Today a group of twenty-four, led by two of our School of Ministry professors, will depart PDX, destination Israel. They’ll spend just shy of two weeks in the Holy Land where they will join the faithful at the Eastern Wall, walk with the sorrowing on the Via Dolorosa, and celebrate at the Garden Tomb. They’ll dip their toe in the Sea of Galilee and listen for the echo of Jesus’ words, “Peace be still,” and sit in the natural amphitheater of the Mount of the Beatitudes. Their trip will be inspiring, both as ministry leaders and as Christ-followers. It will be demanding, both physically and perhaps emotionally. They’ll connect in ways that can’t happen in a traditional classroom or church auditorium, see scripture anew as they visit the places they’ve read about so long, and sample foods they’d never try at home. They will be stretched.
And then they’ll come home and wish it wasn’t over.
That’s the nature of travel. And in particular, that’s the nature of travel in the Holy Land.
Their impending departure prompts me to tell you about a trip we have scheduled for the spring of 2019. I’d love to have you join me and other leaders of the Pacific Conference as we journey to Israel and Jordan.
Here are five reasons I think you should plan to come.
Five reasons to visit Israel! (from a previous blog)
- You will grow spiritually. I’ve had the privilege of taking many people to Israel and everyone shares that it makes their spiritual life more vibrant and deep. My mom said, “It’s a trip that keeps on giving. Every time I open my Bible, I reflect on what I saw and experienced in Israel.
- You will love your Bible more than ever. When you go to Israel, you get to see the Bible, not just read the Bible. One pastor who went to Israel said, “If I bought 50 books on Bible lands, they couldn’t compare to what my trip to Israel has given me.” In fact, going to Israel has been called the 5th Gospel. It turns the Bible from black and white to color.
- You will deepen your friendships. I’ve noticed that people who experience Israel together have a special connection with each other. This shared experience leads to lasting friendships.
- You will be stretched. It’s time to get off the couch and go somewhere exciting. You will simply love Israel. The history, culture, religion, and identity are everywhere in Israel. It’s a place to see evidence of life as it was thousands of years ago as well as modern life. Visiting Israel will broaden your understanding and appreciation for the people of Israel.
- You are supporting Israel. You may not have thought of it, but traveling to Israel supports Israel and the Jewish people. Tourism is their number one industry. Last year more than 3.5 million people visited the Holy Land. You can be one, too. : -)
Let’s put it this way, a trip to Israel is not a vacation but an education packed with inspiration!
Two of the most asked questions about going to Israel:
- Is it safe? No one is completely safe anywhere, including going to work tomorrow, right? In Israel, tourists are not targets. Both the Israelis and Palestinians value our visit and want to protect tourism. Here’s another question: “Would you visit the city of Chicago next month?” Most of us would say, “Of course!” However, last year (2017) Chicago had 3,457 shooting victims and recorded 650 murders. How many Israelis died from terrorism in 2017? The number is 20. That’s right! Only 20 in the entire country compared to 650 in one city in the States. I dislike this as an example, since one violent death is one too many! My point is, Israel is tops when it comes to overall security. I have been to Israel seven times in the past twelve years, and I have never felt unsafe. Safety is a priority for every tour group going to Israel.
- Why does it cost so much? Going to Israel is not cheap. Any trip overseas adds up. Our trip is all-inclusive which means it includes: Your flights, hotels, breakfast and dinner, all your tips, taxes, entry fees, our full-time guide and bus driver and bus…and the list goes on. The only thing not included in the price is lunch and the optional trip insurance. It’s a surprising value when you consider all that is included and the length of the trip. Moreover, when you think of the education and impact it will have on your life, it is worth it!
BEFORE YOU GO
Here are the details and next steps if you are ready to go! (Or also if you just want more information.)
Trip Dates: March 25-April 5, 2019
Cost: $3,997 (+ $900 for Jordan Extension) – based on a minimum of 35 passengers
Registration Deadline: November 23, 2018
Three ways to register:
- Mail your $500 deposit to Maranatha Tours, 18428 N 42nd Place, Phoenix, AZ 85032
- Register online and pay with a credit card.
- Call and register over the phone. (You’ll need a credit card for the deposit.) 602 788 8864.
Need more information? Call the Conference Office at 503 427 0000.
To keep track of the School of Ministry Tour this week, you can follow along on their blog here!