By Rev. Mike Friedrich
The United Methodist-based organization, Friends of Wadi Foquin (FoWF), has announced its next Holy Land pilgrimage, to take place April 27-May 8, 2020. Following closely the itinerary of Bishop Warner Brown’s trip of 2016, the FoWF group will visit biblical sites such as the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Hebron, while witnessing current realities for Israelis and Palestinians. Each day will include prayer, site visits, and conversation with local Christian, Muslim, and Jewish agencies and people involved in education, peace-making, and justice-making in the region.
Pilgrims will safely travel in air-conditioned vehicles, stay in comfortable accommodations in Nazareth and Bethlehem, and enjoy the delicious local cuisine and hospitality. There will be at least one meal in a local home. Our hope also is to have a daylong community service project in the West Bank village of Wadi Foquin. Pilgrims will share Sunday worship with local Christians.
The pilgrimage includes all air travel, local transportation, hotel, meals, honoraria, and gratuities. The cost is $3500 per person, double occupancy (we will make every effort to match travelers if you don’t have a person for double occupancy). A single supplement is available.
There is significant walking each day and accessibility is occasionally limited.
Pilgrims will witness the Palestinian experience, both Christian and Muslim, which is normally shielded from tourists. In addition, there will be a daily opportunity to form personal relationships and community, creating a memorable experience.
Friends of Wadi Foquin was founded in 2009 to foster people-to-people relationships, as well as provide community development in and with the village of Wadi Foquin. Wadi Foquin (Arabic for “valley of thorns”) is a Muslim Palestinian agricultural village of 1300 people, located about five miles southwest of Bethlehem. FoWF was first established at Buena Vista UMC in Alameda and has since grown to a much larger coalition of Christian congregations, clergy, and lay members. Learn more at www.friendsofwadifoquin.com.