Last night we had a big meal and a prayerful send off for Cindy Blick who starts the pilgrimage trail (Camino de Santiago de Compestela) on Wednesday.
Cindy has been living with us for 2 months, and she was one of the girls in my youth group when i was a youth pastor at North Beach Baptist Church (91-93). She expects to walk it in 6 weeks, and to be in Santiago by July 24th, for the big celebration.
Pilgrimage, for many young people, is the new missions - a two-way journey, a spiritual quest, a journey of giving and taking, listening and telling your story, experiencing God and the people of the country, tuning into the spiritual needs of a country, entering that country in a posture of humility and need (like Jesus said to do in Luke 10), and its also just a fantastic way to meet other spiritual seekers.
Our family walked part of the pilgrimage trial - i mean TRAIL last summer. Jesus walked one each year with his family when he was a kid. Walking up to Jerusalem was a part of the festival itself. Some people would walk for a week to get there and a week back. They walked it as a big crowd of pilgrims which is why Jesus parents couldn't find him in the crowds and left him behind in Jerusalem.
Last year, nearly 70,000 people walked the Camino in Spain. Guess where the spiritual seekers in Spain are.