This last week here at “the mission” has been fairly routine with the exception that Pastor Bill and Galen both are out of town. Pastor Bill went up to Michigan to participate in a churches missions conference and Galen went to Israel! Galen has a friend that lives in Jerusalem and has been trying to get him to come visit for quite some time and the opportunity finally opened up so we all encouraged Galen to go ahead and make the trip. When he found a round trip plane ticket from here to there for under $400 it became clear that this was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Now we’re eagerly waiting for his return, but he still has another four or five days in Israel. I personally know the impact of seeing and experiencing the culture and places where much of Biblical history took place. In 2012 I was able to go on a tour through various places in Israel. It was certainly an eye-opening experience, one that I believe every pastor or preacher needs to have, and ideally, every Christian. Beyond seeing the places such as Capernaum, Galilee, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Dan, and Bethlehem, it is also eye opening to walk among practicing Jews and realize the pervasiveness of this form of works-righteousness that really is every bit of a sophisticated worldliness. It was also incredibly convicting for me to see the extreme obsession with the supposed “letter of the law” and to realize that “this is me” when I’m hoping in anything other than Christ for my acceptance before God, particularly the acceptance of my worship. There is much application here for the modern day but that is not the point of this post.
In addition to having Pastor Bill and Galen out of town, we’ve also had some small but fantastic work teams come to help us make progress on some of the projects that Pastor Bill and Galen have been working on night and day. I look forward to seeing their faces when they return and see the progress that was made in their absence!