of falafels and following Jesus

“Many feel that it would be a great privilege to visit the scenes of Christ’s life on earth, to walk where He trod, to look upon the lake beside which He loved to teach, and the hills and valleys on which His eyes so often rested …”
— The Desire of Ages (1898)

Since the time of Jesus, visiting the places of His life has held a fascination and attraction for His followers from many parts of the world. This is one of those journeys, encountering and reflecting on the stories themselves, as well as the realities of visiting these places today.

From the rugged wilderness of Petra and the Dead Sea to the sparkling waters and lush valleys of Galilee, this is a story of re-discovering the stories of Jesus and the Bible, and how this journey changes and challenges us as we seek to follow Him as His disciples today.

In the same place where Jesus called a tax collector to collect His stories, Jesus has obviously called Nathan Brown to do the same. An exquisite writer, Nathan takes us into the holy sites, yes, but most of all, into the holy stories — of Jesus, of Scripture. This is a beautiful travel book and an inspiring memoir, all in one.

Dr Andy Nash
owner, Tabgha Tours to Israel
author, The Book of Matthew: Save Us Now, Son of David

While rich with culture, entertaining anecdotes and fascinating history, Of Falafels and Following Jesus is much more than a journey through modern Jordan and Israel. We are urged to turn our backs on holy places — to be witnesses to what Jesus has done, telling His story and following His example of disciple-making, building a movement of justice and mercy.

Dr Peter Roennfeldt
author, Following Jesus

This thoughtful and thought-provoking book will help any traveller — or armchair traveller — navigate an ancient land in modern times, reminding us to embrace its people, history, religions, and their many bewildering contradictions.

Dr Lindsay Morton
Lecturer in Literature Studies, Avondale College of Higher Education

Pilgrimages are deeply personal and often transformative. Nathan Brown and his collaborators have shared their intimate stories of spiritual and cultural shifts as a result of visiting Israel, Jordan and Palestine. I was moved by these stories and, as I now re-read the scriptural texts, each encounter includes the smells, sounds and feelings that the authors so thoughtfully crafted.

Dr Lisa Clark Diller
Professor of History, Southern Adventist University

Nathan Brown and his fellow travellers have delivered an interesting and inspiring account of their travels through the Holy Land. Their vivid writing style brings these places to life! A stimulating read that draws one not only deeper into the world of the Bible but also into some of the challenges we face in contemporary society.

Dr Kayle de Waal
head, Avondale Seminary
author, Mission Shift

Buy the book

Available from Christian book stores.

For bulk orders, please contact [email protected]

Following Jesus films

In the weeks following our trip through Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, our group leader Dr Peter Roennfeldt worked with Dr Nick Kross and Wes Tolhurst and his team to record and produce a series of films on location, exploring the key themes of disciple-making and movement-building from the life and ministry of Jesus:

Episode   1 2 3 4 5

Go deeper with Following Jesus: www.Following-Jesus.com


Want to see more of our journey? Here’s a selection of some of our best photos from along the way:

Day   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14  

The authors

Nathan Brown, Michelle Villis and Brenton Stacey travelled together from Australia as part of a larger tour group. They each grew up with the stories of Jesus, but are continuing to learn to read — and to live — these stories again.

Nathan Brown is a writer and book editor, based near Melbourne, Australia. He holds degrees in law, literature, English, writing, and theology and justice. Nathan is author or editor of 14 previous books, including Engage: Faith that Matters, Why I Try to Believe, Do Justice, For the One, I Hope and Nemesis Train (a novel). He continues to write regularly for publications around the world. Find other books by Nathan at Amazon.

Michelle Villis is founder of a Facebook group called “Following Jesus friends”. A textiles teacher with a passion for exploring faithful creativity particularly in children’s ministry, she is also founder and editor of girls’ magazine Amelia and a long-time Adventurer and Pathfinder Club leader. When she is not leading a class or catering for an event, Michelle is completing postgraduate study in ministry and theology at Avondale College of Higher Education.

As a follower of Jesus, Brenton Stacey feels called with wife Kylie to build stronger connections through shared experiences as part of a community collective called The Open House. With a degree in communication, experience in news writing and publishing, and a growing interest in philanthropy, he is Public Relations Officer at Avondale College of Higher Education. While falafels are an acquired taste, halva is a new favourite.