We invite you to join us in prayer for peace in the Holy Lands of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
We continue to closely monitor the situation which is devastating on every front and pray for all peoples in the region, especially our Christian brothers and sisters, as well as the innocent civilians caught up in the tragedy of war.
May Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Our Holy Land pilgrimages until the end of 2023, have been either cancelled, postponed or rerouted to an alternative itinerary. If you have a booking with us on one of these departures, you would have received correspondence from our office with your options.
Pilgrimages to other destinations such as Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey, Eastern Europe and more, are available and will proceed, so please feel free to enquire with us about future departures.
The Holy Land is our most popular destination, and it is particularly disappointing for those who have their hearts set on walking in the footsteps of Jesus at this time. On the strength of prayer, hope and goodwill for peace among all peoples, we hope to be able to welcome you back to the Holy Land soon.
Thank you for your prayers.
In the peace of Christ
Chief Executive Officer
Update: 11 October 2023
We are pleased to report that all our pilgrims who were on pilgrimage in the Holy Land at the time of the conflict, have now been safely exited out of Israel. Some are continuing with alternative pilgrimages and others are on their way directly home.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), have been briefed since Sunday of the whereabouts of all our pilgrims and have now been advised of the ongoing travel routes of our groups.
For those pilgrims booked on upcoming Holy Land pilgrimages, we are the process of communicating with you about the status of your pilgrimage. These are being processed in date order, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
Thank you for the many friends and supporters of Harvest who have been praying for the safety of our pilgrims. Together, we continue to pray for a speedy resolution to this tragic conflict and for all people both in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories. We especially pray for peace in these troubled and sacred lands.
Update: 10 October 2023
Following the escalation of the crisis in Israel, we have been in the process of ensuring the well-being of our pilgrims in the region and moving them to safety. As of today, we plan that all of our pilgrims will have safely exited Israel.
We have also diverted groups that had departed before the conflict and were due to enter Israel, to alternative itineraries in the pathways of St Paul through Greece and Turkey, or to other pilgrimage destinations in Europe.
There are many pilgrims due to depart in the coming weeks and months on various groups, and we are assessing each departure in date order. Thank you for your patience as we attempt to communicate with you all regarding the status of your pilgrimage.
We continue to closely monitor the situation in Israel and pray for a speedy and peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Update: 08 October 2023
Over the past 24 hours we have been learning about the emergency situation that is unfolding in Israel following the escalation of conflict in the region. Like many of you, we are watching closely and have concern for all people in the Middle East affected by the violence.
We currently have four pilgrimage groups in the Holy Land. Yesterday we were in immediate contact with our operators on the ground along with our group leaders to make certain of the welfare and safety of our pilgrims – all of whom are safe and accounted for. We are working with our teams on the ground and receiving updates from our local operators to ensure that we are getting the latest news as things develop.
At the time of publishing this message, the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism in Israel advised that tourists should stay in their hotels, and touring should be avoided. We ask all our pilgrims in the region to comply with this requirement and stay in their hotel until the situation is assessed and it is safe to venture out. We do not know how long this advice will be in place and await further notice.
We currently have a Harvest Manager on location working to keep in close communications with the group leaders and to keep the pilgrims informed. The safety of our pilgrims is our top priority, and we thank you for your patience as we gather additional information that has been tested from a number of sources.
We are working on evacuation plans for those groups in Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee and potential alternative travel plans for those in Jordan who were scheduled to enter Israel in the coming days. Each pilgrim’s travel insurance may assist if early exit options and costs become a necessity (subject to policy coverage).
We have been in contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and have advised them of our pilgrims’ details, including their current location in Israel. DFAT has suggested that visitors in Israel keep in contact with friends and family if they are concerned for your safety, and to keep an eye on latest news and updates.
Pilgrimages to the Holy Land scheduled to depart Australia this week have been postponed due to these events beyond our control, the emergency situation in Israel and the advice from the Israel Ministry of Tourism to temporarily stop touring until the situation becomes more certain.
Our priority right now is the safety of our pilgrims who are either in Israel or currently on their way.
Over the past 35 years of Harvest sending pilgrims to the Holy Land, we have experienced occasional flare-ups and conflicts in the region, and they have usually lasted a few days and then resolved. Sometimes, the conflicts have endured longer, and we cannot be sure how long this one will last.
Please join us in prayers for a speedy resolution to this tragic conflict and for all those affected by loss and inconvenience both in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories. We especially pray for our valued pilgrims, chaplains, guides and staff caught up in the reality of this troubled and sacred land.