May 2013

From Lake Como to the Holy Land, here are accounts from a couple of our friends who have visited our projects

Here we have messages from two of the four people who have recently returned from a trip to the Holy Land, where they had asked ATS Pro Terra Sancta for assistance in organising their journey. They visited the conservation and local community support projects with us which we carry out in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Sabastiya, and then continued the trip by themselves, travelling north. Here are their impressions:

“I have wonderful memories of my trip, and in particular of meeting each and everyone of you. I’m telling all my friends that they can’t go to Israel without also visiting Palestinian land and experiencing what life is like there. Here, it’s something we know so little about. The memory that has stayed in my heart is one of many emotions, but one above all: the deep emotion I felt at the Grotto of the Nativity (and I’m not exactly a practising Catholic!)” Giancarla.

“Alas, we’re back home again…I want to thank all of you at ATS Pro Terra Sancta: you made our trip truly interesting and unique, and you’ve allowed us to understand a bit about such a complex land! Perhaps it might be useful to “rank” what we saw: After Jerusalem, the place that surprised us the most was Sabastiya, the guesthouse and archeological digs, but Nablus, Masada, the desert, Mount Tabor, Acco were also beautiful… Overall conclusion: it really is the centre of the World!” Sandra.

“It was wonderful trip for me as well. It helped in some way to clarify, amongst other things, a lot of my thoughts on the political-social-economic situation of those (those?!?) countries, which I saw with completely new eyes and without stereotypes. I saw first hand how tough the situation is, but if in some ways I observed the complexity of the problems, in other ways, I also glimpsed a glimmer of hope. Peace is an almost ‘physical’ need in those places, sooner or later perhaps it will be inevitable, who knows…

I agree with my travelling partners – it was wonderful meeting Vincenzo in Bethlehem. He took us right into the heart of a very difficult situation, but one that’s also full of humanity and hope. Sabastiya was beautiful; Suhaib was great – he told us so many things and helped us understand a bit more about the situation in Nablus and the territories, and as with everything, he told us about both lights and shadows! I really liked the area around Sea of Galilee, and all of Upper Galilee, Capernaum in particular: the place has an extraordinary appeal, it’s very striking and evocative. Upper Galilee’s entire landscape is almost immaculate…it’s so beautiful! Acco was a fantastic discovery – it had a beautiful historical centre, a little bit Venetian, a little bit Byzantine, a little bit cross-shaped, a little bit Arabic: you can just breathe in the harmony and tolerance, it’s wonderful! We also ate some excellent fish in a sensational restaurant, with breath-taking views over the sea. Masada was fantastic and really interesting, the Dead Sea and the usual captivating landscape, it was just…divine! All in all, it was a trip that was packed with emotion, it was informative, and it was fun as well!” Grazia.

We invite everybody to come to the Holy Land (arrangments to be made and flights to be booked independently) for a few days or a weekend. We can help you to best organise your stay here, to stop and pray at the Holy Places, and at the same time get to know our projects and experience the living stones of the Holy Land! 

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