Holy Land

MASSIVE PRAYER MEETING AT THE WAILING WALL

Last evening thousands of Jews gathered in the Old City of Jerusalem at the historic Western Wall (aka “The Wailing Wall”)  to pray that God would preserve Israel now seen by many there as threatened by American middle eastern policy. They view current US policy with alarm and as counter to the interests of the State of Israel.

The echoing sounds of  trumpets rang out across the crowded square as bearded rabbis prayed fervently to “Adonai” and “Elohim”, Biblical names for G-d (Jews so respect the name of God that they will not fully spell it out).

They prayed that “G-d would cancel the decrees” of John Kerry, that Israel would “stand firm against the difficult pressures coming from the other side of the ocean” and that their leaders would resist American pressure and that G-d would give them “fear and great awe of You that they will fear greatly to harm our holy land”.

 

The Obama Administration, in ways both subtle and open, has made it quite evident that they have chosen sides in the ongoing competing interests of the Arabs and the Jews. This tilting of American foreign policy away from US long standing support of the State of Israel to a not always veiled belligerence towards the Jewish State, has marked the Obama Administration since day one.

In spite of that fact American Jews have remarkably  remained firm supporters of this president.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been quietly pressuring the European powers to tighten the pressure on Israel in regards to the Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in favor of the goal of declaring Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian State.

Orthodox Jews gather at the waiing wall for prayers on a regular basis

Orthodox Jews gather at the waiing wall for prayers on a regular basis

The plaza where this mass prayer meeting took place is quite significant and historic. The huge stones at the base of the wall were placed there at the time of Jesus by King Herod the Great and are all that remains of the Temple structure from that time. This is the western wall of the huge plateau on top of which then stood the 2nd Temple of Israel and where now stands two important Muslim buildings, the El Aksa Mosque and the gold covered Dome of the Rock built over what many believe to be the place of Old Testament sacrifice going all the way back to Abraham 2100 years before Jesus. The Muslims believe that it was from this spot Mohammed ascended into heaven on the back of a white stallion. These competing traditions about this site come laden with deep emotion and remain a tinder box that could easily ignite a new war.

In 1967 when, during the 6 day war, Israel took Jerusalem, this made it possible for Jews to again visit this wall, their most treasured site. They had been forbidden to go there when it was in Jordan. Its capture was greeted by great joy and celebration

I have stood there many times on our many Holy Land tours, first in 1967 just 6 weeks before the 6 day war and as recently as last February. We will go there again next December and January.

When I first went to the Holy Land  in 1967  the location of this huge prayer meeting appeared quite differently than it does today. There was no wide open plaza then that we now see. Then the area was a mass of slummy homes that crowded up against the base of the wall. It was not until, after weaving about through these dwellings  you suddenly rounded a corner and you could actually see where you were. And your eyes involuntarily turned up

One of the first things Israel did in 1967 was to clear away these modest Arab  dwellings, open the area up as we see it today and pave the filled in Tyropaean Valley from the time of Jesus (aka valley of the Cheesemakers) to accommodate the thousands that appeared there last evening.

There is great apprehension in Israel over the stance of the present US Administration and with good cause due to President Obama’s positive predisposition towards Islam due to fond memories of his childhood in Muslim countries.

One of the great values of travel to that part of the world is the  gaining of an understanding of the real politic issues that abound there and also a deepened understanding of the Biblical background and significance of the site

Dr. Robert Grant has been traveling to the Middle East for 46 years going there about 125 times and so has a unique understanding of the places important to Bible students and also what is reported on the evening news. Each year he takes Christian pastors and their church members on journeys there. His new book can be downloaded FREE at

http://www.holylandguru.com/ebook-for-you/

Promoting Your Holy Land Tour: How To’s

holy land tour  holy land guru

Dr. Bob Grant “The Holy Land Guru”

As a Pastor who has decided to join us as we travel to the Holy Land, it is well to approach this promotional opportunity realizing that you are making a wonderful life changing experience possible for those who will travel with you.

Chances are if you had not offered them this travel plan they would never have the opportunity to go to the Holy Land. Your invitation makes this feasible for them. The fact that they also make it possible for you to travel is beside the point. Remember that the price has not been inflated to accommodate you but to replace the normal travel agent commission with your journey expenses.

 

Act Early – We Can Help

The earlier you announce your plans the better as people generally need time to schedule being away, especially on something as exciting as this. Beginning one year in advance of your departure  is optimal but not mandatory. A minimum of 6 months lead time is still possible to do. There are 3 Simple Steps to take:

  • Step #1 Choose the Date and Itinerary: If you want to travel at the same time as me then you currently have 2 choices.

√ Choice A  – 11 days to Turkey, Jordan and Israel departing December 1, 2014 for 11 days

OR

√ Choice B  – 10 days to Israel departing January 12, 2015

NOTE: If you want to go at another time that is fine too and I will still be able to help so let me know what you prefer                                                                        

  • Step #2 – Let me Know of Your Decision: Let us know your choice so we can speak directly and I can provide you with direct help and answer any questions you might have. You can call me at (386) 447 9473 or provide your number and I will call you. We need to talk. I will want to print special personalized brochures for you to use with your name on them. No cost to you for this!
  • Step # 3 Plan your promotional approach. Everyone’s situation is unique but there are a few principles that I recommend  you employ.

