As Jesus rose from his baptismal waters, Scripture tells us that he heard a voice from heaven saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17, NIV)
Could you imagine being there to hear those words descend on Jesus and those nearby? While time may impede the possibility, place doesn't have to- not if a trip to the Holy Land is a possibility!
From my very first class in my undergraduate degree- in fact, a class on the synoptic gospels- my mind has longed to tangibly consider the context of this powerful narrative. Whether it was Mark's sharing of the disciples' lesson learned about priority and purpose in Capernaum, Luke's hope for the possessed and dis-possessed in the Gerasenes, or simply John's party in Cana, I have often wondered what in God's Story would better come alive for me (and from me in the lessons and sermons that I share with those that I minister alongside) if I only had a chance to go and see the very place.
With this trip it is more than a curiosity!
And if simply being able to stand by the Jordan was not enough, what a blessing it is to consider having my own son, Brendan, by my side. As a Fall 2019 incoming freshman with a Religious Studies major (minor in Pastoral Ministries) at Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, TN), this will be one of the best imaginable ways to frame his life and lessons as a witness of God's Good News that grew and grows in a very significant place in our current landscape.
This is where we need your help. I have brushed aside trips like this in the past because of cost, but as I have watched Brendan's passion for the proclamation of the Gospel grow (even to the point of pursuing a personal call to study and prepare as best as he could), I knew that the timing of this trip was providential. Everything in me struggles to ask for support of any kind, but as I have learned from missionary colleagues, the joy is found in knowing that I am not merely a consumer of your gifts, but that in this partnership you join Brendan & I in the further opportunities God places before us to share more clearly the Story of God among us. To that end, I say a heartfelt "thank you" for whatever you should feel led to give, and the same for the prayers you lift on our behalf as we prepare and eventually participate in this trip.
Not My Will (Luke 22:42),
The cost: Approximately $3,500 per person (Brendan & I). Includes airfare from Chicago, hotels, meals, tips, entrance fees, transportation and insurance. Not included: personal items, soft drinks, souvenirs, passports. Transportation to Chicago from Boston will cost approximately $250 per person.
*Please note that donations made through this site will not be able to be tax deductible. Should you wish to make such a donation, I would invite you to give to Lowell First Church of the Nazarene, noting the Holy Land Trip Fund in your donation.
Our trip itinerary: (subject to change)
May 11th – depart from Chicago, USA
May 12th – Madaba in Jordan
May 13th – Visit Nazarene school in Amman, Jordan
May 14th – Nabatean City of Petra
May 15th – Visit city of Madaba, Mt Nebo, visit Machaerus, Jordan (site of imprisonment of John the Baptist)
May 16th – Jerash, crossing into Israel; Tiberius
May 17th – Visit Caesarea Philippi, Banias; prayer time with Nazarene Pastors and Leaders, Nazareth and Cana
May 18th – Visit Capernaum, Mt. of the Beatitudes, Tabgha (Church of the Multiplication), Primacy of Peter, Baptismal service at the Jordan River
May 19th – Galilee, Mt. Carmel (Elijah Challenged the prophets of Baal) Lunch in Haifa; Caesarea by the Sea, travel to Jerusalem; Jerusalem
May 20th – Jerusalem, Mt. of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Via Delarosa, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Lunch at the Church of the Nazarene, Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, Upper Room
May 21st – Qumran, Ein Gedi, Masada, Dead Sea
May 22nd – Western Wall, Southern Steps, Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, Shepherds’ Field; Shopping in Bethlehem, Tent of Nations, Valley of Elah (David and Goliath), Tour and Communion at the Garden Tomb
May 23rd – Depart