Posts Tagged ‘Debt Relief’

Land of Our Spiritual Roots

November 21st, 2022

On February 26th, 2006, nineteen pilgrims left Texas, bound for the Middle East. Being the resident travel junkie, I was thrilled to organize the trip and tag along. The study tour included participants from six different congregations. What a joy to know we would soon be seeing the land of the Bible with our own eyes. As it turned out, it was a trip that would forever change our hearts toward the region and it’s people.

We were traveling on the heels of the recent election in Israel that transferred Palestinian leadership to Hamas. It was also just a few short weeks before Israel would elect a new Prime Minister. You might say (as many did), “Are you crazy? How can you travel to the Middle East at a time like this? All I ever see on the news is fighting and conflict.” But we knew better. Our first trip was in March of 2001, only six months after Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, which sparked the current Palestinian uprising (a.k.a. “Intifada”). We had such a fabulous trip that we could not imagine it being topped. That is until we went back last month. Springtime, in my opinion, is the ideal time to visit Israel and the Jordan Valley. The desert is in full bloom with wildflowers dotting the hillsides and fruit trees bursting with color. Much more enjoyable than the dog days of summer, when the land is parched and the temperatures soar past 100 degrees.

Shortly after take-off, I noticed that there was a stowaway in my luggage. If you have ever read the book, Flat Stanley, you’ll understand where I’m going. My son’s 2nd grade class had recently created their own version of Flat Stanley and sent them to relatives near and far. Well, this particular Flat Stanley was destined for Israel, and there was no turning back now. He would definitely have some stories to tell when he got home!