In partnership with Waleska United Methodist Church, four Reinhardt students and Josh Garner, (Director of Spiritual Life, Leadership, and Service) traveled to Israel over Spring Break to tour and experience The Holy Land. The students, Vinny Varsalona, Samgrayson James, Cameron Yates, and Josiah Smith are all members of the Reinhardt Campus Ministries Leadership Team.
The trip visited Biblical sites including the Sea of Galilee, Caesarea, Capernaum, the Jordan River, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem. The group explored significant religious sites including The Western Wall, The Church of the Nativity, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and The Dome of the Rock. Student adventures included riding a camel on the Mount of Olives, hiking Mt. Arbel, and swimming in the Sea of Galilee.
A highlight of the trip was visiting The Western Wall, known as the Wailing Wall. A significant place for the Jewish faith, the wall is connected to the Temple Mount. At the Wailing Wall hundreds of people gather to pray and leave written prayers in cracks of the wall. Garner and the students placed a prayer for the Reinhardt community. It was a very special and holy time.
This was the trip of a lifetime for the students who gained a greater appreciation and better understanding of the historic significance of their faith. Garner gives thanks to Rev. Brian Smith for inviting students to join in his church's pilgrimage, members of Waleska UMC for their kindness to our students during the trip, and the dozens of people who contributed financially to make this trip a reality for them.