My Visit to the HOLY LAND
Catholic and Orthodox Traditions of the Church teach us that God’s presence in our midst is the most profound mystery. This Divine Mystery requires that we constantly engage and reflect upon the complex depths of real life with our Gospel faith. For a Christian every time one reads the scriptures it is a constant unravelling of this mystery. In our profound faith we are naturally attracted to Jesus. Thus dawns a wish in every Christian to visit the Holy Land, to the places where he prayed, preached and gave his life for our sake, at the Calvary.
I too had this wish which I carried around for many years. In the parishes where I worked almost every year there were groups going on a visit to the Holy Land, but most of them were groups who made the trip to learn more of history than to enrich ones faith.
Last year I came to know that John & Randa Snobar from Christian Pilgrimage were organizing a trip to the Holy Land from Queen of Apostles Church, Riverton. Reading their brochure and coming to know them, I felt that this is the group that would give me a faith enriching journey to the Holy Land.
Both John & Randa are originally from the beautiful country of Jordan and Randa has studied and worked in Jerusalem. Therefore they have an in-depth knowledge of the Holy Land, the history, culture and tradition.
From Perth we set out on May 5th and returned on 21st. Randa Snobar accompanied us all through the trip. Along with the local tour guides Anton and Ibrahim, Randa was there to provide for every need of the pilgrims. Her patience is remarkable.
Since ours was a group consisted more of senior members, Randa was there to assist them with help and guidance whenever needed. Due to this no one in the group fell sick or had any safety issues.
There was no rush at any point during our pilgrimage, we were provided enough time to rest and reflect and arrangements were made for the Holy Eucharist wherever possible. For the night we stayed at good hotels and the service was always good.
It almost three months after our visit to the Holy Land and now when I read the scriptures I have a more vivid understanding and got to know the person of Jesus even better.
A BIG THANK YOU TO CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGES!
THANKS TO JOHN AND RANDA SNOBAR !
The words “Thank You” would simply never be enough for the gift you have given my family.
It all begins with your kind nature and passion. No matter the time or the question you always make yourself available and always made us comfortable. You listen carefully and with full respect to ensure we were looked after with our every need.
Your honesty is so rare in this world that it’s refreshing to know that people like you still exist.
Your expertise and knowledge made our travels to The Holy Land and Jordan the most amazing holiday my family have ever been on, I’m actually not sure anything will ever match it.
The Guide and Driver you organised for us on our five day Private Tour were outstanding, a perfect fit for us. They were professional, fun, caring and so knowledgeable. They went above and beyond to make certain everything we wanted to achieve was accomplished. They will be forever in our hearts.
You were fully aware of the symbolism these travels represented to our family, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I certainly never imagined it would change our lives but it did. It exceeded every aspect of our expectations and memories to last us our lifetime.
You came into our life as a stranger, however remain in our lives as a true angel from the heavens. Without you we would not have followed our dream so soon in life, you helped it become a reality and shared the experience with us every step of the way.
I hope now you see and understand why the words “Thank You” will ever be enough!
I wish you every success as I watch you create the same dreams for many others.
Thank you for the wonderful pilgrimage to the Holy Land and to the extension to Egypt.
Our trip was everything we wanted to be. And thanks to you, we got a lot more than we expected.
Our heartfelt thanks to you and the team at Christian Pilgrimage
A very good pilgrimage exceeding expectations. Always felt safe.
A wonderful spiritual journey for which I came. Thank you Randa for your kind and careful attention and for the privilege of visiting the holy land.
I had an excellent experience with Christian Pilgrimage on my trip to the Holy Lands in late 2015. The expertise, coordination, knowledge and support provided by their team enabled me to focus on the spiritual experience and significance of the Holy Lands more than I could have hoped for.
Overall the trip was incredible. It was amazing to be surrounded by a different culture and landscape very unlike Australia. The first part of the trip involved a tour around Jordan where we visited ancient cities and places of significance. The clear highlight was Petra which displayed structures craved into rock with exquisite design and detail. This was followed by the tour of Israel where we covered many parts of the country including roman cities in the north, Bethlehem, Jerusalem and an incredible number of churches. Walking through the history of civilisation in one country is truly awe inspiring.
As for the logistics, it was extremely well organised. The hotels varied but always ranged from adequate to 5 star. I particularly enjoyed the boutique hotel in Tel Aviv. The tour guides were informative and clearly experienced. I always felt safe and confident that we were being looked after. The food was delicious and I have come to really appreciate good hummus! The free wifi on the Israeli tour bus made keeping in contact with home very easy and allowed some of us to call home during reasonable hours J
As for spiritually I found it incredible. One location stands out, the ancient and now ruined city of Magdala. We were fortunate enough to be toured around the ruins by Father Tim Meehn, a catholic priest, who brought the city and its first century synagogue to life. It is in ancient synagogues like the one in Magdala where Jesus would have spoken about his ideas, his perspective and his thoughts on our future. It is locations like the synagogue where someone listened to Jesus and carried the news. It is from locations like the synagogue that 2 billion people have come to know the miracles of Jesus Christ and his transforming power. It is locations like the synagogue where the Gospel was heard and eventually made its way to Perth. And this was just one place we visited.
I cannot recommend enough that undertaking a Pilgrimage to Jordan, Israel and Palestine should be a priority for everyone. And Christian Pilgrimage is a great choice for ensuring it is a smooth and safe visit that will leave you transformed.
Overall I am thoroughly pleased that I participated in the pilgrimage. One of the best experiences I have had. The dynamics of our group worked well and the programme exceeded my expectations.
Randa, you need t be congratulated, you excelled on this trip. I admire and respect what you have done for us