Journey from the MidWest to the MidEast ...

The Indianapolis-based International Interfaith Initiative (III), in collaboration with the Village Experience, led a trip of a diverse group (including representatives from Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Evangelical, and Hindu religious communities) to the Middle East from December 27, 2009 to January 9, 2010. It was a follow-up to the very successful III Mideast trip of 2008. Read about the adventure on this blog. Look for partnership opportunities for your group at ... and be part of the next trip from Indy to the MidEast.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

JSam: The Day Before the End of the Beginning

There is an interesting sense among the group of travel fatigue combined with an eagerness to be home, and heavily flavored with the approaching melancholy of bidding farewell to new friends. A sometimes pointed conversation last night about the differences of expectations associated with "Interfaith" vs. "Intercultural" further contributed to the community building among us, and I think added to future trips. A few of us have been a bit disappointed relative to the lack of faith expressions as opposed to faith comparisons or understandings. As we have tried to respect the differences between us in this bridge building journey, I think we (certainly I) have been reluctant to interject too much of those things that are at the heart of our personal walks. There has been quite a bit of doing that in small settings or one-on-one, but not so much in group meetings, and I think some of us just expected a little more of that on a corporate level. However, as we said last night, had that been more a part of the corporate experience, perhaps those more intimate moments would not have happened, so it is difficult to be too conflicted about those elements that might be too conflicting. Yanni, it's been a great trip, and now as it ends tomorrow I look forward to the new beginnings of these relationships and my new understandings that have resulted from this Interfaith experience.

Today will be an interesting time as I get to reconnect with my Team of Arab ministers here in the Galilee (, and to share my affection for them and the work they are doing with this group of travelers. I'm trying to not project too much on this time of fellowship and discussion, but at the same time I believe it to be a great opportunity for better understand of this work as well as for the Team to have a different (and better?) view of what is trying to be done on an interfaith level. I would ask for your prayers for today, but most of you will be sleeping while we're going about our business and it will be time for another blog entry by the time you read this. I do know that there have been many prayers lifted up for this trip, and as I shared with Saleem last night, I am convinced that God has been riding along with us from day one. Nush kerrob!

George (yaakov) refers below to a picture that Paul took that was a really interesting moment as we approached the Temple mount a couple of days ago. I'll include it here just to silence those among us that think I forgot to upload it. It can also be found here with several other shots of that event:

The new, as well as the old, photos from Paul and myself are located here now:

1 comment:

yaakov said...

i love the photo