My involvement in Forge Leadership Network led me to an opportunity to travel with Passages to Israel for an incredible 10 day experience. I HIGHLY recommend both this trip with Passages and Forge Leadership Network. They both will change your life and connect you to the most wonderful people.
There are no words to describe to you how amazing my trip to Israel was and no pictures to capture the real experience. I could write a whole book on this trip for sure, but I will try to only share with you a few highlights of the trip.
- I will never read the Bible in the same way. Visiting the holy sites throughout Israel and walking through places such as Nazareth just as Jesus did truly brings to life the words of the bible. Being able to visualize these stories and being in those places is surreal.
- There were many parts of this trip that could be considered the best, but connecting with new friends and growing friendships with the people I already knew was probably one of the most impact parts. There’s something about experiencing something so amazing like this with a group that bonds you. This trip is very unique and until you’ve actually gone, you have no idea how incredible it is in so many ways.
- One night we went out to the Ben Yehuda Market to get ice cream and check out the night life. We walked by a talented Jewish couple performing on the street. They were playing music and some our group jumped in to sing karaoke with them. It was this amazing moment as people from many religions, countries, and walks of life joined to sing “What a Wonderful World”. It’s amazing how music can bring people together.
- My favorite moment had to be when we got up early the very first morning we were in Galilee. We stood out on the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee. It was calm and members of our group read from John 21, where Jesus appears to the disciples and fills their nets with fish and then reinstates Peter and tells the disciples, “Follow Me.” It was a very moving moment and one where it hit me that here I am, in Israel, where Jesus walked. Later on this moment was added to as our group road on a boat out on the Sea of Galilee. We sang worship songs and got another reading from the bible, this time of the story of Jesus calming the storm which can be found in Matthew 8 or Mark 4.
- Coming into Jerusalem was just as moving and emotional. Just knowing that here is the place where Jesus paid the price to save me and that now I can live with the freedom and grace that is only found through Christ. This is where it all happened!
There are many many more stories and experiences I could share. We had amazing speakers that gave us multiple sides to the political situation between Israel and Palestine and we talked with Israeli Defense Force members. We traveled all over the country and I learned so much about the Jewish faith and the people who are living in Israel.
** I will be posting a blog that focuses on the political situation between Israel and Palestine soon.
After this trip, I feel that many people in Israel and Palestine are in need of the Hope that only Jesus can provide. Israel, I will be praying for you and I will be visiting again!