This is a guest post by rising JMU senior and expert fisherman Nick Secrist:
Day 4 we woke up for our last full day in Nazareth, and it did not disappoint. At our first stop, Sepphoris, we learned that Jesus worked alongside his father and as a young man, probably started to develop his love for the world. Next we visited Nazareth Baptist school, where we have one of our best Young Life chapters. During recess, we got the chance to play volleyball, basketball, and hang out with the students. If Jesus was alive today, I believe we would find him doing something very similar – playing games and enjoying life with the people that he loves so much. Even amongst the many cultural and language barriers, the gospel is never suppressed. We left the school and headed to the Church of Annunciation, the traditional site that the angel Gabriel visited Mary. Then, to Nazareth village, a re-creation of old time Nazareth, which gave us a better understanding of what a day in the life of Jesus would’ve been like. Next, we went to the spot of Jesus’ first miracle, Cana, where He turned water into wine. We were reminded that Jesus’ love and power is abundant and shatters expectations. We ended our day on Mount Precipice, a majestic view overlooking the Holy Land.
An early start to day five led us to Tel Dan. At Caesarea Philippi on Mount Hermon, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Pete prompted us to answer that very question for ourselves our answer to that question is the most important thing about us. It will determine everything else. At our last site of the day we visited Gideon’s Spring and asked ourselves, “Are we attempting leaps of faith that are so big that we will fail apart from God?”
After the sites, we were off to Zababdeh, a village in Palestine where we met up with our friend Yousef, Area Director of Young Life in Palestine, and his team of leaders to paint the curbs of the city. As the mayor and the local police shut down the roads for our safety, we were once again reminded that the gospel brings people together, regardless of their many differences. Local families welcomed us into their homes for the night. While sitting on the roof, surrounded by my old and new friends, I realized that our Young Life community and the even bigger community of Christ followers is not defined by the countries that we live in or the languages we speak. These two days showed us that the Lord can break down any and all barriers. Day by day, the Holy Land continues to remind us that it’s all real and it’s all true.