Posted: July 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

This is my second trip to Israel in as many years and one thing is always true about this journey, my love for home. It is the small things that I love so much.

I love the way my wife looks first thing in the morning, simple, relaxed, beautiful.

I love the freedom my kids enjoy, the sense that they can accomplish anything. That their dreams are possible and attainable.

I love Jordan, Joshua, and Kate.

I love our house, it represents safety, warmth, and community. I love my church, my new pastor and my new community.

I love my Jeep, I know it is materialistic to say, but I really do love it.

I love our friends, they way they care for us, the way they share the same life we do.

I love Georgia, the South, and the hot weather.

I love my students, their passion and zeal for life.

I love my God! He is so faithful, so perfect, so consistent, and so patient.

I love home and I am heading home!


Amazing Students!

Posted: July 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

We began planning this trip seven months ago. I presented the opportunity of a life time to our leadership team. Two of them jumped at the chance, and then God moved in the heart of a new beliver and solidfied our group of four. The ATL foursome we became known as, and I am so thankful to God that they decided to sacrafice so much to come. It has been a life-changing trip and our relationships have grown to another amazing level. I have been looking through the pictures and my eyes are welling up with tears as I think about the time we have spent together. Thank you to Sean, Falyn, and Tracie for sharing this trip with me, I will remember it forever!


ATL Foursome



What Are We Created For?

Posted: July 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

If I could be so brave as to define what the whole Christian life is about I would say that we are created to have a relationship with God first, then relationships with others.

That is exactly what we have found this trip to be all about. We have been drawing closer to God and in the process have grown closer to our friends. Specifically to a new friend named Jeff. At the beginning of this trip Jeff prayed for all of us to grow closer and become life-long friends and that is indeed what has happened. We have spent much time with Jeff, laughing, exploring, eating, and of course crying. I am so thankful for our trip and there are many reasons why, but at the top of the list is our new friend Jeff. Thank you Jeff for your vulnerability, passion for God, and love for our students.


Jeff Risk


What A Great Group!

A 2,000 Year Old Journey

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

This was the last day of the “guided tour.” The whole trip has been leading up to today. We began on the Mt. Of Olives, this is where Jesus taught the famous Olivet Discourse and then descended as He made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We followed in His footsteps. Once we arrived into Jerusalem we began to walk the “Via Delarosa” (way of suffering). This was the road that Jesus walked as He was led to His crucifixion. The journey for us culminated at the place of his burial. We visited both potential sites of this life changing event (Tracie will blog about the 2 different sites later). While we were visiting one of the sites called “The Garden Tomb” we celebrated The Lord’s Supper and looked back on our two week journey. It has been an incredible time of historical, spiritual, and personal enlightenment and I can’t wait until we can come back and bring more of our friends.


Inside The Tomb Looking Out


Entrance To The Tomb

Empty Shoes

Posted: July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

The thing that hit me like a sledgehammer of sadness was the huge glass box full of hundreds of old, dirty, worn shoes. I was broken. Shoes that once belonged to men women and children. These shoes walked up and down roads, to church or the store, some stomped in dirt or kicked a ball, but now, the wearers of these shoes were gone. The children killed, the one and a half million, were supposed to be “the next generation”. Now the shoes lay there, empty and useless. I wanted…needed to curl into a ball and cry for every pair of empty shoes, but i had to keep moving…just like the Jewish people.

A blog by Tracie

Yad Vashem

Posted: July 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Jerusalem-Yad Vashem

When we woke up we knew today would be different. We knew it would be somber, reflective, heavy…we were heading to Yad Vahsem the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. How do you prepare for this visit. It is not a trip you are excited about or even one that you want to see, be we all knew it was a place we HAD to see. We must always remember! Six million Jews we executed by a twisted man consumed with hate and pride. How can you wrap your head around 6 million people murdered. When the United States was attacked on that tragic morning of September 11, 2001 we all held our breath as the death total grew. By the time we finished counting the dead 2,976 American’s had lost their lives. Our response a war that continues to rage today. 6 million Jewish people dead. What is our response? What should it be? Those were some of the many questions we wrestled with today. It was a day that we won’t soon forget and I pray we never do.

Hall of Names

Alive In The Dead Sea

Posted: June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

This morning we left some great new friends we met in the city of Arad and headed south west toward Jerusalem. On the way we stopped at the Dead Sea. If you are unfamiliar with this body of water here are some important notes;

1. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on planet earth.

2. All the water that flows of the mountain empties into this body of water.

3. Since no outlet exists for water to flow out of the Dead Sea the water becomes stagnant. Without movement the collection of water has become so dense with salt and minerals that it is impossible for anything to live in it.

4. Due to the extremely high content of salt the human body becomes incredibly buyout, to the point that it is not even possible to touch the bottom with your feet. No matter how hard you try to descend the water just pushes you back to the surface, you literally feel like a cork bobbing in the sea.

5. The minerals in the Dead Sea all naturally occur within our bodies.

Here are a couple of pics as we floated and bobbed in the Dead Sea…