Update November 7, 2023 – 3:58 PM EST
It has now been one month since the terrorist attack in Israel. Our hearts break to see the horrors continuing there, and like you, we pray daily for peace and an end to all wars.
We know many of you are still looking forward to your Holy Land trip and wondering what might happen in the next several weeks or months. There truly is no way to know, but rest assured that your Group Leaders and Select International will never send you into harm’s way. Your safety is our greatest concern, and as you may have seen in early October, we will do everything in our power to protect the travelers who trust us, no matter what it costs.
We are working with groups departing in the first three months of 2024. Each Group Leader is working with us to give you the best options. Some Group Leaders have decided to offer Holy Land trips in 2025, while others plan alternate destinations for 2024. In all cases, you will have multiple options to consider. Please watch for communication via email from your Group Leader and Select with the specific details for your trip. Read the emails as soon as possible and act accordingly, as some are time-sensitive.
If your trip is scheduled to depart in April 2024 or later, we encourage you to stay positive and calm and consider this a twist in the road on your pilgrimage. After all, a pilgrimage begins long before you get on the plane. Don’t give up hope for seeing the Holy Land. Use this time to pray that Our Lord brings peace so we might all visit his Earthly home soon.
Your Group Leaders are in contact with us, and we are discussing the many possible scenarios so that when the time comes to make a decision, everyone is prepared. You should expect to hear more about the first of the New Year. At this time, all cancellation terms and conditions remain in effect.
We continue to be in contact with our many guides, partners, and friends in Israel and the West Bank, and we are happy to report that all of them are safe. Their resilience is a testament to their faith and hope.
As you might imagine, this situation is a terrible blow to their financial security, especially following the recent end of the COVID shutdowns. While all Select trips departing before the new year will not travel, we have decided to cover the salaries of all our guides & drivers. This will ease their burden in some small way over the next few months.
We welcome your help at this time. We must continue to pray for and help our Christian brothers and sisters in Gaza and the West Bank directly!
You may know we have a 501 (c)(3) charitable foundation called Select to Give. (selecttogive.org). This volunteer-administered foundation’s mission is to help Christian families remain in the Holy Land.
Through God’s abundance, Select to Give has donated $61,000 to Christian individuals and organizations working in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Individuals use the funds to feed their families and keep the electricity on, since their livelihood depends on tourism. There is no government support to get them through this crisis, so this money is desperately needed. A large part of the funds have been donated to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, which provides humanitarian assistance to the 1100 Christians living in Gaza during this horrific ordeal.
But that’s not nearly enough. We ask you now to be generous and remember the Christians suffering in Gaza and the West Bank and donate to Select to Give, which spends no money on staff salaries or office overhead but donates every dollar we receive directly to organizations and families in the Holy Land. We are able to provide receipts for every donation made so you can be sure your donation is given directly to those who need it the most.