Israel Trip Day One:
"A lot of people come to Israel to run through the places Jesus walked." Thus began our introduction to Israel from our host/leader Todd Deatherage from the Telos Group. His point was that people manage to come to Israel and spend alot of money and time visiting the sites where Biblical events occured but manage to ignore the people who live here on a daily basis. He reminded us that our purpose for this trip is to not only "walk" through the places of Christ but to engage with people because, "Jesus is still walking through this part of the world and within the lives of the people who still live here."
Our team spent a little time getting to know each other. I am glad that we are on this journey together. I am grateful for this expereience. We ate our first meal together and we had quit the expereince. Lots of greens and salad type dishes followed by varieties of chicken, lamb, and salmon. Everything was very good and it was very neat to eat in a "community' style where we all just sort of grabbed from a central dish.
We are now in Naareth and on our second day we will go to Capernaum, the Sea of Galilee, and meet with Baptist churches/schools here. Nazareth is a city of 100,000 people nestled quit nicely into a series of hills that make you grateful for good shoes. This is a mostly Arabic Christian community and there are Christmas trees and lights in every storefront and restaurant. They seem out of place in this ancient city but so do the coke signs, pictures of Brad Pitt selling cologne, and the McDonalds. The west is very much an influence in this place.