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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Another Drop in the Bucket (List)

After many attempts, Doug and I are finally realizing our dream of visiting the Holy Lands! This afternoon our Turkish Airlines flight will lift off from LAX for Tel Aviv! We'll arrive in Tel Aviv via Istanbul around 8.30 p.m. local time Sunday night!
As we've talked about this trip, so many people have said, "But this isn't your first time visiting there, is it"? Uh, yes, it is!
We are very fortunate to be meeting up with the Association of International Churches in Europe and the Middle East for their annual conference. We have been part of this organization for 17 years and we felt like we needed to re-connect with these dear colleagues one last time. The bonus was that the conference is in the Holy Lands!
Our trip will be led by Palestinian Christians and we will connect with people from the Palestinian Bible Society. It will be an excellent experience to hear about the lives of these dear brothers and sisters and to gain a broader perspective on the Palestine/Israel situation. I'm heading into these days with an open mind and an eager heart to learn.
The conference is hitting many of the expected high notes on a trip to the region: Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem. It is an understatement to say that it will be such a thrill to walk where Jesus walked and to experience the close proximity to his life on earth.
We are staying on with several others to take a side trip to Jordan. We will get to see Petra and I'm super excited about this chance. Below is a stock photo I found on the internet. Can't wait to have one that I have taken!
All in all, it's going to be rich with sensory experiences. And the joy of sharing it with dear friends and treasured colleagues in International ministry makes it all the more meaningful.
(My cousin and his wife will have Tanner while we're away. He is very excited to be with them!)