August is undoubtedly the hottest summer month in the Middle East. Temperatures can reach over 40 degrees in some regions. This desert and extreme heat create the atmosphere for pilgrims visiting the Holy Land to experience, in literally the same climate, the footsteps of Jesus.
The month brought groups from around the globe to visit the Holy Land. Many came on religious pilgrimages, while others came for a mix of sightseeing and leisure spending time at one of the many beautiful beaches on the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea, relaxing and rejuvenating at the Dead Sea or enjoying water sports in the Red Sea including diving to explore the colorful and magnificent coral.
A group from Vietnam toured the Holy Land where one of the many sites they visited was the Mount of Olives for a beautiful panoramic view of the city of Jerusalem. We also had a Muslim group of 44 people from Canada who arrived near the end of the month and spent a week here touring Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho and the north of the country.
One of the main events for Vered Hasharon this month was the annual CINPEC pilgrimage from Senegal with Vered Hasharon flying 351 pilgrims from Dakar to the Holy Land on 4 special flights charted just for the group.
Making it through the hottest month of the year was no mean feat, it simply empowers us and prepares us for all the wonderful groups we will be welcoming in the coming months.