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An intergenerational group from the Synod of the Heartland is traveling to Israel.  

By Bob Cleveringa

The Synod of the Heartland has a dream. It is our dream that young leaders will connect with adults and that the next generation of leaders will be encouraged, equipped, and empowered in their relationship with Jesus and will take giant strides in their faith walk on an incredible journey.

So what is this journey? In June, 23 people will journey to Israel, and each of them will have a “travel buddy.” Every young person on the trip will have an adult mentor, and each adult will have a youth mentee. This trip is more than learning about biblical Israel; it is an opportunity for young people to grow alongside mentors and to share a deep, meaningful, spiritual journey.

The trip is intended to encourage the connection between youth leaders, both professional and volunteer, and emerging next generation leaders, as they walk together through a process of discipleship.

Since September, each pair has prepared by meeting monthly for a Bible study. Once in Israel, they will experience the 13-day journey together with further reflection and study. Following the trip, the mentor pairs will meet for three more months to debrief and continue the discipleship process.

Our dream is for young leaders to understand and connect with the place Jesus walked and taught as they hear and respond to God’s call to be lifelong disciples. We hope that connecting an adult with a student will establish a discipling relationship that may continue throughout the lives of the participants.

Synod of the Heartland Youth Ministries is partnering with the RCA in this venture. Of the 23 participants, 12 come from the Synod of the Heartland and 11 from California and Michigan; 21 are from the RCA and 2 are from the Christian Reformed Church.

Look for a follow-up article about the trip in the fall issue of RCA Today.

Bob Cleveringa is director of youth ministries for the Synod of the Heartland.


[Photo courtesy Sara Gregory]