There's something about a trip to the Holy Land that sets it apart from all other tourism.
To walk where Jesus walked and even sail where Jesus walked is going to stay with you forever.
So there was undisguised excitement as a group of 29 pilgrims set out from Tamworth last month.
The venture was the brainchild of Rev. Dub Gannon, the assistant minister at St. Paul's Church and had been three years in the making.
There was plenty to see, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho and, of course, the mandatory dip in/on, the Dead Sea.
Some places were almost as they might have been in Jesus' time, the Garden of Gethsemane, the sea of Galilee, Lachish where David met Goliath.
Other placers had been built over, but there were churches marking the spot where Jesus was born, buried, rose up into heaven, taught the Lord's Prayer.
Rob Cooper from Manilla said, "It has strengthened what I had read and learned from the Bible. I was seeing the actual sites and evidence that what is said in the Bible is actually true and accurate."
It has strengthened what I had read and learned from the Bible. I was seeing the evidence that what is said in the Bible is true and accurate.Rob Cooper
But the precise locality mattered less than the experience of reliving the story by reading the relevant Bible narrative and singing a song or two, to stand at the empty tomb and recall the angel's words, "He is not here. He is risen".
There was a feeling that Jesus was no longer in a picture story book, but was more real, more earthy.
As Brenda Turner said, "It concreted my knowledge of the Bible to make it come alive, knowing exactly where it's talking about because you're standing there."