Israel Update from MaranathaTours.com!
Click on the Player above to hear a word from Mel McAllister who just returned from the Holy Land!
Dear Tour Host and Passengers;
We have had a few calls regarding the recent Worldwide Travel Alert that was issued on November 23, 2015 by the U.S. Department of State and wanted to take time to address this. This Alert is issued for all travel worldwide and to advise U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling to any destination and while in crowded public places, both domestically and internationally. We invite you to visit the State Department website to read the full Travel Alert if you have not already done so. It contains great information. This Travel Alert, however, is not any different than it has been other than it is now mentioning specific terrorist groups.
Maranatha believes that group travel is the safest way to travel:
All airports have increased security and have been 100% safe.
Once you are overseas our own NET office will be watching over you in each country and will know where you are at all times.
You will be with our local guides while out touring in each country overseas. They will not be taking you into any areas where known disturbances are occurring and are in contact with our local offices and authorities throughout the trip.
You will be traveling as a group on a private bus all the time. NEVER WILL YOU GO ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.
You will not be attending any events where large crowds are gathering (concerts, sporting events, etc.) and will be going to tourist sites that are security controlled and monitored.
Today, there is no fear of safety. Airlines are full in capacity and Israel is setting new records of pilgrims. Any time you or a family member has questions, have them call me. My cell is 602-339-3011 or you can call the office during business hours. That number is 800-545-5533.
Don’t miss this life changing tour. Today Israel is as safe as any time in history. Don’t just take my word for it, Google it and you will see how safe Israel is. If you have any questions, or concerns please feel free to contact me.
Michael S Reilly
We asked Greg Reilly from our office, who just returned from overseas, his feeling about being overseas at this time and wanted to share his message with you.
“I just returned two days ago from a month long trip through Israel, Egypt and Turkey. I just want to let you know that what you see and hear on our news is NOT what you see and hear while in the countries you will visit. To make the matter of our news even worse, I would have to watch CNN while in Israel just to see what they were talking about since our groups did not see anything that was on the news. I want you to know I am not making light of the situation, but where we tour, our groups go and where we stay you will NEVER see any of what you see on the news.
You will always be with your group, Guide, Private bus and in Tourist areas including the hotels. I can’t count the number of people I talked to that said they were glad they didn’t let the news or what even Family members said persuade them to cancel and miss this trip of a lifetime. That included the folks that went on our Egypt and Turkey programs.
Israel is as safe as it has ever been and some folks were saying how they want to go back ASAP as this tour opened their Bible and they will never read it the same. I even had a couple that has been in the Holy Land with me the past 3 Novembers and they were going when the news was really saying it wasn’t safe. They even plan on returning next year.
I am not writing to persuade travelers either way, but want to give them the FACTS about the safety and that it is Safe to travel to any of the countries we travel to. This is coming from me personally, from someone who just toured all of these countries with over 6 different groups who were all saying the same thing. ”
A word form Hani Abu Dayyeh
Greetings from Rome.
Until the regrettable Paris episode, and for the past three months, we were in the eyes of the media. I was myself in Jerusalem when some of the things did occur that were also all over the news and I had several groups in town. Throughout this whole ordeal there was not a single tourist that was hurt and there were no concerns with the folks on the ground. On the other hand, their families in the USA were going ballistic and calling them to check and their folks on tour essentially put their mind at ease.
Regrettably, the news media’s motto is that “if it bleeds it leads”. They keep replaying the same scenes over and over and with constant hammering at the subject and the viewers would think that clashes are continuous. You would think that the local people are just leading an abnormal life, when most people on the both sides of the political divide are carrying their lives normally. They are clogging the morning traffic going to work or dropping their kids at school and going to the marketplace to do their shopping. To the news media, normal life is boring and is not headline news. In fact, it is not news at all. Even the best of good news is no news.
The fact still remains, statistically speaking if you survive the trip between your home and the airport, you will survive the whole Holy Land journey.
The best responses about the actual situation on the ground should come from the reports from your own clients who came back from their journey to our region. They are our best goodwill ambassadors. Also, you can check the groups’ reactions on our Facebook.
If things really get hairy, the State Department will announce it clearly and if it even get crazier like a war breaking out, plans are always put in place to get the people out and airlines and all tourism services do not charge any cancellation fees.
Let me share with you a rather humorous situation that we experienced. We had a group that came at the beginning of the war with Lebanon and that was guided by their priest. They were scheduled to go to the north to cover the sites of the Early Ministry of Christ around the Sea of Galilee. Our job as local agents is to try to dissuade him from going with the group there due to the security considerations. The Israeli Military did not declare the area as a closed military area so he refused. His position that “we are traveling together in faith and I will consider going back if the noise of the explosions drowns my own voice and only then I might consider heading back ” Of course he went on and even did the Upper Galilee without a hitch and he claims that it was the best tour he had since he did not have the crowds jostling all around and had the sites for himself. Believe me that can be the silver lining when political breakdowns do happen, it eliminates the overwhelming crowding at the various sites and this can provide for a richer spiritual experience.
I would like to quote the following scriptures ” Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Teacher, where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.” (John 1:39-40)
And that my friend comes from the “Good News “. So come and you shall see!!!
Hani Abu Dayyeh
Israel Update Tours of the Holy Land Maranatha Tours