Israel visit fulfilling; Christian pilgrims say

BY: Kate Baaba Hudson
The senior pastors, media men and officials during the trip to Israel
The senior pastors, media men and officials during the trip to Israel

Seventeen Ghanaians, including 14 senior pastors and three media practitioners who completed a one-week tour of Israel recently, have said the trip was fulfilling and educative.

They told the Daily Graphic at the end of the journey that from the learning experiences gained they would wish to visit Israel again.

“We’re not very sure if we have the exact words to describe our trip, but we can confidently say it was very beneficial and Israel is a place we will like to visit again,” they said.

Pastors Justice Kwadwo Boadi and Derick D. Akubia were of the view every Christian should try and visit Israel in his or her lifetime and that they could plan for such trips.

The pastors belonged to various religious units, with similar beliefs and practices, but all agreed that the trip was worthwhile, both for religious and tourism purposes.

They believed that the trip had given them better insights into the various places visited.

The trip was the first for many on the team, while it was the second time some were embarking on it.

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Two couples who were part of the group, who have been married for over 30 years, used the occasion to renew their marital vows.

The ceremony took place at a church in Kafr Cana where Jesus was said to have performed the first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding reception.

The trip was organised by One People Travels as part of their annual familiarisation tour packages, in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines.

It was facilitated by Israel Holy Land Travels and the Israeli Embassy in Accra.

Sites visited

The group visited the Mount of the Beatitudes, then later to the Sea of Galilea for a meditative period and had dinner on a boat on the Sea of Galilea.

Members also toured the Tagba, which is the place of the multiplication of loaves, and then to Magdala, as well as Mt Carmel and Primatur and to Capernaum, believed to be the hometown of Jesus..

The team also drove from Samaria to Judea and to Gasr El Yahud at the baptismal site on the River Jordan, where members renewed their baptismal faith in the Jordan.

The group visited the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the biggest church in Israel.

They went to the Jericho and had a view of the Mount of Temptation and then to the Dead Sea.

Another important site visited was Bethlehem, otherwise called Beit Lechem, meaning The House of Bread.

The team was also in the Garden of Gethsemene, the old city; to Mount Zion, the Tomb of David and the Upper Room, then to Via Dolrosa, which means ‘road of sorrows’, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and then to the Wailing Wall and later to the Church of Nativity.

One People Travels

The trip provided the team members the opportunity to visit the Holy Land at a reduced cost.

The Head of Marketing, Business and Product Development of One People Travels, Mr Victor Satuh, said the pilgrimage was aimed at providing the pastors and journalists with the opportunity to experience their top quality services.

Mr Satuh disclosed that since they started organising the trips, One People Travels had sent about 600 people from about 20 different bodies to Israel. He expected the number to double soon.

He told the Daily Graphic that government delegations were also expected to embark on the trip soon.

He said they were always committed to the successful planning and execution of pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

The group was conducted round the various places by a licensed Tour Guide and Bible Teacher, Mr Sakher Rizkallah; called Peter by many.

He explained in detail every site and object and used the respective Bible passage to give practical meaning.