Over four dozen educators and members of the Pella Christian school community will embark for a 16-day trip to Israel Friday. The unique opportunity was organized by a ministry founded by Ray Vander Laan, who makes videos on trips to Israel for Focus on the Family. Pella Christian Grade School Principal David De Jong said he and High School Prinicipal Darryl De Ruiter had one main goal in mind for those who take the trip.
“The number one thing that we wanted to do as principals was bring this back to the students of our schools,” said De Jong. “What better way to do that than to experience it ourselves, so when we’re talking about the trip and unwrapping parables, we can show them pictures and tell them actually what it looks like there and what it feels like.”
De Jong says a common question he has fielded in the days leading up to the trip have been about the safety of the group while in Israel.
“How Ray Vander Laan would answer that is he says, ‘I take my wife on these trips, and I would never take her if it wasn’t safe.’ He’s given us some statistics,” said De Jong, “and since 1992 his group has taken over 14,000 people to Israel. Only five different times have they needed to reschedule a tour because what was happening in the Middle East was unstable.”
The 54 people taking the trip will travel to Kansas City by bus from Pella, catch a flight to New York City, and then fly from New York to Tel Aviv in Israel.