Notes from the Field of Youth Ministry

First Three Days

Posted By Milly Morrow on April 12, 2016

We are here and it is good! Thanks for the prayers as we left and traveled to Israel.

We arrived safely - and exhausted after 26 hours of nonstop travel! The group spent the first night in Netanya a city on the Mediterranean Sea and it was so lovely. The day we arrived it was Sabbath for the Jewish people and it was a real joy to observe the reverence and commitment to that day of rest and family. The second day the group visited Caesarea Maritima the central place from which Jesus ministry and the early church emerged. With us on this trip is the teacher and achreologist Max James Miller - Max took some time with us to discribe the context for the site and the place which Paul and Peter would have had as early church planters gathering and sending from this apostolic hub that sits on the Mediterranean Sea. Each of us then had time to walk through the area and see the places where the community came together for discussion and for races and to consider the role of public space for preparing and sending forth disciples.

We drove from there to the town of Galilee - the drive alone was simply amazing….this land is beautiful and full of complexity - both in the landscape and the politics. As we are traveling together the group is reading the book “Faith in the face of Empire” and considering how “geo-politics” is impacting the peace of this Holy Land (more on this when I return).

In Galilee we saw Capernaum (the traditional site of where Jesus called both Simon Peter and Andrew from there fishing to follow him and “fish for men”). We walked and prayed along the Sea of Galilee imagining this call coming to each of us. In the afternoon we set out on a boat into the Sea of Galilee and had worship service on the still water. The picture below is while I was on the boat on the Sea. It was a beautiful day full of embodying this ancient story that guides so much of my life.

Today we visited the Mount of Beatitudes and then the site of the Primacy of Peter and looked out from the Arbel Cliffs. A complicated day for me as the tourist poured in and people of selling relics for top dollar. I have many thoughts on this that in person we can explore….and yet, walking down the path from the Mount of Beatitudes with my companions and standing in the waters in the rain looking across to the other side…I had a great sense of awe and wonder at the time that has passed and what has called us from so many different places in this world to embody this narrative together.

I have included a few photos and I look forward to expounding on some of these points when I return. We are blessed. I hope you are each well today.