In November 2017, Bridges partnered once again with the Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem to facilitate a visit to the Holy Land for 7 people from the UK.
Participating in the annual olive harvest offered the group a unique insight into daily life in the Bethlehem area, and was a springboard for an intense learning journey as they met with many people during their short visit.
Check out the video diary that two of the participants made about the trip:
Here's what the other participants said about it!
“The Olive Harvest trip exceeded all my expectations…I have now heard different perspectives from a range of people, and heard their stories, rather than only knowing what the media reports. I enjoyed harvesting olives and engaging with a traditional practice that has been going on for generations! Meeting inspiring people was a highlight, as was seeing Biblical places. I’d like to run a story-telling event where I live to share some of the stories I’ve heard. For me this was the beginning of something larger…. not just a one-off!” Helen
“The trip was amazing! I didn’t know what to expect but I gained a lot of knowledge about the challenges people are facing. As a result of the trip I am thinking of areas to put my energies into, especially other communities within Bristol. I’d like to keep meeting with people from other cultures, understanding them and finding out where they are coming from and their experiences.” Angela
“I have always been fascinated by Palestine, and wanted at first hand to understand more about the issues that are causing conflict…I now have a clearer understanding of the ongoing issues and spending time with local people was moving and inspiring. I’d like to go back, but also I’m interested in peace-making and supporting refugees in some capacity.” Sue
“The Olive Harvest Trip exceeded my expectations…..the people we met were incredible and inspirational and now I feel a lot more educated. My host family was wonderful – incredibly accommodating and just very wonderful! I felt so touched by every person we met, their stories are ones I will take with me through life, which will inspire me to inspire others. I want to continue being educated on what is happening in the world and not close my eyes to it which I so often do. I would love to get more involved in working with those who are suffering, and those suffering injustice. I want to take back the stories which I can share, but also a compassionate attitude in the conflict I see everyday. I feel I had an incredibly rich and memorable experience, which practically supported people as well as helped me to develop in my own journey. Thank you!” Maria
“This trip gave me all the things I was hoping for – I met inspiring people, harvested olives, built friendships with different people, and saw a whole breadth of places. I now have a greater love and appreciation for other Christian sub-cultures, and a much greater understanding and empathy towards other faiths. The trip was so well done that I would genuinely recommend it to anyone!” Dan
Picking olives near Bethlehem:
Staying with host families:
Getting to know local farmers:
Yad Vashem - the holocaust museum:
Visiting Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem