A Sabbatical Year

This April marks my 4th anniversary at TNL Church. Wow, time flies when you are having fun. During my fourth year I am privileged to receive a 6 week sabbatical. Sabbatical comes from the Hebrew shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a “ceasing.” A sabbatical is an extended period of time every so many years designed to offer an opportunity for rest, reflection and a chance to peruse difference interests and studies. During my sabbatical I am making room for all of these.

One of my planned activities for my first sabbatical is to travel to Israel. I have decided to join a friend who leads annual trips to Israel for Chosen People Ministries. For safety reason we have been asked not to disclose the details of our itinerary, but I can tell you this will not be a vacation. Along with travel to many biblical sites throughout the Holy Land I will be helping in a soup kitchen and humanitarian aid center, packing pallets of food and supplies that will be distributed throughout the country and personally delivering food parcels to Holocaust survivors and others families in need.

For decades I have wanted to see Israel on a trip like this but have never been able to have all the details fall into place. As a teaching pastor, I feel this kind of trip is not only desirable but necessary for me. It’s one thing to study books about Israel and the places Jesus lived, taught and walked. It’s a completely different experience to see these places with my own eyes, walk through them in my shoes and touch them with my hands.

A trip like this will not only transform the Scriptures for me but for the TNL Church community where I lead and for anyone I share the stories of the Bible with. It’s like going to the Super Bowl, sitting on the 50-yard line, experiencing every triumphant touchdown and every heart-breaking fumble, instead of watching the game on a 13-inch, black and white TV. My hope is that the Scriptures will become so much more alive to me and to those I teach.

This trip is part study expedition, part mission trip and part pilgrimage.

As you can guess arranging a trip like this is not easy. I will be away from Debra (she does not want to go) and the boys for two weeks this summer. I need to set up travel plans from Denver to New York and from New York to Tel Aviv. I need to arrange for lots of prayer support and, not least of all, raise some funds to travel.

If you believe in the ministry that I do daily, if you can relate to the need for personal challenge and growth, or if you care for the community that I work in will you ask for God’s blessing on this trip? Will you pray for the people I will be traveling with, some of whom will be from TNL? Will you lift up prayers for safety and health and prayers for my awareness of God leading up to and during this trip.

Would you likewise be willing to make this trip a reality by helping me financially? The trip includes:

  • Round trip airfare to Tel Aviv from Chicago-O’Hare
  • Taxes and fuel surcharges ($460 subject to change)
  • 15 nights in quality hotels (triple occupancy)
  • Breakfast/dinner (subject to flight schedules)
  • Entrance fees to sites listed in itinerary
  • International health insurance
  • Airport transfers/portage
  • A/C coach bus and driver
  • Licensed tour guide
  • Tips to hotel staff
  • Support-raising assistance

Price does not include:

  • Flight from Denver to JFK in New York
  • Tips for driver and guide ($100-125)
  • Lunches for 14 days (approx. $10/day)

After receiving a small ministerial scholarship and contributing my own over 25% of the cost, I am still in need of $3000. Would you be willing to contribute $50, $100 or more do this trip? All donations are tax deductible through TNL Church.

If you would like to contribute to this trip click here.

If you have any questions or need more information, please drop me an email at chip@tnl.org.

Thank you for your prayers and contributions in advance.

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