As I write this, we are currently on our 2nd flight. Our 1st flight was from Fargo to Chicago. This flight is from Chicago to Newark, NJ. From Newark we take a direct flight to Tel Aviv, Israel! That last flight will be just under 11 hours long-and for this girl who has never flown internationally before, that is both exciting, but also a little nerve wracking.
For those of you who don’t know what this trip is all about, let me take a few moments to give you some details! This trip is through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (known as the ELCA for short) The trip is a through an ELCA campaign called Peace Not Walls. While on this pilgrimage, we will be learning about the injustice issues involving the Israeli and Palestinian Christians. This trip is not intended to go to a specific location and help “fix a problem,” or “provide relief or build something because it is our Christian duty.” Instead, this trip is meant for us to walk beside our Christian brothers and sisters in Israel, build relationships with them, pray for and support them, learn about the peace and justice issues that occur there, and learn of ways to stay connected and involved when we return home.
It is hard for me to put into words how overwhelmed my heart currently is, and I haven’t even left the country yet! Your financial support, encouragement and guidance, prayers for safe travels and during our time in Israel, and overflowing love for me, truly means more than you know!
Listed below are a few things I myself, am looking forward to, as well as a handful of things that I have some nerves about.
Exciting times to come:
1) Walking where Jesus walked! Could you see that coming? 🙂
2) Learning about the injustuce and issues that happen in Israel. Learning how to support our Christian brothers and sisters who live there.
3) Spending my BIRTHDAY in a new culture halfway around the world with a great group of people. And floating in the Dead Sea on my birthday! How cool is that!?
Things that I am nervous about:
1) Getting through Customs and Passport control-just getting that over with soon will be nice.
2) Culture Shock. Seeing their way of life compared to how we live in the US
3) How our bodies will adapt to the food. Fun fact: At restaurants over there, they serve meat or dairy, but not both at the same time.
While on this trip, I am going to try to be honest and open about my experiences, in hopes to help you understand what this journey is like for me. But please remeber that these are MY thoughts and emotions. My blog posts will be coming from what I feel, see, and experience, and it will look and feel different for all of us on this trip. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me and our group through this trip. This trip is just getting started, but the excitement and a few nerves continue!
Karen Langemo is a student at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota studying music education. She’s an active member of the Lutheran Campus Ministry there and plays piano really, really well.