People who visit the Holy Land generally fall into one of two categories: tourists or pilgrims. Tourists go to see various sites, buy souvenirs, take photos and videos, and then return home to share with family and friends their pictures, purchases and adventures. Pilgrims go to experience God—and their lives are transformed in the process.
Peter Miano, executive director of the Society for Biblical Studies, made this observation: "Tourists pass through places. Pilgrims let places pass through them, allowing their hearts to be changed."
During the last 30 years, I have taken many people to the Holy Land, most of whom decided to go as pilgrims. Each one experienced a unique encounter with the Lord at some point during the trip.