Thanks for visiting. This blog is being created for a purpose: I'm traveling to the Middle East for the month of July. July 5th is the day I set out for this pilgrimage, and I hope to keep you all up to date on my discoveries/adventures throughout the trip.
Oh! Did you say something? I thought I just heard you whisper "why would he go to such a crazy place?" Well, I'll tell you why!
Two years ago, I spent a month in southern Kenya (in Africa). When we got on the Kenya Airways flight from London to Nairobi, Kenya, we were ecstatic to find that we had little seat-back TV's that we could watch movies on, the whole 9 hours there! As we looked through the movies available to watch, we were quite dismayed to find films such as Hotel Rwanda, Blood Diamond, and Last King of Scotland. All of which were movies about the "bloodthirsty" Africans killing each other over various misunderstandings. I was sure we were just landing in the middle of a war, and would probably be chased out of the country by the Africans, if we made it out at all.
When I got to Kenya, I was shocked to see the complete opposite. I was welcomed with such open arms that I felt as at home as I ever had felt. I served tea to policemen with assault rifles in hand, who were delighted to take pictures with me, and laughed as they saw themselves on the tiny screen! The only violence I saw, by the way, was two Irish guys getting into a pushing match with two guys from San Francisco about who would get off the shuttle first at the airport. (Unbelievable, I know)
Therefore, I learned that this media-driven stereotype that Africans were either bloodthirsty adults, or skinny babies with flies on their faces, was completely destroyed to me. I saw for myself that it's false.
This means that all other media-driven stereotypes may be quite different than the information we get over here in the U.S. Part of my desire to travel to the Middle East is to see for myself what life is like in this teeny tiny place that receives so much news coverage, and who these people are that worship God differently than we do.
There will be a lot more to come as I get ready to go on this trip, and I'll be scouring cities for Internet Cafe's so I can tell you all about it as I go.
I'd appreciate your prayers, your thoughts, and your love as I go on this great adventure.
From the oldest city in the world, to castles carved into mountains, to Jews weeping in front of an old wall, to Muslims on a mat praying just yards away, to Mount where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. I march on.
First stop: Damascus.