A group of educators and members of the Pella Christian school community are just days away from embarking on a special trip to Israel. Pella Christian Grade School Principal David De Jong is among those taking the trip, and could quite possibly be looking forward to the adventure more than anyone else.
“We can not wait,” said De Jong. “We’re going with a group of 54 people to Israel for 16 days, and I can hardly sleep I’m so excited.”
The trip was organized by ministry leader Ray Vander Laan – who makes videos about trips to Israel for Focus on the Family. Since 1992, Vander Laan has led roughly 14,000 people on trips to Israel. De Jong says those making the trip have had to go through an immense amount of preparation for the intense hikes they will go on while visiting various biblical sites.
“They asked us to walk seven or eight miles per day for at least three months with our hiking shoes before the trip,” said De Jong. “If you’ve seen people walking around town with backpacks and funny-looking hats, it’s probably a person that’s getting ready for Israel.”
Pella Christian High School Principal Darryl De Ruiter is also among those taking the trip, and both men say the educators from the schools that are able to take part in the special opportunity will be able to link their experiences to teachings in the classroom. The group will leave for Tel Aviv on Friday.