What a month. The prep, the trip, the return. Team Israel is back. I've missed writing more than you've missed reading, I'm certain, but suffice it to say that I'm grateful to be back in my corner to serve you. The PrayFit Devotion returns after the longest hiatus in our history.
Before we resume our regularly scheduled fitness devotions - where we put one foot in front of the other in the area of humble, bodily stewardship - I want to simply share the purpose of our mission as well as a few of my favorite images of the trip.
Among so many other things, we visited the Dead Sea, and we witnessed an unbelievable panoramic view from the top of Mount of Olives. We walked down the Palm Sunday Path, visited the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations and The Western Wall. We walked the Via Dolorosa and visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We visited Nazareth, spent time in Capernaum where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish. We were baptized in the River Jordan and took a boat out onto the Sea of Galilee for a time of prayer. And then...
...we knelt where our sins were forgiven.
Suddenly anything I will ever write will fall gloriously short of those seven words. We still can't put into words what we've seen, where we've walked and what we've touched. We will never read our Bibles the same way again.
As many of you know, we were there to serve in the ongoing reconciliation camp, "Musalaha." Nineteen years ago, Musalaha (which means reconciliation in Arabic) was established by Salim J. Munayer in Jerusalem when he acted upon his vision to see peace between Israelis and Palestinians. What a wonderful man and family. We were honored to be in his home and we’re humbled to be at his service. As to what our purpose was while there, Salim calmly and confidently said, “Be a light in the darkness, build relationships, change the world one child at a time.” We tried to follow his lead.
And so, thanks to those of you that prayed for us and a very special thanks to those that gave financially to our trip, allowing us to go. Please enjoy the journey in pictures. We have a roll of nearly 5,000 images, but here are some of my favorites.
This is me, smiling and exhausted from crossing ten time zones, hoping that for a few minutes you enjoy our memories.