Sea of galilee group shot

Our group on the Sea of Galilee



Mt precipice group shot

On the Mt. Precipice in Nazareth

This post is coming to you from the Middle East.  I am helping lead a trip of 30 James Madison University students in a Holy Land Tour and service project.  We arrived safely (with our 48 pieces of checked luggage which is a miracle in itself!) on Sunday and went to Caesarea on the Mediterranean Sea.  Then yesterday was a packed day with us visiting Capernaum, a different Caesarea philippi, Korazin, Peter’s Primacy (traditional place where Peter was reinstated), took a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee, and ended on the Mount of Beatitudes.  The guys of the trip had each memorized 10-15 verses of the Sermon on the Mount and spoke it to us.  It was a powerful time.

Today we visited Nazareth Village, a 1/20th replica of Jesus’ village, church of the annunciation, Cana, Mt. Precipice, Mary’s Well, Nazareth Baptist school and hung out with a bunch of precious local teenagers, and finished with a modified Young Life club (in the hometown of Jesus).

We have 2 photographers but have not downloaded their pictures from their nice cameras yet.  Here is the link for our Instagram hashtag.  You can see pictures here


Quotes from the trip so far:

“Everything is so intricately related and planned out, it has to be true.”

“This trip has already changed my life.”

“Love is a decision.  And Jesus made the decision to love us.”

“I’ve been taught the Bible for a long time but now I feel like I am experiencing it.”

“Jesus is for all people.”


We start and end our day with reciting part of the Shema.  It goes like this:

Hear O Israel.  The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Love your neighbor as yourself.  Amen.