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Most people on a college spring break go on cruises with friends or to the beach, but when I told people that I was going to Jerusalem, I won’t lie, I received interesting reactions. Some people supported my decision, saying that it would create a one-of-a-kind experience to last my lifetime, whereas some completely disagreed with my intentions to go, due to safety concerns and not being able to make memories with my friends at school. Nonetheless, I decided that this would be the ultimate trip of a lifetime to which none would compare; it was completely so.

The only concern I had going into the trip was how exactly I was going to manage to raise the money to go. Day by day checking the mail, I quickly realized in spiritual opportunities like this so many people felt a calling to send me on my spiritual journey. But it’s also interesting to see how God will provide in these types of situations. It was a beauty to see and I cannot thank everyone more for supporting me in my decision to make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

While we were there we saw so many holy sites, churches, monasteries, and shops. I cannot tell you how many we went into, there were so many. However, what I can tell you are some of the highlights on the trip.

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The stone in which the cross was affixed

We saw the Ascension of Christ; it was located in two churches. A Greek Orthodox cathedral and a Russian Orthodox church are dedicated to the Ascension of Christ. I got to see Christ’s footprint and venerate it, and that was hands-down the most powerful moment of my life. It was so surreal. Having the chance to witness something so magnificent that the average person can only visualize in their mind was life-changing.

We also went to the Sea of Galilee. This had to be the most peaceful part of the trip. This was towards the middle of the trip and we had quiet time to write in our journals to reflect on our pilgrimage thus far.

We saw the birthplace of Christ in Bethlehem and even got to go to the Bethany school, a school for Palestinian girls. The women who run the school there are so down to earth and love seeing Christians making the pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

We went to Jacob’s Well and got to drink the water there. Also, we went to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized.  We even got to watch baptisms happen in Spanish right beside us! The language barrier was not an issue for this because baptisms are such a beautiful moment.

Believe it or not, Christianity isn’t an easy concept. There are so many key elements to our faith that are hard to completely understand and grasp. If you are looking for a trip to answer all of your questions while still testing your faith, this is the trip for you.

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The Jordan River

Real Break Jerusalem has changed my life. This trip gave me the utmost reassurance of my faith. I cannot explain how much it has confirmed and strengthened my relationship with Christ. There’s no other place in the world to compare to the diverse culture and history that Jerusalem brings to our world. To say that I’ve been to a place where most people only can dream of going to makes it that much more special.

If you are looking for a trip that will enrich your knowledge in the Orthodox faith and grow your relationship with Christ, I strongly encourage you to go on this trip. There are no other words for me to say other than it has left a huge impact on my life and I cherish the memories and friendships that I made from this trip.

You can register for Real Break Jerusalem, as well as learn information about our many other real break trips, right here!


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My name is Natalie King. I’m from Richmond, VA.  I’m a junior at Virginia Tech studying Political Science and Communication Studies. A fun fact about me is that I play club field hockey for Virginia Tech.

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