Many of our tour groups ask to volunteer in a service project while they are visiting Israel. This is an amazing way to connect, bless and work side by side with on-the-ground ministries and organizations. One such group recently spent a morning at a womens' shelter, which houses Sudanese and Eritrean refugees. They spent time painting and cleaning, thus helping freeing up the center's staff to focus on other projects and issues.
The morning started with an orientation from the center's director, which outlined its founding and formation. Women who left the Sudan, Eritrea and other countries, sometimes with loved ones, sometimes not, and made the dangerous trek to freedom in Israel have harrowing and often tragic stories. When they arrived in Israel, often through Bedouin smugglers, things were generally not easy.
The tour group, which comes from Texas, jumped right in and began to paint and clean. The center is housed in is an old hotel, built in 1948, and needs a lot of maintenance and painting. So it was work that was well-suited for volunteers, as in they were able to quickly see good results from their hard work! Below are some photographs of their work.
Israel has a 'volunteer culture', people come from very diverse nations such as: Iceland, United States, South Africa, India, England, Lithuania, Canada, Czech Republic, Russia, Holland, New Zealand, the list goes on and on. This reminds us of the scripture in Isaiah:
Foreigners will come to rebuild your towns, and their kings will serve you. For though I have destroyed you in my anger, I will now have mercy on you through my grace.
So when planning your tour, please keep in mind this very exciting option . . . to reach out, touch and bless the people of this amazing land. Truly you will receive as you give!