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SEMINAR #1 MAKING NEW FRIENDS.

As each of my 125+ trips to the Bible Lands has begun, I have noticed a common denominator. Most of the new friends that were traveling with me were strangers to most of the rest of the group. The truth is most people who venture abroad with a group understandably feel a bit uncomfortable at first until they get acquainted.. So initially, whenever we head off again, I find that I can safely assume, probably everyone there feels some sense of strangeness, especially if they are personally traveling alone.

This is something we deal with beginning on Day 1 and make a very special effort to be sure that EVERY PERSON FEELS COMFORTABLE AND AT HOME.

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We will try to know your name and where you come from. Everyone has a fine personalized name tag to wear and quickly learns who their new traveling companions are. We think such extra effort is very important when you travel to the Holy Land with the “Holy Land Guru” and wife, your new friends, Bob and Judy Grant. We work hard at this because we know that many who will travel with us are traveling alone and need and deserve to be accorded this extra special amount of attention. So, when you travel with us……….. you are SPECIAL.

Also please note that Dr. Bob approaches the experience of visiting the Holy Land from a frankly Christian perspective.
Please understand that there are many types of trips to Jerusalem and the Holy Land that you could choose from. Your local travel agent can show you dozens of brochures.

So how to decide on which trip to take? Good question. You will also find if you look closely that all of the many available trips vary in their underlying emphasis and their flavor.
So what are the most important factors to consider when you chose your once in a lifetime journey?

(1)The key person that you will travel with as your host. Who are they and what special experience or qualifications do they embody that will enhance your journey so that you should decide to travel with them, and (2) The experience level of the company that is actually operating your journey.

Understand that it will be the unique emphasis brought to the journey by your group leader that will determine what you will actually see and experience while there and what you will come home with.

No two trips are exactly the same. You should therefore choose carefully as you probably will not do this trip more than once..
The company that operates the journey you select is very important as well. You want to be sure that they are experienced and well prepared to deal with any political changes that may occur overseas.

Journeys Unlimited is such a company. Its principals, long time friends of Dr. Bob, Nick Mancino President, and Raymond Masillo Senior Vice President, share with Dr. Bob, about 130 years of combined experience organizing and conducting Christian travel to the lands of the Bible.

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                       Nick Mancino, President                                                                                                        Raymond Masillo, Senior Vice President

But even more important to the success of your journey than the tour company, is the person that is travelling with you, overseeing the journey and providing their unique contribution to the journey.  That person is THE critical factor in your journey, and they really make all the difference in the world in the quality of your experience.

 

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Having said that: Universally, those who have travelled with the “Holy Land Guru”, Dr. Bob, have come back pleased and enriched with their experience. Some of their personal testimonies are to be found elsewhere on this website.
Please understand: a journey with the “Holy Land Guru” is intentionally designed to deepen your faith and widen your knowledge of the Bible and the lands that produced it, while also being a lot of fun. It will also enable you to understand better what you see on the news when you return home and the important history of the lands of the Bible.

Let me make you a challenge.

After you have decided on the journey that you are going to take, (hopefully one of the 2 that we have planned for 2014 on February 10 and April 26), as you examine the itinerary, I want to encourage you to make a list of the important experiences and places that your journey covers and try to predict in advance what you think, after you come back home, will have been your favorite experience. Write down your projection.
Then when you do return home from your journey, you should check and recall what you predicted and see if you were on target or not. You might be surprised to find that you missed it completely.

On the completed February 2013 journey, I offered this very same challenge to the 43 who accompanied us. I said to them: these are the potentially favorite highlights of your forthcoming journey. Which one are you looking forward to the most? And here were their choices. (The same choices that those who accompany us on the February 10, 2014 journey will have.)

( ) The spectacular ruins of the rose red city of Petra
( ) The briny waters of the Dead Sea (where you might take a dip) and the Qumran caves above the Dead Sea where the Dead Sea Scrolls were secreted away, 2000 years ago, and only recently uncovered.-
( ) The Jordan River which you will find is not so impressive as you might expect
( ) The spectacular ruins of ancient Jerash, from the time of Jesus and one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis in Jordan
( ) The impressive ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum built over the synagogue of Jesus’ day
( ) The tranquil location of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, actually a gently sloping hill down to the edge of the Sea of Galilee
( ) The tel of Megiddo (Armageddon) and the Valley of Jezreel, with Mount Tabor in the distance.
( ) The huge Herodion theater in Caesarea Maritima where Paul probably put on his defense before the Jewish and Roman authorities, recorded in the Book of Acts
( ) Jerusalem, when viewed from the Mount of Olives. When Jesus viewed the city of Jerusalem in his day from a similar vantage point, the Bible says that he was moved to tears
( ) The not so little anymore, town of Bethlehem with fewer Christians and shepherds, now, than in the past
( ) The birth place cave in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem that is the probable location of the birth of Jesus
( ) The walking tour through the Old City of Jerusalem with the traditional Roman Catholic stations of the cross
( ) The Temple Mount with its magnificent golden “Dome of the Rock” that stands where the Jewish Temple of Jesus’ day once stood.
( ) The “Wailing wall” or Western Wall of the Temple plateau whose base goes back to the time of Jesus
( ) The towering mountain fortress of Masada.
( ) The Garden Tomb and Gordon’s Calvary where many believe Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead and where you can plan to participate in a communion service. Optional. Your choice. No pressure.

You may want to add to this list any additional things that you are anticipating the most as you travel to the lands of the Bible and of Jesus, especially if you are traveling with us on the April 26, 2014 Cruise to the Missionary Journey of Paul sites in Greece and Turkey like Ephesus.

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