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

kol ha-olam kulo,

Our trip comes to an end tomorrow, we drive back to the Amman airport for the long day of travel home. I will miss this group. I will miss the quips, the quirks and the questions. I will miss this land. I truly love what Israel has to offer and no more so than today while on a boat on the Kinneret as our boat captain sang Oseh Shalom and then Kol Ha-Olam Kulo. This world is a very narrow bridge, and it is imporatant to not be afraid.

This group has challenged itself. But it is so remarkable that we were able to follow our own desire to take out of this trip what we needed. There was a real piece of tourism on this trip. Moments like the Kinneret certainly felt that way. As did Petra and Acco. But we weren't tourists. We also weren't pilgrims going to solidify our faith by touching the pieces left behind by a shared history. We were seekers and finders, teachers and learners, rebels and disciples. We moved together and alone. Through it all we tried to make the joys sweeter and soften the blows of hurt and attempt to understand the confusion that may be the Middle East.

But I walk away with a better understanding of Shalom, Salaam and Peace.

To all a traditional Jewish prayer for travel:
May it be Your will, LORD, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are God Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who hears prayer.

Safe journey to all.

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