July 6, 2015
Now that we’ve returned from our study tour you’ll hopefully be able to talk to one of us in person about what we saw, heard, learned, and experienced!
Below is a wrap up video that serves as a nice summary of the trip and a reminder of all that we did.
July 3, 2015
As we started our last day here in Jerusalem there was a heaviness that hung about. Maybe it was sadness about the trip coming to an end but I think it was mostly the journey we knew was ahead of us today. By the end of the day we would have walked through the last week of Jesus’ life.
July 1, 2015
Today I was reminded about the privilege we have to be under the leadership and teaching of Rod. So far this trip to God’s country has been shaping. The sight of the numerous different places and how they tie into their biblical stories has illuminated meaning within the bible to depths that I have never explored before. After seeing the sights, understanding the biblical geographical context, and having Rod give passionate and detailed sermons, I can never look at the bible, Jesus, or the mission that we have as Disciples of Christ, the same. Rod has left us with a clear message; that it is our Christian duty to pick up our crosses, journey to the dark places of the world, and bring shalom into chaos wherever God has placed us for the glory of God.
June 30, 2015
Each morning here in Israel begins bright and early as we all head to breakfast. And breakfast here is a grand affair! No matter what the location, the spread always excites my hungry belly. Laid out for us are the beautiful foods of honey from the honeycomb, yogurt, and dates, fresh vegetables, fruits, breads and eggs. How can food be so beautiful?! But we only have limited time to snarf it all down in order to not be late for the day!
June 29, 2015
We had another great day in Israel, and we continue to be blessed with safety and good weather. We had a steep climb up Mt. Arbel today with an even more exciting climb down! It definitely challenged several people’s fears of heights, but we all made it to the bottom safely. It has been neat to see our community growing closer together and encouraging each other in different ways! Mt. Arbel is a beautiful spot overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding towns where Jesus’ ministry took place. This is the mountain that is thought of to be the place where Jesus often went when the Bible says, “Jesus went up to a mountainside to pray.” We were encouraged by the story of Peter walking on the water. Jesus sent the disciples into the storm and then went up to pray. He saw the disciples in the storm before going out to them, which was encouraging to remember that God is with us in our storms. Even though the storms are tough, you don’t get to experience God without the storms. We finished out Peter’s story on the shore of Galilee where Jesus may have called the fishermen disciples to follow Him. While Peter often had times of doubt, he also loved Jesus so much. We were reminded that doubt is part of faith.
June 28, 2015
“You do not support the root. The root supports you.”
Our group pondered these words as we stood overlooking a group of olive trees growing on the side of the mountain. The trees thick trunks grew upwards in a disorderly sort of fashion, bending and twisting as they made their way toward the sky. Their branches, bearing many small silvery leaves, reached out in all directions.
June 27, 2015
To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write for today’s blog. We’ve seen, learned, and experienced so much over the last few days that this task is beyond daunting. So, for your viewing pleasure, I’m just going to wing this thing. The title of this entry translates to “Living water.” Today, I learned that living water isn’t just a “thing,” it’s an EXPERIENCE and embodiment. Okay, now let’s break this bad boy down and see what we come up with.
June 25, 2015
Paul once said, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and hurt with those who hurt.” Romans 12:15.
This is just one of the themes that has been discovered of this trip. Right from the get go we have been celebrating our family’s achievements and coming around our family’s sorrows. I say family because that is what this is. Family. A community of people dependent on each other—who know one another’s struggles and one another’s victories. Though we have heard many of our members’ stories we still have quite a bit of ground to cover. Diverse ground to cover. Today we encountered the desert, which, isn’t just a place but a state of life.
June 24, 2015
We started out this morning with the question to ask ourselves—Who are you and why are you here? The challenge was put before us, to make that more community minded and ask—Who are we and why are we here?
With that at the forefront of our minds we began our first hike. We ended up at Tel Gezer. We received some good information about this Tel—There are 26 layers, meaning over the course of many, many years, 26 different times a city was built here, destroyed at some point, and rebuilt again later.
June 23, 2015
Sigh. We’re here. we’re actually here. The team has arrived weary from long flights and bumpy bus rides, but we are so anticipating what God is going to do on this trip. Relationships are already being formed, and lessons already being learned. Libby had said, “half of your journey begins before you even get there. I believe that to be true.
The months leading up to arriving on Israel soil have been so refining and stretching, I have already learned so much, by His grace.
Jesus has taught me so much through my weakness, where His strength can be found. And believe me, there is a lot of weakness that needed to be transformed.
June 16, 2015
Our trip to Israel will be here before you know it!
Once we’re on the ground in Israel, we’ll post periodic updates and photos. Check back often or get update notifications using the subscribe options on this page.
We’ll be sharing our travel experiences online with you, our friends and family, to not only bring you along on the journey with us, but to also solicit your ongoing prayer and support. Most of us on this trip have been preparing mentally and spiritually for what will be a life-changing experience in the land. We’re also preparing physically as we train our bodies to handle all the time we’ll spend on our feet walking. So please pray that we would be diligent in our preparations and we would all be ready to learn what God has to teach us!