Well, our 3-week sojourn in the Middle East (plus three days of travel to and from . . .) as participants in the Jerusalem/Bethlehem Seminar, 2015, is now history.
We left Tantur Ecumenical Institute at 7:15 AM this past Saturday morning, headed for Ben Gurion International Airport. And I walked into my house in Harrisonburg at approximately 1:30 AM EDT on Sunday morning (8:30 AM ME time), some 25+ hours later. It was a long, long, long day of travel, what with a through flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto, a 4+ hour layover, a short leg to Washington DC, and a 2 ½ hour van ride from DC to Harrisonburg. But God is very gracious. And those 25+ hours were spent in thousands of miles of altogether safe air flights and an altogether safe road trip on the far end. Al hamdulillah! And thank God as well (in case you don’t read Arabic J)!
We, the Jerusalem/Bethlehem Seminar group, wish to thank all of you for your interest in our travels and for your thoughts and prayers as we journeyed to and from Israel/Palestine and as we sojourned there for a rich and highly eventful three weeks. We have traveled far, encountered much, faced joys and challenges together, struggled with ongoing and difficult questions, worshiped together and with Palestinian and Israeli brothers and sisters, shared meals and conversations with those that we won’t soon forget, and found our hearts stretched wide open as we listened to those with widely varying life stories and perspectives. These past three weeks have been for us a time of rich gifts and deep challenges. And we will continue to live with the impact of these past three weeks in ongoing fashion in the days, weeks, and months that lie ahead. But our experiences have been enabled in significant ways through your support, your interest, your thoughts and your prayers.
Thank you so much! Wishing you many blessings as we now close down this “Jerusalem/Bethlehem” blog . . . .
–Dorothy Jean (for Nick, Matt, Jason, and Gabe as well)