PERSPECTIVE: Experiencing the Palestinian culture highlight of GO trip

Christine Ryan

Christine Ryan“What an amazing experience! I wish I could go to Israel!”

This response is, by far, the most frequent response I’ve received since my return from Israel last month.

In mid-January, I had the privilege of going to Israel through Global Opportunities Trips to tour for five days and to facilitate English conversational cafés in the West Bank for three.

Add two days of travel and you get 10 of the most enjoyable days of my life.

The other popular question was in regard to my favorite part of the trip. This question is a bit challenging to answer, both because there were many great moments and because my favorite moment often surprises people.

The time my team spent in the West Bank was my favorite part of the trip: conversing with Palestinian university students, eating in a Palestinian home, dancing with traditional Palestinian dancers and, most important, getting to know and love Palestinians.

The experience I had in the West Bank is the call and the joy of GO Trips: to know and love people.

GO Trips range from one week to eight weeks and go to a number of places.

Some are strictly focused on service projects while others include touring components.

Regardless of location, participants have the opportunity to show the love of Christ through opportunities such as helping church planters, working at orphanages and more.

Over spring break, Union will send out teams to Honduras, North Africa, Louisville, Boston, New York City, New Orleans and the University of Connecticut, and this summer, teams will go to Central Asia and East Asia.

There are several ways to get involved.

First, you can pray that God will strengthen each team and grant them unity, that they have many opportunities to share the love of God to those around them and that God’s kingdom will be advanced through each trip.

Second, consider supporting someone financially. Finally, search your heart and ask God if He is calling you to one of these trips next year.

If you go into the Office of University Ministries, one of the first things you see is a collection of a dozen pictures — pictures of people from all over the world.

This is what GO Trips is about, an opportunity to go to new places and to minister to wonderful people — and to be ministered to by them.

Most important, it is an opportunity to love others, just as God, in Christ, loves you.

Christine Ryan is a senior Biblical studies major.


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