(Times of Israel) BETHLEHEM — Josiah Cohen first came to Israel last summer through a religious study tour organized by Wheaton College, an evangelical liberal arts school in Illinois where he studies music education.

An active member of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Cohen, 20, said he “fell in love with the land,” but craved firsthand contact with the people, an element lacking in the for-credit school pilgrimage he joined.

So Cohen began saving money through extra shifts as a college writing consultant, also appealing to family and friends for financial assistance — all so he could attend Christ at the Checkpoint, a biennial conference organized by Bethlehem Bible College for evangelicals from across the world. This year, 650 participants arrived from 15 countries.

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