A New Outlook on the Middle East

Despite the danger, Katherine Galvin, Sophomore, ventured to the Middle East.

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A New Outlook on the Middle East

Photo courtesy of: Katherine Galvin.

Photo courtesy of: Katherine Galvin.

Photo courtesy of: Katherine Galvin.

Photo courtesy of: Katherine Galvin.

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The Middle East is a topic that is talked about all over the world. Many Americans do not feel connected to this conflict because they do not know enough about it. But in August, sophomore Katherine Galvin had the opportunity to visit the war torn country of Lebanon.

What were you doing in Lebanon for the mission trip?

“I went to Lebanon to put on a Vacation Bible School for Lebanese Druze* children. Druze is a type of Islam, but it’s much more confusing that classic Islam.”

What was your favorite part of the trip?

“My favorite part of the trip was making relationships with other Christian teens there. It was really interesting to hear of all the struggles they have to go through living in such a tense part of the world. I realized how much I take for granted.”

Was it hard to Adjust to Middle Eastern culture?

“Yes and no. I have been to Israel before so I had previously experienced most of the culture. At first, however, I was intimidated by the devout Muslim women whose burkas covered every inch of their body except for their eyes. But by the end of the trip I realized that no matter how they look or dress, they are all just people like me. I even befriended some of the same people that made me feel uncomfortable at the beginning of the week.”

What was it like being in an Islamic majority country?

“Lebanon, unlike most Muslim countries, actually has a decent amount of Christians. Therefore, it was not as bad as it would have been in most Middle Eastern countries. Despite the number of christians, many of the Lebanese citizens were devout Muslims who despised Christians, especially American ones. However, Lebanon is also very segregated, so we would try to avoid the extreme Muslim territories.”

Syria has been a hot topic recently. How did it affect your trip?

“The first day of the trip we visited a refugee school on the Syrian border to minister to kids there.We were planning on returning later in the week but we were told that it was too dangerous for any Americans to go there. Also, the terrorist organization in Lebanon, Hezbollah, threatened to target any Americans in Beirut (the capital of Lebanon) if the United States bombed Syria.”

What is one moment that stands out in your mind?

“ One moment that stands out was at the beginning of the trip, I was nervous about ministering to an unreached group of people. We did not know how they would accept the gospel or how they would accept Americans. But by the end of the week, we had a great relationship with the Druze people. A mother of one of the kids in the VBS said, “we love you because you love our children”. It was really great to watch how showing Gods love to others can break down huge barriers that nothing else could break down.”

*Druze is a sect of Islam that does not worship Allah. They believe in a god that is both all powerful but also present among humans.

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