Eye-Opening Journey Through Israel
Many dream of embarking on a journey to The Holy Land, and for some, it is even considered to be a right of passage. Whether it is exploring one’s affinity to gain further knowledge of the culture and history embedded in these breathtaking cities or embarking on a sacred trek, no individual returns the same. The journey truly changes you as a person and challenges you to see the wonder of other cultures, people, and places through a new lens. The team that recently returned home had endless opportunities to broaden their own perspectives and their stories paint a masterpiece of deeper understanding and the beauty that can be found amidst brokenness.
In the face of oppression and opposition, they were given opportunities to pour out compassion even if that meant intently listening to an individual tell about what they’ve endured and struggles they continuously face. Perhaps these encounters were most impactful because the individuals on this team were seeking to understand each person they met instead of seeking to be understood themselves. By remaining open, despite cultural and personal differences, they created an atmosphere free of the defensiveness and protective barriers typically built to hinder opportunities for vulnerability. The conversations this crew was able to have with Israelis and Palestinians were genuinely authentic and allowed them a glimpse into each of their worlds. In an atmosphere that is often filled with the tension of conflict, they found peace through impactful conversations and the opportunity to see through the eyes of those on both spectrums. Every individual on this team was stretched in some fashion but their open minds and willingness to connect with each person is what pushed them beyond their limits and forever changed them and their view of the world.
In the truest words of Kaylen Wray, “If you come back the same, you did not fully embrace the experience.”
There are many stories and opinions surrounding the wall at West Bank. It has become a place of great significance where people from all over the world venture to leave their mark. For some, it is a work of art while others view the graffiti as a statement against injustice. There are many faces and sides to this conflict which is continually channeled through many different mediums, specifically art. It is a place where individuals are given a voice to freely express themselves through art that is full of raw emotion. Above all else, it is a place where individuals deeply desire to be understood on the most humane level and for their voice to be heard. Regardless of discourse and division, every individual has the choice to serve those around them, to show love instead of hate, and to genuinely seek to understand those no matter the differences between them. At the end of the day, people just desire to be heard, seen, and understood. No one person is without fault or mistake, but its how we choose to grow and learn from it that truly makes a difference.
Don’t miss out on the incredible opportunity to join in on the 2018 Egypt & Morocco venture. Not only will you have countless opportunities to impact these communities but it is truly a life-changing experience full of growth and broadened perspectives.