Yes, it was safe! And we could not have felt more welcome.

Check out the wonderful blog written by members of the 19-person Living Stones Pilgrimage group as we toured Palestine and Israel in October. It was perhaps not the easiest time to visit the Holy Land. But we could not have been welcomed more warmly. In a year when many groups either cancelled their trips or visited Israel/Palestine with far fewer pilgrims than planned, we were amazed to be able to do everything we had planned on — and even did it in the order we expected.

Although we visited Biblical holy sites throughout our journey, the most memorable moments all came in encounters with Peacemakers — an amazing array of Palestinian Christians and Muslims in the West Bank and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders in Israel.  We didn’t meet one person with a rosy outlook on Israel’s or Palestine’s future, but every single person we met offered reasons to be hopeful.  Grassroots programs emphasize arts and culture — and insist on treating every human being as child of God, worthy of respect. They insist on beauty, on gardens, on play, on music.  Simply getting up every day and going to school or work is an act of both resistance and hope. “How can you remain hopeful?” we continually asked. “What other choice is there?” came the answers.  Nonviolence and positive daily activities are investments in a brighter tomorrow.

Read the group’s blog here: http://2014livingstonespilgrimage.wordpress.com

Pilgrimage Group after tree-planting at Mar Elias

Pilgrimage Group after tree-planting at Mar Elias

Why not consider joining Pilgrims of Ibillin in a 2015 Living Stones tour? Plans are in the works now for 2 pilgrimages next year: in May and in October. Watch the website for details soon, or contact Joan Deming for more information.

 

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