Janara Walker, 30, wanted her first-ever visit to the Holy Land to be about giving, not receiving. So last October she and 11 other members of the non-denominational Vineyard Columbus Church in Ohio flew to Israel and drove just over an hour to the Palestinian-ruled West Bank.
Once in Bethlehem, the group met up with the Holy Land Trust, a Palestinian non-governmental organization that, among other things, recruits volunteers to assist Palestinian farmers during olive-picking season.
Covered in sunscreen to protect against the strong Middle Eastern sun, Walker and her friends spent most of their pilgrimage picking olives from about 8:30am until 3:30pm. During their free time, the Holy...READ MORE