When You Get Home

If you have traveled to the Christian Holy Land, give yourself time to assimilate your experience before you try to explain it to people other than your close family. But it is important that you never say “goodbye” to your experience and the people you have encountered.

Follow up on promises you made on the trip. Most people and groups forget what they promised after they return home. Do follow up.

Contact your denomination to find out what they are doing to support the Christian Holy Land. Ask them for ways you can keep learning and participate in the issues.

Join groups concerned about issues raised on your trip, such as peace groups and support groups for Christian institutions in the Christian Holy Land.

Speak to individuals and look for opportunities to speak about your experiences to groups. Be active in letting people know you are available to talk about what you experienced.

Don’t make the program just a tourist trip, but let them know what is really happening to the Christians in the Holy Land – both those in occupied territories and those living in Israel. Don’t generalize on what Israelis or Palestinians think and don’t generalize on what Christians or Jews or Muslims think. Tell about your experiences for you are an expert on them and your audience is not.

Possible approaches to speaking:

  • Use your itinerary as an outline 
  • Talk about specific people and tell their stories
  • Tell how you have changed your mind and why

Use the correct vocabulary. See “Words and Phrases” in the advocacy sectio and define words as you use them. You have discovered on the trip that Arabs are not all Muslims and Palestinians are not all Muslims and Israelis are not all Jews. But most of the Christians you will meet are Palestinians and probably Arabs. That is not what many Americans believe or understand so it is  important to be clear with hearers.

Since you will be speaking about issues that are considered political when you talk about Palestinian Christians, you might get some intimidation or deflection from members of the audience in the form of contradictory or political information. See the next section on “Understanding Palestine and Palestinians”. The most important thing to ask is “Where did you get that information?” Then emphasize that you are reporting on your own experience.

Write up your experience for people at your church, your club, your local newspaper, your Christmas list, etc. Be willing to contradict fake news that others believe and write letters to the editor.

Join groups that keep you in touch with issues you have seen on your trip, such as FOSNA (Friends of Sabeel in North America) and signup for news at other groups: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Christians for Middle East Peace); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (If Americans Knew); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Foundation for Middle East Peace); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding).

If you feel so moved get involved in advocacy.  Tell your denominational staff member working on the Middle East and read the section of this website on approaches to advocacy. You don’t need to do it alone.

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