sitting in the presence of the Lord. I felt the Lord reveal to me that this is what the disciples looked like when they would come here with Jesus to pray.
This is a photo I captured of some friends going out for a morning surf on the Mediterranean Sea. This was one of only a few action shots I took on this trip, but I was very pleased with the outcome. This picture makes me smile because it captures nicely the excitement and anticipation as they headed out to surf in Israel bright and early before another spiritually-filling day.
This photo was of the Jordan River. This was an incredible experience because I got baptized here! To experience this in the same water where John baptized Jesus was huge. I have prayed for deeper intimacy with the Lord, so to experience this was so wonderful.
The Church of Nativity was just one church out of the countless ones we saw, but it was one of my favorites. The beauty and reverence of this church blew my mind.
This is a photo of my journal that seemed to never leave my hand. I wrote in this constantly throughout my trip! I was gifted this by a friend who attended Israel through Passages last March and advised me to fill it up with as much writing as I could. I went one step further and even included all my developed film photos as well, creating a huge scrapbook full of journal entries from each stop and speaker with pictures from everything. This has become a treasured item to me that I can keep forever to relive this incredible trip.
This is a photo taken in Tel Aviv. This was such a wonderful night where I got to learn so much about Israel and experience the beautiful and vibrant city! I snapped this picture from our hotel balcony before running down to swim in the Mediterranean Sea with my group!
This is a photo of our tour guide, Or! We loved Or so much and he truly made the trip incredible. His intentionality and passion for his job and for educating others was so apparent. We also established a sweet friendship with him and as a group have stayed in close contact!
To capture the Holy Land on my grandfather’s film camera was truly surreal. I feel so blessed to have experienced this incredible opportunity and to have it forever documented with these photographs. Thank you Jesus!