Holy Land with Food Donation Connection – April 2017 (SOLD OUT)

26 April 2017 to 05 May 2017

Watch the entire 90 Minute Pilgrimage Video below, or download it to a flash drive to watch on your HD television.

April 2017 Holy Land Pilgrimage from Steve Ray on Vimeo.

This trip was sold out!
It was an exclusive one-bus trip for the members of the Food Donation Connection.

This Holy Land Pilgrimage is like all other Signature Footprints of God trips, known for excellent organization, leadership and teaching from pilgrimage experts, Steve and Janet Ray. For a more personal experience we limit the group to one bus to foster the closeness and intimacy you would expect of a top tier pilgrimage.

We do not put you through dinner buffet lines everyday but on three days we will take you to some of the finest restaurants with lots of local flavor and cuisine with wine and drinks provided during all dinners. We also make every effort to support the local Christians which make up only 1.5% of the population.

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Bill and Sue Reighard founded Food Donation Connection in 1992 in response to the challenge of Jesus in John 6:12 to “Let Nothing be Wasted”. With this statement as its vision for the past 24 years, FDC has developed systems and technology enabling thousands of donors with surplus food to donate this food to thousands of hunger relief organizations in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, Ireland and the UK. This trip will allow FDC to celebrate 25 years of service by visiting the site where Jesus made this request.

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Journal

Newly Renovated Tomb in Holy Sepulchre

Before our group arrived today Janet and I visited the Tomb of Christ in the Holy Sepulchre a few days after its unveiling without the ugly iron girders that used to surround it for support. Here are a few pictures of the new exterior and one of the interior. Nothing is really changed (except removal of girders) it is just cleaned up and restored. Very beautiful. More soon in a few days when we have Mass here.

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Arrival in Israel - all set to GO!

NOTE TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF THESE PILGRIMS — please messages below in Comments and I’ll read them on the bus. Humor is always appreciated.

This Holy Land pilgrimage is sponsored by the Food Donation Connection which is a very marvelous organization that finds ways to collect wasted food and distribute it to the poor and hungry and those who need it. Brilliant idea!

A lot of folks had arrange their own airlines and we provided transfers to our hotel in Tiberias. The main group of about 30 arrive at Ben Gurion airport at 4:20 PM. By the time they went through passport and collected their luggage we left around 6 PM for the drive to Tiberias and our beautiful Ron Beach Hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee!

We settled in, had dinner and celebrated Mass with the waves splashing Right beside us. What a great place for the first Mass in the Holy Land!

Holy Land Day 2: Transfiguration, Cana and Nazareth

Great day. Enjoy us virtually 🙂

Homily at Church of Transfiguration here.

Israel Day 3: Primacy of Peter, Multiplication, Golan, Beatitudes and more

Great day in Northern Israel. Enjoy!

For the homily at Tabgha, the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish, for 25th anniversary of Food Donation Connection click here. One of the funniest and insightful homilies ever.

Fantastic dinner celebrating 25th Anniversary of Food Donation Connection!

Day 4: Boat Ride, Capernaum, Visitation, Jerusalem

Enjoy today’s video from Boat Ride on Galilee, Mass at Capernaum to Discovering Mary at Visitation to Jerusalem.

Great Body and Blood homily right where Jesus gave that teaching.

Bethlehem all Day! Nativity, Mass in a Cave and Dancing!

Great day both deeply spiritual, cultural and fun. We had Mass in a Cave with a great homily by Gr. John.

Descending into the grotto to touch the birthplace of Our Lord then to wear the cloak of a saint and to dance with local Christians. Enjoy!

DINNER AND DANCING!!!

Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Salvation Story, Upper Room and more

Mass at the rock where Jesus sweat drops of blood. Enjoy the powerful homily.

Below is the video for our time at Gethsemane, Church of Pater Noster, the Story of Salvation from Adam and Eve until Today, Mt. Zion with the Upper Room and Dormition of Mary and More.

Enjoy! Wish you were with us 🙂

Israel Museum, Jesus' Baptismal Site, Jericho, Qumran, Dead Sea and Camels

Great day. Homily here. Enjoy!

Mass at Tomb, Western Wall, Final Comments

We started the day at 5 AM by walking the Via Dolorosa or the Stations of the Cross. We arrived at Calvary and Touch the Top. After a Tour of the Holy Sepulcher we had Mass in front of the Tomb.

After breakfast we went to the Western Wall and had fun watching all the bar mitzvahs with a wild and fun music.  A tour of the Holy Shroud Exhibit and a free afternoon we had a nice dinner with farewells and goodbyes what you’ll enjoy.

Why Our Pilgrimages Sell Out Months in Advance

Hello Elizabeth

I must tell you dear Elizabeth, Steve Ray’s Holy Land trip was even better than I could have imagined. It could not have been done better!

First, let’s start with the preparation. All the materials sent in advance, the preparations — all functioned flawlessly. I wrote to you about this in a previous email. From the start, we were treated like royalty and it never stopped.

From my experience, Amer was the man-on-the-ground whose job it was to make sure everything happened, and it happened on time without a hitch. If that man or any member of his family showed up in the LA area, I’d take off work if necessary, travel to wherever he was and take him and his travel companions out to a great dinner at a fancy restaurant in an attempt to return the favor for his unbridled hospitality. Wow was he great! A storehouse of knowledge with an intimate connection to the land.

And Stephen and Janet Ray. Where do I start? Steve’s done this so often and so well, he makes the complex seem effortless. Janet made sure we didn’t get lost or separated from the pack. With all the contacts that he and Amer have, we were able to do things that few could do. How many of the pilgrims get to celebrate Latin High Chant Mass at the Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for 50. Breathtaking. The experience of a lifetime.

And the people from the Food Donation Connection. They were so friendly and pious.

My wife Merle and I will never be the same. I’ve told all my friends about this trip and told them explicitly “You should go”.

So thank you Elizabeth. Thank you Amer and your family, Thank you Steve and Janet Ray. Thank you Bill and Sue for all that you’ve done for Merle and I.

I hear there are plans for a Part II trip in February of 2020. I told Bill — count Merle and I in.