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April 2015 News

Unique tour of Israel through indigenous eyes

  • Written by  Elissa Dowling
Paula Cogill, co-leader of the indigenous tour of Israel Photo: Provided

The indigenous people of Australia often have a strong understanding of the importance of their land and a recognition of the connection they have with it.

It is this connection that can make a trip back to the Holy Land of Israel so special.

“It really resonated with who I am as an indigenous person in Australia,” Paula Cogill of the Bundjulumg tribe in Casino New South Wales said.

Paula is co-leading an Indigenous Tour of Israel in August, along with Toowoomba local, David Stanfield. 

“It was life changing for them,” David Stanfield said. “If you can understand more clearly that God is real and how he relates to you, it helps you work in a new level of confidence.”

This year’s two week tour will incorporate time with the Arabic, Bedouin and Jewish population living there.

“As aboriginal people we are very relational people and my heart was to meet some of the Palestinian Christians, which we will be able to do on this trip,” Paula said.

Last year, people from Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia joined the tour.

The 14-day tour will take travellers on the story of the Bible, beginning with Abraham, then Moses through to King David and finally Jesus. It will also incorporate important landmarks of modern day Israel and discussions about its future. 

“For me it was transforming - it really felt like I was literally walking on the word. Every place we went to was significant and purposeful and provided growth and even some stretching,” Paula said.

The tour avoids the traditional and often “religious” tourist spots and instead focus on actual events in the Bible, David said.

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