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Nick Agazarian, junior youth ministries major studying in Jerusalem

Walking through the Garden of Gethsemane, going to the Mount of Olives, passing through Jericho or stopping by Gezer may be part of a typical weekend for junior Nick Agazarian.

Nick is currently studying abroad in Jerusalem. His weekends are often filled with trips to different places around the Old and New City of Jerusalem.

“One of the biggest things that I am learning is how to read the Old Testament,” Nick said in an email interview. These trips also teach him about the Israeli conquest of the land and modern Middle East conflicts between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Nick has been to the West Bank several times. “It is shocking to see the wall that separates Palestine and Israel,” he said. Once, while going back into Jerusalem, their bus was stopped and checked by an armed guard. Everyone on the bus was American and had a passport so there were no problems. “I cannot imagine what Palestinians go through at these checkpoints,” Nick said.

The Old City is quite a contrast to the West Bank. In this city, Muslims, Christians and Jews live among each other. “There appears to be a sense of tolerance for each other,” Nick said.

On one of his trips, Nick went to the City of David and stood in the Pool of Siloam. This is the pool that Jesus stood in when he healed the blind man in John 9. “Words cannot describe what it feels like to stand on ground and in places where Jesus healed and preached,” Nick said.

Nick has also spent some time bargaining with shopkeepers in the Old City of Jerusalem. “The original price given by the shopkeeper is usually double or triple what you should actually pay,” Nick said. He also enjoys listening to the shopkeeper’s stories about life in Jerusalem.

“So far, this trip has been an awesome growing experience and a chance to mature on my own, learn about a very serious conflict in our world and study and walk in the land of the Bible,” Nick said.

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