Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day Ten - Epilogue

Liberty University's Israel Tour 2009 as Experienced by One Student
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dr. Yates and his daughter ErinOn time, we land at JFK Airport in New York. The plane quickly empties, and we make it through security and customs in a reasonable amount of time. I have dreaded this moment. I cannot say that I have made 182 new friends, but I know for certain I have made some new friends for life. This experience will bond us. On my last trips, we always got together the next Sunday again in church, but this will be different. Many of us are strewn out across the United States. I am grateful for modern technology, and especially for Facebook, as this will allow us to stay in touch.

Mrs. and Dr.  PercerI have five hours until my connecting flight. I thought I would be alone, but it turns out that several others are in the same situation, so we find ourselves meeting up in a foodcourt, enjoying our first cup of American coffee after ten days without. Despite the fact that we are tired and smelly after a full day of touring in Israel before climbing on a plane, it is a sweet time of just sitting with each other and enjoying each other's company one more time.

Steven SmithFinally, it is time to go to our gates, and we say our goodbyes. Lots of hugs express the newfound friendships as we promise to stay in touch and exchange photos. Steven Smith and I head to the Delta gates, where we already find Darryl Keithley and a few others. All of us already miss Israel, but all of us are happy to be home as well, as evidenced by the food choices at the airport. "How to quickly de-kosherize oneself" seems to be the name of the game this morning.

Darren KeithleyAt last, my flight is called up, and I say my final goodbyes. I am very tired, but I can't seem to close my eyes on the short flight to Philadelphia. My husband Nick picks me up at the airport, and it is wonderful to be able to start to debrief with someone who has also been to Israel. As I boot up my laptop once I get home, I log on to Facebook only to see the first updates already in place: "I miss Israel" "My heart is still in Jerusalem" and similar. It will be a long time until we all are back to routine. I wonder how many of my travel companions will pick up their Bible tonight and read a passage with new eyes. I know they will see what they read in 3D. A slogan Israel was using a while ago to drive tourism expresses my desire for everyone: "You have read the Book, now see the country." I promise you, you will never be the same.

Our El Al plane at JFKOne thing I know:
There are daily flights to Tel Aviv. Won't you plan to get on one.

- Go Israel
- Pilgrim Tours
- Ducar Tours

1 comment:

  1. I just love Israel..Planning to go on another pilgrimage to the Holly Land next year.. :) Had some incredible time last time I was there..Following in the footsteps of our lord Jesus Christ..