A basketball team from Alabama just came back from a life-changing trip to Israel, where many players followed in Jesus' footsteps, getting baptized in the Jordan.
The college basketball team from Auburn, Alabama recently came back from a 10-day trip in Israel to play three exhibition games. But they did much more than just play basketball.
"Today, we shared a special moment with each other," the Tigers tweeted with pictures of the team members being baptized in the Jordan River.
The team also took time to tour the Holy Land, walking where Jesus once walked.
"We blazed a trail now. I think there's going to be other college teams who want to come over and have this competition and have this kind of historic, educational, religious, and spiritual experience. It was nothing short of amazing," said Auburn Tigers' Coach Bruce Pearl in an interview with SECNetwork.
According to The Christian Broadcast Network, the Tigers are only the fourth college basketball team to play in Israel in a pre-season tour.
"My players are going to see their Judeo-Christian roots, and for those who want to get baptized in the river Jordan, they will," says coach Pearl, whose first trip to Israel was in 2009. "They'll walk in the garden where Jesus walked, and they'll pray at the Western Wall. And they'll experience firsthand God's presence in the Holy Land. Just come and see it, you'll be changed forever."
One of the athletes shared his experience on his blog, commenting how the trip was life-changing.
"First, we went to see the Mount of Olives, which had the most amazing view," says center Dylan Cardwell. "From there, we walked down the mountain and visited the beautiful Garden of Gethsemane, which has been preserved since the days Jesus walked the Earth."
One spot, in particular, caught Cardwell's attention.
"My personal favorite was visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was buried. It was an amazing sight to see. Walking through the Old City of Jerusalem was a huge blessing — just observing people's way of life and how they differ to our livelihood back home in the U.S. The next day, we traveled to Bethlehem where Jesus was born. It was another significant scene. Just to be able to stand where Jesus once stood was a crazy experience."