As spring approaches, travel plans are made for the coming year. One of the best decisions you can make this year is to visit Israel. I have several times and plan to do so again.

In my small hometown here in the States, I walked out of the post office the other day and was glad to hear birds singing, their songs echoing off the stone walls along the street. It reminded me very much of Jerusalem, Jaffa, and other exotic locales in Israel. There, flowers, bird song, fresh air, and swirling history are among the things that make a visit to Israel truly one-of-a-kind. I say this as an American Christian.

People often ask me about visiting Israel. Is it safe? Isn’t it expensive? Lots of questions and I’m happy to answer all of them. I feel safer in Israel than I do anywhere else, except for perhaps my back deck, which looks out on a forest, deer, and other of God’s creatures. Israel is very good at security, and I know personally you and yours would be safe there.

A trip abroad does have some significant cost, but it’s not doing to destroy your budget, and you might think of it this way: in order to have a real trip-of-a-lifetime, can you do without that new big-screen television this year? Can you wait until next year and continue to watch your two-year-old TV? I can tell you from much personal experience that visiting Israel is not as expensive as you might think. I have stayed in hotels ranging from the affordable (and wonderful!) Christ Church Guesthouse, just inside Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City…to the fabled King David Hotel and the equally plush American Colony Hotel. My bank account survived all in fine shape.

Perhaps you have a shot at just one trip in this life to Israel. Perhaps you are considering taking your first (of many) trips there. Whatever situation you are in, I say: GO!

You will never regret it.

The lush northern Galilee (credit: Israel Ministry of Tourism)
The lush northern Galilee (credit: Israel Ministry of Tourism)

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