In 1987, Professor Ken Maahs embarked on his first trip to the Holy Land. It turned into an experience that impacted him so greatly that he knew he had to share it with others.
“I think every Christian owes it to their relationship with Jesus to spend some time in his land, in his home,” said Maahs.
From December 17 to January 8, Maahs and a group of students, along with some friends and family, will be taking a “Christmas pilgrimage” to the Holy Land.
The 23- day tour includes more amenities and luxuries than any other tour Maahs has heard of. The trip is organized by the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies, an interdenominational Christian organization that subsidizes each person who goes on a tour.
The total cost of the trip is $3,550.
The group will spend a week in Egypt where they will visit some major historical sites. They’ll see the mummy of the Pharaoh of the Exodus, the Valley of the Kings, the tomb of Tutankhamun and the Cairo Museum, which Maahs calls “one of the greatest museums in the world.” The next two weeks they will spend in Israel. “We literally see everything that anyone would want to see in Israel,” said Maahs.
While many students have expressed interest in the trip, parents seem to be concerned about endangerment given the state Israel is in at this time.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Maahs said. “Tourists are not targets.” Palestinians make most of their income off of tourism, he said.
Maahs took his son on the tour back in 2004. “I honestly feel safer there than when I walk into Philadelphia or Washington, D.C.,” he said. “We are with a good organization that knows what it’s doing, and I know what I’m doing.”
The tour is open to anyone and Maahs encourages students to bring friends and family with them. One month is left to sign up.
“[There] The land is our textbook,” he said. “When you study the land while you are there it will touch your life. No one takes this tour without having a renewed appreciation for the Palestinian people.”
Maahs also recommends that students read the book Whose Land? Whose Promise? by Gary M. Burge. Maahs feels that it is “a book guaranteed to challenge your perception of Jewish-Palestinian relationships.”
“I have been there 12 times and never gotten tired of it,” Maahs said, “Israel is like a return home.”