Day 1: Lift Off

On Monday, our tour group convened at the airport in Newark, NJ to fly to Tel Aviv, Israel and begin our 10-day pilgrimage of the Holy Land. 

We’ve got a wonderful group with South Georgia Methodists and Baptists alike coming together to share in a spiritual journey. Many are dear friends from the Isle of Hope and White Bluff United Methodist Churches. Others are friends from ministry experiences. Yet others are brand new friends!

Once everyone arrived in New Jersey, we quickly boarded our 10-hour flight into Tel Aviv. We met many great people aboard the plane. People of all nationalities. Children. Adults. Other tourists. Native Israelis. Pilgrims. 

Before breakfast was served, we were blessed to witness the Orthodox Jewish passengers faithfully carry out their morning prayer despite the many onlookers. They lashed their phylacteries onto their arms and heads and donned their shawls. It was a sign that we were entering into a different culture and a reminder that we share the Holy Land with others who’s lives are grounded in God’s work there. 

Many of us only slept for a few hours on the plane. We landed at about 9:20 a.m. Israeli time (2:20 a.m. EST). Despite our lack of rest, we went straight from the plane to security to our tour bus and then on to our first site: Jaffa. 

Over the next few days, I hope to share some of our experiences with you. I’ll do my best to share stories, pictures, and testimony along the way. I hope to supplement my stuff with info and pictures from their members of our team. Since I am working off of a phone, I’ll be posting these “raw” updates. When I get back home, I will correct spelling and errors, add new pics, supplement with personal stories, and add links. 

One thing that I want to emphasize right away: this is a trip centered around the land of the Bible, but it’s important to remember that every site we see is a place where relationship happened. Our group will enter into those stories and have our own relationship stories to tell about these places. We are on a pilgrimage together. And each member of our group is a vital part of this experience. We are doing this together. God has given us the gift of one another. We are already being blessed by the land and especially by those with whom we share this journey. 

You who are reading are sharing in this with us. Thank you for your blessing!

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