Israel Trip 2014

Travel to Israel with Pastor Robert Furrow

 

Dates: May 5th - 17th, 2014

Welcome to Israel with Calvary 2014!  Israel is a land rich in history and locations, a land that God used to shape the lives of those we read about in Scripture today.  Under Israel’s starlit sky David found the inspiration to write many of the Psalms.  Joshua and the children of Israel witnessed the power of God as He miraculously led them into this land.  And the climax: two thousand years ago our sins were atoned for as God became flesh and lovingly gave His life for us!  We hope you will be able to join us as we travel to the land abounding in Biblical history.

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Section 1:  What to Expect – 

Traveling to Israel is the opportunity of a lifetime.  With this great opportunity, we understand there are also many questions.  And although we may not be able to answer all these questions, we believe this section will serve to answer many of them.

A) The Safety - 

The single most common question when traveling to Israel enters into one’s mind (aside from “how much does it cost) is: “Is it safe”?  As a general rule, safety in Israel is very similar to safety in Tucson, or Phoenix, or any large city.  Your safety is often influenced by the decisions made by you.  There are general guidelines that will be discussed as the trip approaches, tips which will serve to enhance your safety in a foreign land with a different culture.

This topic, though, is designated to discuss safety in the turmoil of the Middle East.  Prior to discussing this topic further, you need to know that we will not travel to Israel if we deem the climate unsafe.  With that said, of the several millennium of Israel’s history, there has been less than a century of peace.  Therefore, it is possible for conflict to arise while we are there.  Locations we visit, though, are for the most part at a distance from conflict areas.  If we are scheduled to tour an area of the country that is not safe, we will restructure our tour in order to avoid potential hostility.  These are general statements.  If you desire more specific answers, or have other questions, please ask and we will do our best to provide honest answers.

B) The Physical - 

Be prepared for a little exercise.  Our tours are set up to visit many archaeological sites which require a little walking to reach.  Several of the days we will utilize walking trails in order to reach our destination.  On a few occasions we will utilize ancient steps (which may not be even) to reach our destination.  Expect a minimum of 2 miles walking per day.  While touring each day, opportunities to rest will be provided.  With all these things considered, people of all ages and physical fitness levels have been able to stay at the pace of the tour.

C) The Educational - 

As Israel is a land rich with history, our trip will be educational, perhaps overwhelmingly.  We live in very exciting times.  In the past century Israel has once again become a nation.  Iran and Russia have formed a military alliance.  These and numerous other Biblical prophecies are coming to pass in our day!  Our guides will provide us with an educational opportunity to understand the modern history of Israel, helping us to better understand how God is bringing these prophecies to fulfillment.  They will also provide a historical background to many of the sites we will be visiting.

In addition to the general historical education, we will have several Bible studies daily.  A great opportunity will be presented to become even more established in God’s word, as we visit sites and study the corresponding Biblical passages.  God’s word is truth, and having the privilege of standing in a Biblical location and reading about the location from the single most accurate historical document can only help in establishing one’s conviction that the Bible is true.

D) The Spiritual - 

Without question, the most significant aspect of traveling to Israel is the spiritual.  Much of Biblical history is rooted in the land of Israel.  Traveling to the locations, being physically present and experiencing Biblical locations is nothing short of amazing.  But beyond the locations is the condition of you hearts.  Our greatest desire is to have our lives transformed by the Spirit of God as we open our hearts to Him, allowing Him to speak to us, encourage us, and strengthen our faith in Him.  On the average day we will have several locational Bible studies.  We will have times for worship through song.  And the Christ-centered relationships that are formed on trips like these are literally life-changing.  We may not know exactly how God will move in each person’s heart, but we know that He will move in a powerful way as we open our hearts to Him.

Section 2: The Financial Aspect – 

Trips of a lifetime always seem to be accompanied by the price tag of a lifetime.  Our desire is to provide a high-quality trip and experience at a very reasonable price.  Every dollar paid for the tour is placed into the tour.  We do not make any profit on these trips.  The purpose of this section is to provide you with a breakdown of what you are receiving for your money, as well as a breakdown of the budget for each person’s trip cost.  As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about this not-so fun topic.

A) Included in Price - 

Many tours are disguised with hidden fees and unexpected (and unwelcome) financial surprises, which have a drastic impact on the bottom line of any trip.  We remove all hidden fees and all financial obligations once on the trip, in order to provide the most enjoyable and relaxing environment possible.

What is Included – 

  • All Breakfasts and Dinners, 
  • 4 Lunches, 
  • All taxes and taxable fees, 
  • All tips (maids, bell boys, meal tips, bus drivers, tour guides, etc.). 
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Airport Fuel Surcharges 

What is not Included – 

  • Additional Lunches ($6.00 - $10.00 per meal)
  • Snacks
  • Water Bottles ($1.00 on Bus)
  • Souvenirs, etc.

B) Israeli Currency - 

Although exchange rates do fluctuate from day to day, on average 1 US dollar is equivalent to 4 Israeli shekels.  As the trip draws closer, a more accurate exchange rate will be provided. 

Often times the question is asked about obtaining Israeli currency.  The most cost-effective way to obtain Israeli currency is through your debit card.  Upon arriving in Israel you will have the opportunity to use an ATM.  Although you may incur a small surcharge, you will receive the current bank exchange rate, which is by far cheaper than ordering Israeli currency from the United States.

Your debit card should be issued by a major carrier, such as Visa or MasterCard.

If you do not possess a debit card, obtain one.  If you are unable to obtain one, you can request Israeli currency from your bank, or you can use one of the currency exchange companies located in major airports (Remember, this method is less cost effective).

C) Petty Cash - 

Although the amount of petty cash to carry depends on the individual’s preference, our recommendation is to carry the equivalent of $50.00 to $75.00 for misc. expenses.  Many companies in Israel also accept US currency.  It is wise, though, to limit the bill size to $1 and $ 5 bills.

D) Taxes and Tithes - 

One common question regarding these tours is if they are tax-deductible.  They are not, as a tax deductible contribution requires that no services or goods are received in return for a person’s giving.  In addition, tithes and offerings cannot be directed in order to fund another’s trip to Israel.  If you choose to contribute to another’s trip, or another chooses to contribute to your trip, it will be considered the same as purchasing a gift for another.

Section 3: The Traveling – 

Travel Dates: May 5th - 17th, 2014 

We will depart Tucson the morning of May 5th, and arrive in Israel the following afternoon.  We will depart Israel late on May 16th, arriving in Tucson the early afternoon of the following day.

Many are concerned about jet lag, and understandably so.  Jet lag is caused due to time zone differences from one geographic region to another.  We have found that the best way to combat jet lag is to establish a consistent schedule.  Once we arrive in Israel we will have the evening to relax, and will begin touring the following day.

 

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