Erikka and I are sitting in the airport in San Francisco, waiting for our flight to Tel Aviv. It seems surreal that today is already here. This has been a trip months, almost a year, in the making.

The last several weeks have been filled with reading blogs and lists, and listening to folks who have recently returned from Israel & Palestine, trying to make sure we had everything we needed on our packing lists. I think we did a pretty good job. The only thing we forgot to pack was some dramamine for the bus rides (but I think we’ll be okay). The fun part of all of this packing planning and research was looking at all kinds of pictures and getting more and more excited all the time at the places we’ll see and the people we’ll meet.

Along with the practical planning I’ve done quite a bit of reading. I tried to find books that gave varied perspectives on the current state of Israel and Palestine, and also gave some really helpful historical background. I’ve always known this is a region that is incredibly complicated, but the books I read most recently have absolutely confirmed that. This is a land that is in the midst of conflict, and has been for thousands of years.

A couple of our group are already in Tel Aviv (I believe), a couple will be there tomorrow afternoon, Erikka and I will arrive tomorrow evening, and the last four will make it to Tel Aviv Wednesday morning (quite early). Please be in prayer for all of us from Emmanuel who are travelling.

Matt, one of the leaders of our trip asked that each of us on the study tour wake up each morning praying “Lord, surprise me today with what your going to show me and teach me.” I invite you all to join us in this prayer, hopefully anticipating all the wonders God will show us through this trip.

Blessings & peace,
Pastor Eric

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