Green goes to Israel for life-changing trip

When other college students headed off to Florida to party away their Spring Break, Aaron Green took the opportunity to experience a land he wasn't sure he'd ever get to see.

Aaron Green describes it has an overwhelming experience of a lifetime. He walked into the dirty waters of the River Jordan. The cold water nearly took his breath away.

Green was getting baptized in the same river in which John the Baptist had baptized Jesus.

"I had already been baptized to symbolize that you are dying to yourself and coming back alive again, but who doesn't want to be baptized in the Jordan River," said Green a native of San Antonio, Texas. "The same thing that John the Baptist did to Christ, I got to do. Just amazing."

The River Jordan is a long way from Green's hometown of San Antonio. Through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at TCU, Green was able to travel to Israel.

Green stepped on a plane by himself, went to a country that he had never been to located 11 hours across the globe. He was headed to the holy land, a land he had only read about in the Bible.

"There are really no earthly words that do justice to the trip," Green explained. "I just wanted to experience God in a new way, in a way that I had never experienced him."

But Aaron Green has not always been a Christian.

At age 15, Green underwent two transformations in his life. Not only was he growing physically and athletically (growing into the five star running back that he would become out of high schoool), but he was growing in another way as well.

"When I was fifteen was when I really became a Christian," said Green who transferred to TCU from Nebraska. "When I was young, I would go to church, but I wasn't really a Christian. I was just going because my mom made me."

"My older cousin Gary was the one that ultimately led me to Christ when I was fifteen."

Just six years later, Green could hardly believe that he was standing in Jesus' tomb.

On his trip, Green travelled to Calvary to see the hill where Jesus Christ was crucified, and just fifty yards to his left was the tomb from which Jesus had risen.

"I went to so many places, but Calvary and Jesus' tomb were two of the most [moving]. It was kind of weird because everything that you read about in the Bible, it's the exact same to this day."

"Looking up at Calvary. I was stuck for a little bit. I couldn't speak. I just could stare and envision how it must have been," Green explained as he looked down and shook his head as if still in disbelief had what he had experienced.

"The most emotional moment of my trip was going into Jesus' tomb," Green said. "I couldn't talk. I felt star-struck. I kept asking myself, am I really inside of here? Just to be in there and see that it was empty, it brought me to tears."

Green spent nine days total in Israel, and he says it is a trip that he would die to take again.

"This was an experience that will never leave me. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about what I saw and what I got to do. I feel like earthly words cannot describe how I feel because what happened over there thousands of years ago was not earthly."

Green stressed that any earthly words cannot do justice to the magnitude of what he experienced on the trip. Not only was he overcome by the spirit of God while across the globe, but it is an experience that gives him hope every day of his life.

"It is definitely an experience that will never leave me. There is always hope because that same resurrection that God has put in Christ, he has put in all of us."

Green says he remembers every day the lessons that he learned from his faith, and he tries to extend that to all aspects of his life, including football.

"You don't find them any better than Aaron Green," TCU head coach Gary Patterson explained. "Aaron Green--he's unbelievable. You have to have leaders and guys that are accountable both on the field and off the field. There is no one that is an example of that accountability like Aaron Green. He already has that moral compass already, and he does everything the right way already."

His impact on the TCU campus extends far past the football field. A good teammate, a good friend, a good family man. Aaron Green is them all.

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