A few final words…

Greetings, folks! I opened our “Places, People, & Prayers 2009” blogs in a long distant past (well, May 1 to be precise!) with an account from Jerusalem on our first night in the Holy Land.  Time always seems to balloon when one travels far away from home and regular schedules.  And by my reckoning, we....

May 19

“…they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat…” Mark 6:53 Today we moored our boat (or bus if you prefer not to be so metaphorical!) along Lake Gennesaret…or the Sea of Tiberius…or as it is best known, the Sea of Galilee. After stopping at an overlook with magnificent views of the seaside city of....

May 16

Our emotions are high and low.  We found ourselves leaving Bethlehem with heavy hearts.  It had become home.  I for one felt unease as we transitioned from our Palestinian friends to balance our exposure with the Jewish side of the situation here on the ground.  We visited with a conservative Rabbi that exposed us to....

May 13

It seems our group has two types of days, both of which are long, difficult and trying. Those two types of days are either emotionally long and exhausting; or they are physically long and exhausting. Today was definitely a long, hard physical day. We began our journey today by wondering whether or not we were....

May 12

For prayer time this evening each one of us wrote a prayer to share with the group. I was asked to share mine as it seemed to capture much of what we experienced today. We appreciate your prayers for us and ask that you would hold the people of this land in your prayers as....

May 11

On Saturday evening, our group met with Pastor Mitri Raheb of the Christmas Lutheran Church here in Bethlehem. Among the wealth of wisdom and information that he shared with us about this region was the insight that people living in this area are torn on a continuum of optimism and pessimism. One moment there seem....

May 10

Greetings from Bethlehem!  Only one week ago today, 18 traveling companions arrived in this historic city with many unknowns.  For me, those unknowns have provided opportunities to experience innumerable “firsts”.  I could spend the rest of this entry describing the many things I have encountered for the first time but, I’ve chosen instead, to reflect....

May 9

A highlight today was soaking in the Dead Sea — truly an unusual experience. You can soak and you can float but you can’t go under completely (not that you would want to get that high intensity of salt water anywhere near your eyes or mouth!) Soaking — it’s much of what I’ve been doing....

May 8

As I sit here in the comfort of the computer lab, the sound of Greek traditional music floats through the air of the Dar Annadwa Center (Dar Annadwa meaning; House of World Wide Encounter) It is Friday evening after a long but satisfying day. This most certainly has been another day of listening to story....

May 7

Shalom from Bethlehem! The past two days have been full for those of us traveling here in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. It is a land, and an experience, of many contrasts. We leave from Bethlehem each morning with our trusty bus driver winding and beeping his way through traffic, sometimes sitting for five minutes or more....