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May 31, 2009May 31, 2009  1 comments  Christian Guesthouses

Travelujah is announcing a special invitation to all users to send us your recent blog entry highlighting some aspect of your journey here as well as short video footage (less than 3 minutes) of a unique experience you had here in Israel and or the Palestinian territories, Jordan or Egypt.  There are many members of our social community as well as users worldwide who wish to enjoy your travels too. Not everyone is able to come and visit here but there are millions of people in the world who are keenly interested in the Holy Land and would like to learn more about this cradle of faith.

 

Travelujah is a unique social community for people interested in the Holy Land. We are different from other travel sites because we offer a place for people to connect to the Holy Land before and after their journeys. Travelujah is the premier destination site for Christians interested in learning more about the Land of the Bible. If you haven't yet joined Travelujah, please register to our site.  We will conduct a poll on the best blog and the best video and the winners will get front page billing as well as an annoucement in a special press release distributed to Christian and other mainstream media (online and offline) worldwide.


May 23, 2009May 23, 2009  0 comments  Pope Benedict XVI

 

In honor of 43rd World  Communication Day, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the positive impact of social media on today's youth. "The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic and enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others. In reality, when we open ourselves to others, we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming more fully human. "

 

Travelujah is an excellent example of what the Pope feels is "the enormous capacity to "foster connectedness, communication and understanding between individuals and communities . . . as means of communicating with existing friends, of meeting new friends, of forming communities and networks, of seeking information and news, and of sharing their ideas and opinions."

 

Travelujah was founded on the same principle that the Pope shared so eloquently, "The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic and enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others. In reality, when we open ourselves to others, we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming more fully human. "

 

Travelujah aims to allow pilgrims to share details of their journeys in the Holy Land so that others may have an opportunity to share their profound profound experiences. As the Pope said  "Life is not just a succession of events or experiences: it is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy."  

In honor of 43rd World Communication Cay , the Vatican announced the launch of www.pope2you.net; a new website that seeks to bring the gospel to the Internet. Pope2You is a new website for young people, created in the context of the 43rd World Day of Social Communications, the theme of which i"New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship."


August 4, 2009August 4, 2009  0 comments  Events

  "I don't know why God keeps sending me here, but I know there is a mission",   stated Reverend Yvette Massey  of the Warren Memorial Church  during her recent visit to Israel, the third visit for Massey.

 

Reverend Massey arrived in Israel with 9 other African-American pastors on a hot day in the middle of July, and most of the pastors didn't quite know what to expect.  Aside from Reverend Massey, only one other pastor had ever been to the Holy Land, and the rest knew what they had read in the newspapers or seen on television: Israel is a place where there are wars, terrorist attacks and numerous Christian holy sites. 
 
But when their trip ended, there were significantly different views.
 
Reverend Derrick Harkins, the spiritual leader of the 19th Street Baptist Church, the oldest African-American Baptist congregation in Washington, DC, described his tour as a two-dimensional experience. The itinerary provided him with "the chance to understand Israel in its everyday context. This added a dimension and texture to the trip that was so meaningful."

 The pastors' three-day seminar was sponsored by Project Interchange, a non-profit, non-political group which offers visitors around the world the opportunity to experience Israel and come to their own conclusions about the country, its people, issues and achievements.  A key goal of the group, which was established in 1982, is to challenge the common misconceptions and provide participants with the knowledge to share their new views with others, forge new cooperative initiatives and make policy decisions based on their newly deepened understanding of Israel.

 The itinerary, which emphasized the multi-cultural fabric of daily life in Israel, included visits to Wolfson Medical Center, Al-Qasemi College and Ono College, where the Christian leaders met with Director Doron Haran and learned about diversity at work.  For Reverend Debra Massey of  Warren Memorial Church in Atlanta, GA, the visit to the Yemin-Orde boarding school which houses youths at risk, was one of the most impressive stops on the program.  She was very surprised by what she learned from Dr. Chaim Peri, the director of the school.

 "This visit gave  me new insight into Israel," she said.  Israel is a place that offers hope, where you can learn. People think it is not as civilized as us, but it is."

 In Nazareth, in addition to their tour of the Basilica of the Annunciation, the pastors enjoyed home hospitality and met with a group of Christian residents and the Bishop Boutrous Marcuzzo - learning first hand about issues facing Christian communities in Israel.  They also met with Ghassan Manasra discussing religious minorities from a Muslim perspective. The importance of including religious values in the reconciliation process was certainly not lost on this group. Other important holy sites visited in the Sea of Galilee region included Capernaum and the Mt. of Beatitudes, the site of Jesus' famous the "Sermon on the Mount."

 

  In Tel Aviv, the clergy met with Rabbi Melchior, who discussed interfaith efforts towards reconciliation. For Reverend Hawkins of the 19th Street Baptist Church, this spiritual reality also provides a different aspect to his ministering.

 "There is an appreciation of the long-term commitment to peace, no matter what happens, and it seems that there is a commitment to keep going back to the process to try to work it out.  At a very real profound theological level, this gives people a lot of strength in their everyday lives. We all have challenges but we can't give up."

 The trip was also a chance to hear the broad array of perspectives from Arabs, Palestinians and Israelis and to really understand what Reverend Hawkins called "the incredibly complex fabric of the region."

 Reverend Harkins, a first-time visitor to Israel, was overwhelmed when he entered Jerusalem for the very first time, a city he teaches about and preaches about but had never seen. Driving up the highway towards the historic city of gold was "a lifetime experience and deeply profound."

 Reverend Massey, whose church group has yet to come, says she will be back.  And so will Reverend Harkins. He plans to share his recent experience in Israel and the Palestinian Territories on Travelujah, the first Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land.  He also plans to bring his congregants,- and he's committed to never doing a "cookie cutter" tour, but rather a multi-dimensional experience created by Travelujah where he will be able to meet with spiritual leaders and others, and where his participants would have the opportunity to learn more about both the ancient and the modern.

"I couldn't go back and not incorporate all the holy sites without understanding Israel in its present context and not meeting and enjoying all the people that live there." 


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