About 50 pilgrims from The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe (UMC) left the country for Israel on Monday this week on a 10-day tour organised by a local safari operator, Genesis Travel and Tours.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The pilgrims were expected to visit most of the important biblical sites as the church intends to make the visit an annual
Head of the UMC delegation, Bishop Eben Kanukayi Nhiwatiwa, told NewsDay at Harare International Airport that his congregation was happy to embark on such an important trip, adding it would draw most travelling Christians closer to God.
“We are happy. This is our maiden pilgrimage trip to Israel. This trip is so important for us because we are going to relive the events of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the UMC Bishop said.
“We are going to walk the same path as Christ did and we want to thank Genesis Travel and Tours for making this event a reality.”
Genesis Travel and Tours director Chiyedza Chikomo said her firm was delighted to organise tours for churches and was now planning to take the less privileged, physically and mentally handicapped children to Israel next year.
“We are going to work closely with organisations such as the Down Syndrome Association, Danhiko, old people’s homes and many others to see if we can also take their members to Israel,” Chikomo said.
“In July this year, we are organising a trip to Israel for members of the Anglican Church, but as a social responsibility programme, we are organising a conference this coming September for mothers who have children with special needs. We want to find out how best we can plough back into society.”
Genesis Travel and Tours has so far won about 30 awards, getting honoured as best travel agent by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Lufthansa Airways of Germany, Delta Airline of America, among other organisations.
While in Israel, UMC pilgrims were set to visit places such as Jesus Christ’s tomb, the Upper Room, Garden of Gethsemane, Mount of Beatitudes and Mount of Olives, among other monuments.