1. Do Not Assume that you know who is going to say yes to your invitation or who you are sure could never do this. I have observed that it never fails that the ones you were so sure of may not go while someone you never thought in your wildest dreams, says yes. Examples from my most recent trip in February 2013: Some well to do members of our church who are deeply committed Christians I was sure would go. They did not. Instead 2 teen-aged girls  became excited about the opportunity and they set out to personally raise the money for their trip by selling baked goods on Facebook and other social media. Between them, they raised over $8,000 and traveled with us. You can actually hear their testimony if you go to www.holylandguru.com/testimonials and click on the testimonies.

Another couple of modest means decided to sacrifice and they saved and did without because they so wanted to have this onetime experience. Be prepared to be surprised. You cannot predict who will respond so send out the invitations to as many as you can.list

2. Decide on Your Target Audience: Church members, family members, close friends, business contacts, former church members. How are you going to reach them with news of your plans? Pulpit announcement, bulletin, small groups, email, social media, inexpensive ad in local media, story in the local newspaper of your plans?   See the sample letter that follows as a great starter. Rewrite to fit your situation. (Leverage me by contacting me directly for guidance. I am here to help you especially if you are going for the first time to the Holy Land)

3. Set a Date for an Orientation: When people who are interested meet, this is the ideal venue to deliver information. guidance, itineraries, ask questions and give you the deposit. I can provide you with a terrific DVD for you to show at the meeting that will get them excited  about the trip. Such a meeting should really generate interest as they become aware of other friends who are going and the word spreads!

4. Keep Your Tour Plans Top of Mind: One thing I did was create a poster on which I printed this heading  “MEET THE PILGRIMS” and under that heading I would periodically add the names of those going as they turned in their deposits. This was a reminder to people still flirting with the idea but not yet committed. We put this in the foyer. Also I conducted a series of seminars for my people. Optional: You can do the same by going to www.holylandguru.com and clicking on “GURU U” where you will find the information I used for my seminars. Again, I am always at your disposal for advice, guidance and materials.

5. Commitment, Deposit, Enrollment: Ask them to make their deposit and fill out the enrollment part of the brochure. (Check or Credit card) Until they have actually done this they are still considered to be prospects rather than tour group members so it is important to encourage them to commit. When you have your orientation meeting with them let them know in advance that it would be appropriate for them to come prepared to place their deposit. In order to help with this the tour company offers a generous discount of $100 for deposits of  $350 received 12 months before departure and $50 for deposits received 6 months prior. People love to save money so use this. You may want to assign your secretary or a staff member to handle this for you.

This will be a  wonderful  shared experience that will result in a lifelong bond between you and those who travel with you.

God bless you in this part of the process. Share your excitement it is contagious.

 ______________________________________________________________________________

sample

SAMPLE INVITATIONAL LETTER

Dear Xxxxx Xxxxx,

For years I have wanted to go to the Holy Land but the timing was just not right. I believe that now is the time I should go and I want to invite you to consider coming with me.  Here is why.

 

Recently I became acquainted with Dr. Robert Grant, known as the“Holy Land Guru”, and was presented with the opportunity to go with him on what will be his 125th journey to the Holy Land.  He has been going there for 46 years and I thought how neat it would be to be able to travel along with him and soak up some of the knowledge he has acquired over these many years.  I want to encourage you to go to his website  www.holylandguru.com and get acquainted with him. He has set aside space for us so that I will be able to invite my friends to join us on the journey.

Here are the details concerning our journey for your consideration.

Departure date is (00/00/0000) going for (?) days to (?).

 

The price of ($ 0,000 ) is very inclusive and includes international airfare from New York where the journey originates, good quality hotels, admissions to places on the itinerary, most meals, and accompaniment by our Holy Land Guru director, Dr. Bob Grant and his wife. Almost everything is included except the airfare from home to New York, tips, and about 8 lunches.

 

It occurred to me that this is something you might want to consider sharing with us. Should you decide to come along, here is what I expect will happen for us as we travel together. We will share something rare that really binds people together, a fantastic life-changing experience. I fully expect that our understanding of our Bible is going to be greatly enhanced as we travel together to places we have read about for years. I also expect that God will change me for the better and that I will return a better pastor, leader and Bible teacher as a result of this journey. That excites me immensely.

 

We are planning to have a get together in our home to discuss the upcoming journey and I would like to invite you to attend. We will be meeting at (Place, Address) on (Date) at (Time).(RSVP please)

 

Please come with questions, curiosity and openness. There are no dumb questions. If I don’t know the answer we will get Bob, our “Holy Land Guru” on the phone and he will provide the answer for us.

 

I hope that it will be possible for you to come along.

P.S. Please let me know if this is of interest to you. Call me at (555) 555-5555 or email me at joepastor@yourchurch.com to RSVP so we can plan our gathering.

 

In Christ,

(Your Signature)

God Bless