By JESSICA BRADFORD
Each year, the Young People’s Ministries division of Discipleship Ministries takes 12 young adults on a trip of a lifetime, a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. These young people have the opportunity to hike, tour archaeological sites, and interact with Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. This pilgrimage is not your ordinary trip abroad.
The North Georgia Conference is delighted to announce that our own Chaloea Hale has been selected to represent the Southeastern Jurisdiction on the journey.
Young People’s Ministries works to connect young adults to each other, to the church, and most importantly, to God. The purpose of this trip is to empower young people as world-changing disciples of Jesus Christ, to nurture faith development, and to equip young leaders with the skills they need to further their walk with God.
The pilgrimage, scheduled for May 27 through June 6, will connect the group of United Methodist Young Adult Leaders from around the world to accomplish three things: increase Biblical understanding through visits to Biblical locations, network upcoming leaders in the UMC together to increase the understanding of global church contexts and learn lessons in conflict leadership by studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Hale, who worked as Children’s Director at Hoosier Memorial United Methodist Church before becoming pastor-in-charge at Rivertown UMC in Morrow, says she felt it was God’s calling for her to go on this trip. She says that being a part of The United Methodist Church is like being a piece to one big puzzle, and it is through our connectionalism we are able to put the pieces of the puzzle together. This is a wonderful example of how we are connected across the country and around the world.
Hale learned about the opportunity to embark on this trip through a close friend serving in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. When Hale’s friend sent her the link she knew right away she would apply.
“Just two days prior to receiving the application information, I was watching a television show about a family traveling in the Holy Land. Suddenly, a desire to go came over me, a desire I had even as a youth,” says Hale. “I felt it was confirmed when I received the application link.”
Hale hopes to gain a deeper level of knowledge and faith from this life-changing experience.
“I have heard from others that once you travel to the Holy Land, you will never be the same," she said. "Your perspective on life may change once you walk in the footsteps of Jesus.”
She is most excited to visit the location of Jesus’ baptism at the Jordan River as well as visit the tomb of Jesus. She is looking forward to having a personal experience that will impact her preaching and teaching as well as how she is able to evangelize and serve.
Hale has always had a passion for young people. “My prayer is that wherever I may go in ministry that I will continue to have a strong passion to meet the needs of the young people,” she said.
This trip will be unlike any other, and Hale is extremely thankful to be a piece of the puzzle.
Jessica Bradford serves as Communications Assistant in the North Georgia Conference. Contact her at email@example.com.