Recap details of the trip below from original story
Kenyan Church to take a Pilgrim's Visit to Israel
By Harrison Maina, Ajabu Africa News, posted April 7, 2011
WORCESTER, Mass._"How would it feel to literally walk in the fottsteps of Jesus Christ, from the legendary manger in Bethlehem, where he was born, to the sea of Galilee, where he walked on water, up the Mountain of Calvary, where he suffered beatings, humiliation, and death, to the tomb of Jerusalem, where his lifeless body was laid to rest only for him to resurrrect and climb up to heaven a few days later."
Well, one Kenyan church in Worcester, Hosanna Gospel center, in conjunction with a renowned travel company, SG Travel, is offering Kenyans in the USA a chance of a life time to visit Israel this summer in the safe company of familiar faces.
Dubbed the 8 days to the Holy Land Tour, the once in a lifetime trip is slated to take place in early August this year and will last 8 days and 6 nights .
Vacationers are expected to leave the US on August 8 to return on August 15 on a round trip ticket, where accommodation, food , travel guides as well as baggage handling and hotel transfers as well as travel insurance will all be taken care of for those who desire to travel.
“This has been our dream at the Hosanna Gospel Center here in Worcester. We always wanted to have an opportunity to re-live the life of our savior Jesus Christ and so, this trip will provide us with the very oppotuinity”, said Pastor David Kahura, the pastor of Hosanna Gospel church during a recent interview with Ajabu Africa News.
“To me, a trip to Israel will make any Christian deepen his or her faith in God and have a clear picture of where his faith will take him in the life to come”, added the man of God.
Pastor David Kahura, pastor of Hosanna Gospel Center, Worcester.
pic by H.Maina/Ajabu Media
Put together by SG Travel, a Worcester based, Kenyan owned Travel Company that has been booking travel tickets for Kenyans and others over the last 20 years, the trip to Israel will be the first of its kind by a Kenyan community church.
“Other than giving Kenyans an opportunity to walk where Jesus walked and did his miracles, this trip is also a great opportunity for Kenyans who work so hard and never have an opportunity to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor to have a dream vacation in the holy land”, said Sophie Gathecha, CEO and founder of SG Travel.
She added that when she was approached by Pastor Kahura, who happens to be her Pastor at the Hosanna Gospel center, she was extremely excited and immediately jumped to make impeccable arrangements.
“I have always wanted to go to Israel myself. As a Christian and a travel agent, I have always wondered when I will ever get a chance to visit Israel in the company of people I feel safe with. So, even before signing up anyone else, I signed up myself first”, added the travel operator.
At a cost of only $3,498, willing faithful and vacationers will enjoy 8 days of hassle free vacation with virtually everything included in the price.
According to the organizers, Kenyans who get on the trip will only be responsible for paying their Visa fees, personal expenses, tips and any gifts they may decide to purchase.
Planned to start at the JFK Airport in New York on Monday, August 8, the 6 hour flight to Israel is expected to attract a lot of Kenyans.
On arrival at Tel Aviv Airport, the vacationers will be met and transferred to a Hotel, where they are expected to take a break so as to relax from Jet lag.
They will then hit the Jesus trail the next day with planned visits to the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes, the site of the Sermon on the Mount, the Capernaum, River Jordan, Mount Carmel, the Old City of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Calvary, the Pool of Bethesda, the Garden of Gethsemane, Bethlehem, the Room of the Last supper and many other biblical attractions.
The Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, one of the many biblical sites that Kenyan faithful will visit during a summer trip to the holy Land.
“We are excited to invite you to our first tour to Israel where we will experience the bible become alive as we visit the historical sites where tremendous miracles happened”, said Pastor Kahura.
“Here at Hosanna, we believe that everyone was born with a mandate from heaven that is called Destiny. This tour of the Holy Land will give a clear picture of your future as we pray in the places where Christ, the author of all Visions prayed”, he added with conviction.
The Pastor thanked Sophie Gathecha of SG Travel for taking up the challenge to organize the trip for the benefit of the Kenyan community in the USA. He said that the church is inviting any willing Kenyan from New England and any other State who wishes to experience the Holy Land to sign up and reserve a space.
To make it easy for interested Kenyans who may not have the entire $3,498 in a bunch, organizers are willing to take pre-arranged installments from now on until an arranged date so as to give as many people as possible a chance to sign up.
According to Gathecha, the Travel Agent, 11 Kenyans have already paid for their spots and many more are expressing desire to sign up.
Sophie Gatheca, CEO of SG Travel.
pic by H.Maina/Ajabu Media
“For me, I signed up because I just want to feel what it was like for Jesus to go through the stages he went until his death for our sake especially in the company of people who can speak your language for maximum enjoyment of the experience” said Helen Nganga of Worcester. The cost is fair to me since I spend more than that when I travel home for Vacation so I figured a trip to Israel will not hurt”, she added.
“I am looking forward to just view the Dead Sea and test whether indeed someone can float there. I am also looking forward to see the Tomb of Jesus”, said Beth Ngunjiri, who is also fully paid up for the tour and is raring to go.
In the recent history, only a few Kenyans in the US are known to have taken opportunity to travel to Israel on a church sponsored trip.
Some of those who have traveled there took advantage of tours organized by big American churches that advertise on TV, and it is usually in the company of people from a different culture and language.
As such, the first ever tour by a Kenyan community church to the Holy land has been met with a lot of excitement and support , marking a point where Kenyans can also rise to the challenge and successful pull off great achievements especially in the spiritual realm.
Many people and bible teachers concur that at the end of the day, synchronization of a person’s spiritual life with the maker is what really matters as opposed to the many days we spend trying to accumulate earthly possessions which when this life ends, we leave them here to be enjoyed by others.
Paying homage to Israel, at least once in a life time no matter what the cost is, is deemed one of a Christian’s most important achievements.
Despite the worries of Israel’s image overseas, the political direction of the Jewish state and the persistence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Christian pilgrim’s visitors are continuing to flock to Israel every year.
According to the Israel Tourism Ministry, in the first half of 2010, some 1.6 million tourists, a huge number of whom described themselves as Christian pilgrims, visited Israel, setting a new record.
It constituted a 39 percent increase over the same period of 2009, which included the Gaza war, and a 10 percent increase from the first half of 2008, Israel's previous record year for tourism.
This Hosanna Gospel Church trip to Israel provides such a spectacular and rare opportunity for Kenyan Christians in the US to take a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in safe hands.
To book a spot, or for more information, please call:
Sophie Gatheca Clottey
S.G Travel International
465 park Ave, #2
Worcester, MA 01601
Phone: 508 926 8163
Cell: 774 262 4407
Phone: 508 799 9600
Senior Pastor: David Kahura
Hosanna Gospel Center
120 Stafford St, Unit 8
Worcester, MA 01603
Ajabu Pictorial of scenes from Israel
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