March 18, 2014
Words fail me as I sit in the security of my hotel room. How do I formulate ideas worthy ofthis day? This, a day of vastly conflicting emotions and feelings. This, a day of perfect dichotomy between life and death. This, a window into mindblowing ingenuity and heart-numbing hatred.
March 17, 2014
This morning, we started our day at a site called Yad Hashmona. Here, we saw what agriculture on a terraced hill looked like. We saw date palms, fig trees, and olive trees, and learned that the harvests of each crop would take place in different seasons. This emphasized the need for a community culture in order for the economy of a town to survive.
March 16, 2014
Today we wrapped up our final day in the region around Galilee. We spent much of the day yesterday around the Jezreel Valley, and the trend continued today. We started off taking one last look at the Sea of Galilee before hopping on the bus to head to Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth. In Nazareth, we went to the top of the city overlooking the Jezreel Valley where Bunga talked to us about Jesus’ roots. Many did not hold Nazareth in high esteem, and wondered if anything good could come out of a place like that. People apparently had a good reason to be ashamed of Nazareth, and Bunga posed the quetion to us, are we ashamed of where we come from? When faced with our past and what we have done do we try and hide it from others out of shame? Or do we look at our past as a beautiful picture of the redemptive work of Christ in our lives. It was a great reminder.
March 15, 2014
Today was a BIG day! Beginning with a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, our Israeli guide, Ronen, informed us about what fishing would have looked like in the first century, which set the scene for what Bunga had to teach us. We walked through the story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4, focusing on the fact that in the storms of life we have Jesus in our boat. He encouraged us to think about where our fear is, whether in the storm or in the one who can calm the storm with a word.
March 14, 2014
Day 5. About halway through the trip and we have now successfully walked/hiked/and swam our way through a lot of Israel. I say swam because yes, we have had the incredible opportunity to swim in the Sea of Galilee and have baptisims in the Jordan River but we have also had our fair share of rain. Today, God was so gracious to give us nice weather and increible sites. How can I adequately explain what the Lord has been teaching me through these people on this trip and through His land? I know that my words will not and cannot do it justice but I am honored to share with you a little of what Jesus taught me today in the same places he taught His diciples many years ago!
March 12, 2014
When devotions beside the Sea of Galilee was accentuated by a piercing rainbow, I knew it was going to be, as Matt often says, a big day! When the bus ride back to the hotel was bookended by a perfect double rainbow across the Jordan River, the only appropriate thought was, “A big day indeed!” From Mt Arbel to Capernaum, this was a day full of history, culture, and movement. Through every site, a steady theme emerged: “Who is your Rabbi?”
March 11, 2014
For the second day in a row I rolled out of bed before 5:30 AM. I must still be adjusting to the time change, or the excitement for the excursions of the day gets me out of bed. I started the day on the rooftop of the hotel with John, Austin, and Will taking pictures of the sun rising over the Mountains of Moab and the Salt Sea.
March 10, 2014
Shalom from Israel! What a BIG day we had today! We awoke this morning in the small town of Mitzpe Ramon in the South of Israel. After a delightful breakfast, we made our way to Makhtesh Ramon for our first hike of the day. The overlook was breathtaking! We spent the morning hiking through the very same kind of wilderness that the Israelites walked through during the Exodus.
March 8, 2014
We are ready to make our trip over the Atlantic! We’ve had a good trip so far and enjoyed some Philly cheese steak sandwiches during our layover in Philadelphia. Now we are waiting to board our flight and head to Tel Aviv! We will try to post as soon as we can once we get over there.
February 13, 2014
Right now, most of us going on this trip are working through the pre-trip curriculum as we prepare our minds and spirits to be transformed by our experience with the land. We’re also preparing physically as we train our bodies to handle on 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.