Hey there! My name is Matthew Karlstrum and I am a student from the West Institute in Laramie, Wyoming. I am studing in the 1-year master’s of theological studies program. My wife Kristin and I moved to Laramie specifically so that I could attend the West Institute. I chose this particular program in large part because of the Israel Initiative. This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both my wife and I. We are very grateful for God’s provision and Shepherd’s commitment to the education of its students through the experience of this trip.
Now to the good stuff. Today we are on our 5th day in the city of Jerusalem. We spent much of the day visiting sites related to the events of the night before Jesus’ crucifixion through to His death, burial and resurrection. We started the day by walking to the site of the last supper and then to the garden in which Jesus went to pray for encouragement. This was a quick stop before walking to the place where tradition places the crucifixion and burial place of Christ. While this most likely isn’t the site of these events it was a great place to contemplate the events of that night and the work of the father that was accomplished through the son. Seeing all that we’ve seen on this trip and visiting the physical places that God chose to glorify Himself through the sacrifice of His son for the redemption of you and me has been invaluable to developing my call to ministry. I can definitely see that God has me and my wife here for our good and His glory! It was great to contemplate Jesus’ humanity as he prepared to complete the task in which he was sent to accomplish and how God provided the strength and courage to Jesus in that hour. This trip has made this narrative more vivid and real for me and my wife. We will always look back to this time and the places in which we visited as we continue in our service to God and the ministry of spreading His word.