Phoenix church takes 'spiritual vacation' to Israel despite viol - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Phoenix church takes 'spiritual vacation' to Israel despite violence

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Israel would probably not be a trip you would plan on taking in the near future, but Sunday morning a church group from Phoenix took off for Tel Aviv.

Sirens aren't a welcoming, relaxing sign most people expect when traveling to another country.

This is Israel's reality lately, the people of Tel Aviv rush to safety whenever warning sirens blare.

Israel's Air Shield knocked down two incoming Hamas rockets Saturday.

Why would any one want to visit a country that appears to be rumbling towards all out War?

A group of 15 from the International Church of God in Phoenix left Sunday for Tel Aviv.  

It was A pre-planned group trip by the church; they call it a spiritual vacation.

Maria Velasquez says they aren't nervous any more, just excited.
"Earlier in the week as we saw the news and the images on TV, it kind of makes you think, "Is that where I'm going to go?" The family was worried, actually telling most of us please not go," said Velasquez.

Velasquez says the church group decided to go through with plans to visit Israel after the travel agency assured them that other group trips to Israel were continuing despite escalating violence.

Scenes of people fleeing the beach near Tel Aviv during  an incoming rocket attack did not sway the group.

"We have all been praying for it, the church pastors, we just feel that God is with us and we're going to go," said Velazquez.    

Velasquez also says she is excited to tour the holy land and visit Nazareth.       

Before she left Phoenix, she did ask one thing: "If anybody..keep us in your prayers to have a safe trip and pray for us."

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